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MLB Free Agent Rumors: Kenta Maeda Won’t Be Posted; Yankees Lose Out on Pitching Option

December 18th, 2014 at 2:23 PM
By Doug Rush

Last year, the New York Yankees made a bid; seven years and $155 million worth, plus a $20 million posting fee, to land Masahiro Tanaka from Japan, and some thought they would make another play for the next big Japanese pitcher to come over to America in Kenta Maeda.

That however, is not going to happen, as Maeda will not be posted to the majors this winter and will remain in Japan for the 2015 season; as per Jim Allen of the Kyodo News on Thursday afternoon.

Maeda was seen as a possible number three or four pitcher in the majors and with the Yankees looking for pitching, especially after losing both Brandon McCarthy and Shane Greene, Maeda was seen as a definite option for the Yankees to pursue this winter.

The 26-year-old Maeda had a 2.56 ERA with 154 strikeouts in 179 innings this season for Japan and recently pitched for Japan in their series against MLB players last month, thus further impressing teams who were looking to make a bid for the right-handed starter.

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MLB Free Agent Rumors: Yankees Currently not Pursuing Jason Grilli; Communication Kept Open

December 18th, 2014 at 12:36 PM
By Doug Rush

UPDATE (12:45 p.m.):

Brendan Kuty of reported that the Yankees are "keeping communications open" between themselves and Grilli, according to his agents.

"We last spoke during the (Winter Meetings) and the door is still open to discussions," said Xavier D. James, who co-represents Grilli with retired outfielder Gary Sheffield. "We will be patient."

It still doesn't appear that the Yankees are pushing hard to sign Grilli, but in case anything happens, they're leaving the door open for the time being, but may pursue other options.

End of update

About a month ago, the New York Yankees were interested in free agent reliever and closer Jason Grilli for their bullpen, but it appears that the team will not pursue him.

The agent for Grilli, former Yankees outfield slugger Gary Sheffield, told George King of the New York Post that the Yankees had talked to him about Grilli, but no longer appear to be interested in pursuing his client.

“We talked to Cash [Brian Cashman], and he said ‘not at the moment,’ ’’ said his agent, the former slugger Gary Sheffield, when asked if the Yankees were interested in the right-handed Grilli, who has 50 career saves. “We will sit back with the offers we have and wait.’’

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New York Yankees Sign INF Cole Figueroa to Minor League Deal, Re-Sign Jose Campos

December 18th, 2014 at 12:14 PM
By Michael Moraitis

The New York Yankees added potential infield depth by signing Cole Figueroa to a minor league deal.

Matt Eddy of Baseball America reports the Yankees made the move to sign the 27-year-old, who has experience playing at shortstop, third base and second, with a little experience playing the corner outfield spots.

Figueroa's big-league experience in minimal, however, as he's only played 23 games and did so last season for the Tampa Bay Rays. In that limited time, the left-handed bat of Figueroa notched six RBI and hit to a .233 average while he played primarily second base.

Clearly not a big acquisition, but there could be an opportunity Figueroa makes the team out of spring training as a utility man, or perhaps he starts the year at Triple-A and gets the call as a result of injury.

Figueroa's versatility would give him an advantage over other options the Yankees could potentially keep on the team or bring up during the season.

Jose Campos

Also noted in Eddy's article was the fact that the Yankees re-signed Jose Campos, who was one of the pieces that came to the Yankees in the deal for Michael Pineda.

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New York Yankees Desperately Need Hiroki Kuroda to Return for 2015 Season

December 17th, 2014 at 5:19 PM
By Michael Moraitis

Earth to Hiroki Kuroda: the New York Yankees need you.

It has been an incredibly quiet offseason for the 39-year-old Japanese star, who has yet to make a decision about what his future holds.

Kuroda could simply retire and never pitch again for any team, or he could choose to return for another season, whether that's in the states or his native Japan. Nothing is certain yet, but signs should point in favor of Kuroda pitching again.

As the lone healthy starter for the Yankees in 2014, Kuroda logged 199 innings and pitched to a 3.71 ERA. Despite being the oldest arm in the Yanks' rotation, Kuroda was the only one who didn't land on the disabled list at some point during the season.

Kuroda should have another year left in the tank, but it remains to be seen if he wants to spend it with the Yankees. Kuroda could be looking for a better situation with a chance to compete for a World Series title, and the Yankees are no certainty in that regard.

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San Francisco Giants Re-Sign Closer Sergio Romo to 2-Year, $15 Million Deal, Yankees Had Interest

December 17th, 2014 at 3:46 PM
By Doug Rush

With the departure of David Robertson to the Chicago White Sox, the New York Yankees were giving serious consideration to alternative options for the closer role in case Dellin Betances wasn't able to handle the duties.

One option the Yankees gave consideration to was San Francisco Giants closer Sergio Romo, but his name came off the board on Wednesday as he re-signed with his old team on a two-year deal for $15 million, as Ken Rosenthalof FOX Sports reported.

Romo will re-join the defending World Series Champions that have an established bullpen that includes Hunter Strickland and Santiago Casilla; although in Game 7, their "closer" was their ace in Madison Bumgarner, who finished their victory and pitched them to a championship in a 5-inning save.

For the Yankees, they could still look at options like Jason Grilli or even former reliever and closer Rafael Soriano who was with them from 2011-2012 and opted out to join the Washington Nationals before the 2013 season.

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