It has been a depressingly quiet baseball winter meetings in Nashville, hasn't it? Everyone's waiting to see where Zach Greinke goes, and until he makes a decision, the market is mostly frozen. There have been a few moves on the margins — the Red Sox's deal with Shane Victorino seems a bit high to us, but nothing catastrophic — but there just isn't anybody out there throwing around crazy deals like we're used to, making it fun for everyone. If someone isn't making stupid expensive deals at the winter meetings, what's the fun of all this?
But no one's been less fun than the Yankees, who continue to be smart, prudent, dreadfully boring shoppers. The hot rumor — and it's sad that something so small and unlikely to happen is the "hot" rumor — is that the Yankees are kicking the tires on Kevin Youkilis. The Yankees do, uh, need a third baseman all of a sudden, but even though Brian Cashman met with Youkilis's agent, the general consensus is that he'll be too pricey for the Yankees' blood.
Of course, everyone is too pricey for the Yankees' blood these days. The Yankees arguably have openings at three positions now: third base, catcher, and one outfield corner. Who are they eyeing for those spots? Jeff Keppinger, Eric Chavez, Scott Hairston, and Nate Schierholtz. And Cashman has already said he's ready for catcher to be a competition between in-house options Francisco Cervelli and Chris Stewart. Do try to contain your excitement.
Cashman is being prudent and careful, not getting himself caught up in crazy contracts like the Yankees are known to do, staying under that luxury cap, reining everything in. It has been argued of late that the free agency era is starting to abate, that teams are wrapping up their own players early and keeping them off the market, making spending free agent cash one of the most inefficient ways to run a baseball business. Cashman is certainly acting — staying idle, actually — as if this is the case. It's probably smart. It's also Jeff Keppinger, Nate Schierholtz, and Chris Stewart as starting, everyday Yankees. A new era out there.