New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman called Bob Garber, the agent for free agent pitcher C.J. Wilson on Saturday, but no offer was made to him according to ESPNNewYork.com.
Cashman described the call as part of a slow process and said he's reaching out to all agents representing the top pitchers on the market.
However, Cashman may have done all the reaching out he needs to do. What's left is making the process a little quicker and presenting Wilson with a pen and a contract.
Now that the Yankees have CC Sabathia locked up for the next five years and title hopes are a little more feasible again, signing the lefty would help bring the long-awaited balance in the rotation that the Yankees have hoped for.
Wilson, 30, is considered the top free-agent pitcher on the market. He went 16-7 with a 2.94 ERA for the Texas Rangers this past season, though in the postseason, he went winless with a 5.97 ERA.
Garber told ESPNNewYork.com's Andrew Marchand on Friday that Wilson would thrive in New York thanks to his outgoing personality and wants to be a part of a winning team.
He is one of those guys who would fit in there very well, Garber said. He would fit in most places pretty well. New York, I think he would thrive in a city like that.
Despite Wilson's postseason struggles, the lefty getting a fresh start in a big market and pitching behind a lefty who is the ace of the staff would make the Yankees rotation more of a force to be reckoned with.
If Wilson were to sign with the Yankees, the rotation behind Sabathia would include right-handers, A.J. Burnett, Ivan Nova and Phil Hughes, most likely in that order. That would mean that if the Yankees want to re-sign Freddy Garcia, who has shown interest in returning, then his role would be (or rather should be) relegated to the bullpen. Garcia as a reliever would make the bullpen stronger along with Hector Noesi, David Robertson and Mariano Rivera already giving it the juice.
And, sooner or later, prospects Dellin Betances and Manny Banuelos, who are expected to begin the season in the minor leagues according to ESPNNewYork.com, will be called up to the majors.
If Wilson doesn't end up in pinstripes, the Yankees do have other options. The Philadelphia Phillies' Roy Oswalt is a free agent. The 34-year-old went 9-10 with a 3.69 ERA with the Phillies in 2011. However, a source told ESPNNewYork.com's Wallace Matthews that the Yankees may be hesitant to go after Oswalt because of his back issues.
ESPNNewYork.com also reported that Cashman will also monitor free-agent pitchers Mark Buehrle of the Chicago White Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals' Edwin Jackson as well as possibly bid for Japanese star pitcher Yu Darvish, though the Yankees should be hesitant about that given their recent signings of Kei Igawa and Hideki Irabu that didn't really work out.
Reaching out to Wilson first seems like a good sign that the Yankees and Cashman value him most among all free agent pitchers. Whether that translates to a new home for Wilson remains to be seen with all the other options out there.