- Ben Sheets signed with the Oakland A's yesterday. The Yankees were linked to Sheets early in the off season, but that went out the window with the Javier Vazquez trade. Of greater pertinence is that Johnny Damon was rumored to be the A's back up plan in the event they were unable to land Sheets. Setting aside the obvious question as to how signing an outfielder could be a viable back up plan for failing to land a starting pitcher, it would appear that Damon has one fewer potential suitor. Except maybe the A's are still interested. Or maybe they're not. I have no idea anymore. I wish Damon would just sign somewhere and/or Spring Training would start.
- Xavier Nady signed with Cubs. Like Sheets, the Yankees were in on Nady earlier in the off season, before deeming his price to be too high. Interestingly enough, apparently the Yankees' price for Nady was higher than the Cubs price. Nady signed for $3.3M with $2M in incentives. According to Joel Sherman though, Boras' last proposal to the Yankees was for $5M. No word as to whether that was $5M guaranteed or total, but if it was the former it doesn't bode well for the increasingly icy relationship between Boras and Cashman.
It'll be interesting to see how Nady fares returning from a second Tommy John surgery. By inking a deal with an NL club he has no DH safety net in the event his arm can't handle the rigors of playing the field. With Nady now off the market, there is one fewer suitor for the other right handed outfielders on the market, all of whom have some level of appeal to the Yankees.
- The Yankees made a deal of their own yesterday, trading minor league infielder Mitch Hilligoss to the Rangers for recently DFA'd outfielder Greg Golson. Hilligoss posted good numbers in his first two pro seasons, but is coming off back-to-back abysmal seasons at high A Tampa.
Golson was a first round pick of the Phillies in 2004 and was traded to the Rangers for John Mayberry Jr following the 2008 season. He's 0 for 7 with 5 Ks in 7 Major League games over the last two years and has a .263/.308/.395 batting line in 2780 minor league PA, with 140 SB in 178 attempts (78.7%). But, the Yankees are lacking outfield depth at the upper levels of the minor leagues. If nothing else, he gives Scranton a center fielder for next year, which is important because they'd give up a lot of triples without one.
For what it's worth, Frankie Piliere, who we noted yesterday is a former Rangers scout, tweets that Golson is "an interesting tools guy" and calls it a good deal for the Yankees. There's already speculation that Golson might be 2010's Freddy Guzman. And that may be true, but does it warrant the 40 man roster that Golson now occupies?
The acquisition of Golson leaves the Yankees with 39 players on their 40 man. Still room for you Johnny...