The Yankees Free Agents to Be

As of Sunday evening, the Yankees season was over, yet several weeks of baseball remain on the slate. Free agency will not begin until November, and so the Yankees are in a holding pattern, left to reorganize cupboard until holiday shopping season officially commences. While the front office waits to touch base with players currently occupying other uniforms, they will have to determine the best course of action for those players that ended the season in pinstripes - players with whom the Yankees will have an exclusive negotiating period after the World Series ends. The following are the players that are eligible to head for greener pastures this off-season - an asterisk denotes that the player is eligible for a qualifying offer.

The name that jumps out here is, of course, Heath Bell. Remember when the Yankees signed the Heath Bell Experience in June and released him a scant eleven days later? I sure don't. And I also don't think that he should count as a Yankees free agent, given the fact that he has been unemployed since June 24 ... but, I digress.

The names that actually jump out, in terms of players that have yet to ride off into the sunset, are Hiroki Kuroda and David Robertson. Kuroda has been the team's most consistent starter for the last three seasons, yet he is perpetually on the verge of calling it a career. Robertson has been one of the best relievers in baseball since 2010, but the market for relievers is sketchy at best, and Dellin Betances looms as a ready-made replacement. I would tender both the QO and worry about the rest later, but a $15 MM one-year deal for a reliever may be too much for the still budget-conscious Yankees.

Drew, Headley, McCarthy, and, to a lesser extent, Young feel like players that could play an important role on the 2015 Yankees. You could imagine Drew on a one-year pillow contract, Headley on a deal deflated by back to back to back average-ish seasons, McCarthy on a short-term deal that recognizes his volatility, and Young as a platoon outfielder, right? Of course, the market remains unpredictable, and fewer skilled players hit free agency every season.

It is still too early to begin prognosticating on the particulars - especially when we are sure to be spending a great deal of time doing so as we approach the feeding frenzy that is free agency, and then dive headfirst into hot stove season. And yet here I am, having already done so for 400-plus words.

What say you?