new-york-yankees-logoDid you miss the New York Yankees? Silly Dodgers, thinking they could usurp the Yankees’ SIGN ALL THE PLAYERS mantle for more than a year …

The Yankees have reportedly agreed to terms with free agent outfielder Carlos Beltran on a three-year, $45 million deal. Beltran, who turns 37 in April, just keeps chugging along, putting up great numbers in his previous two seasons in St. Louis.

With Beltran in the fold, the Yankees are out on Masahiro Tanaka, right? Nope. Sorry. Beltran gets a portion of what the Yankees were going to give to Robinson Cano – and even after Cano, there was going to be a chance the Yankees could go after Tanaka, depending on whether Alex Rodriguez’s full (without pay) suspension is upheld – so there’s still money to go around.

It’s a lot tighter, though. And certainly, if Alex Rodriguez’s suspension is reduced to 50 games or so, the Yankees then almost certainly wouldn’t be able to sign Tanaka to kind of contract he’s going to get and stay under the $189 million luxury tax cap.

This all assumes, of course, that Tanaka will be posted at all, something that – at last check, per Jon Morosi – is still up in the air.

As for the configuration of the Yankees’ outfield, folks immediately started speculating that Brett Gardner would be put on the market. Hell, folks started speculating that after Jacoby Ellsbury was signed, let alone Beltran. With Ellsbury, Beltran, Gardner, Alfonso Soriano, Ichiro Suzuki, and Vernon Wells in the fold, there’s a bit of a glut. Though you could easily see how the first four can cover the outfield and DH, Ichiro can be a bench guy at this point in his career, and Wells can … retire.

Although the Cubs would certainly have a spot for Gardner, he’s a free agent after this season, and I’m not sure how much sense it would make for the Cubs to give up a notable prospect (or big league piece with legitimate trade value) for him right now.



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