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Yankees remain quiet at MLB Winter Meetings

12/06/2011 8:34 PM ET
By Mike Axisa/RiverAveBlues.com
DALLAS -- The lobby at the Hilton Anatole, in Dallas, the site of this year's winter meetings, was chock full of job seekers, reporters, tourists and, for a while Tuesday morning, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman.

Cashman zipped through the atrium with his phone to his ear Tuesday morning, but that wasn't an indication that he was close to acquiring another starting pitcher. For the second straight day, the GM downplayed the likelihood of a significant pickup.

"I think it's going to be hard to add," Cashman told reporters on Tuesday afternoon.

The Yankees do have five starters at the moment, though Phil Hughes has injury concerns and A.J. Burnett is now two seasons removed from his last sub-5.00 ERA. Ivan Nova is said to be 100 percent healthy after leaving Game 5 of the ALDS with a strained flexor tendon.

Cashman and manager Joe Girardi have mentioned Hector Noesi as a starter candidate as well, and he's expected to come to Spring Training with a chance to win a rotation spot.

The team continues to reiterate its faith in its young Triple-A arms as well, specifically righties David Phelps and Adam Warren.

The Miami Marlins have, surprisingly, dominated the headlines for the last two weeks, after sitting on the free-agent sidelines for the last half-decade. They've already added closer Heath Bell (three years, $27 million) and former Mets shortstop Jose Reyes (six years, $106 million), and have reportedly offered three-time NL MVP Albert Pujols a 10-year contract.

Lefties C.J. Wilson and Mark Buehrle are also on their radar.

The Yankees, meanwhile, do not have interest in Wilson or Buehrle. They do not want to commit big money to someone they consider to be less than a front-line starter in the offense-heavy AL East.

The trade market has been slow to develop; pitching is scarce and prices are high.

"It's, 'Hey, take my older, expensive, over-the-hill guy for your young, better-performing guy,'" said Cashman on Monday. "I'm like, 'Let me think about that and get back to you.'"

The Yankees have trade chips other teams covet and appear ready to pounce when the right deal comes along, but they're clearly confident with their in-house pieces and refuse to complete a deal on anything but their terms.


More from Dallas...

• Free-agent right-hander Hiroki Kuroda is willing to pitch for an East Coast team according to a report from the New York Times. Kuroda, who turns 37 in February, prefers the West Coast but won't return to the Dodgers after their recent free-agent spending spree, which included adding starters Chris Capuano and Aaron Harang. The Yankees had interest in the righty -- who owns a 3.45 ERA in his four MLB seasons -- last offseason, as well as this past trade deadline. ESPN reported over the weekend that he's looking for $12-13 million per year. Yankees backstop Russell Martin caught Kuroda from 2008-2010.

• The Athletics are seeking young, high-end outfielders for 26-year-old left-hander Gio Gonzalez, according to the New York Post. The Yankees are thin on outfield prospects at the Double- and Triple-A levels, so the two sides don't appear to be much of a trade match. Gonzalez has pitched to a 3.17 ERA in 65 starts over the last two seasons, though he has walked more batters (183) than any other pitcher since the start of 2010.

• The Yankees will have someone watch free-agent right-handed reliever Joel Zumaya's workout next week, according to the Post. The 27-year-old former Detroit Tiger has not pitched since June 2010 due to a fractured bone in his elbow that required two surgeries. Zumaya is known for regularly topping 100 mph with his fastball, as well as getting hurt -- he's been on the disabled list seven times since his rookie season, in 2006.

• Freddy Garcia has passed his physical. His one-year, $4 million deal to rejoin the Yankees will be made official after the two sides finalize some contract language.

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