Good morning Fackers. Today is the last morning of the first stage of the Hot Stove season. As of midnight tonight, teams lose their window of exclusivity to negotiate with their free agents. As we explored earlier this week, there likely won't be much free agent movement for another week and a half. The market will be set by the Type A free agents, and none of them are likely to sign prior to the December 1st arbitration deadline. We could see a few minor signings before then, and I certainly wouldn't mind if the Yankees were to swoop in and sign Type B free agent Mike Cameron as they decide how to proceed with left field, the designated hitter, and their collection of young center fielders.
Another important deadline looms tonight as 40 man rosters need to be finalized in preparation for next month's Rule 5 draft. The Yankees cleaned up some room on the 40 man last week, by outrighting Freddy Guzman and Josh Towers. By my count, the Yankees have six or seven open spots on their 40 man roster (depending upon if and when Andy Pettitte officially files for free agency), and could potentially create more by parting ways with Shelley Duncan, Edwar Ramirez, and/or Jonathan Albaladejo. Austin Jackson, Ivan Nova, and Kevin Russo will assuredly be added to the roster today. Last week Mike Axisa at RAB and Chad Jennings at LoHud profiled other fringe candidates. The Yankees will have to leave a few spots open as place holders for whatever free agents they sign next month.
The Yankees have been holding their organizational meetings this week, so they're probably hammering out the final details of all of this as you read. There are just forty spots; they'll have to leave what they can't carry. I hope that they're ready.