Conor Frederick (@C_Frederick1016)
Surprising as it may seem, the New York Yankees don't plan to pursue ex-Red Sox starter Jon Lester. Or other free agent starters Max Scherzer or James Shields, according to NESN. NESN reports that the Yankees are more interested in pursuing bringing back their own free agents, starting with pitcher Brandon McCarthy. They also want to bring back third baseman Chase Headley over pursuing San Francisco Giants 3rd baseman Pablo Sandoval.
After splashing some major cash last off-season, bringing in free agents Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann, Carlos Beltran, and Masahiro Tanaka, I guess they finally realized that splashing major cash isn't always the answer after failing to make the postseason again this year. However, that opens it up for the Red Sox to be really aggressive in free agency. As I wrote earlier today, though, Scherzer, Shields and Sandoval (who rejected his) were all made qualifying offers, so whoever signs them would have to give up a draft pick to the players' previous team in addition to the likely big contract each one of these guys will get.
All of these guys will bear watching as the Hot Stove season heats up. The Red Sox may want to rethink Shields and Sandoval, but Jon Lester is ineligible to receive a qualifying offer because he was traded, so the Red Sox can be really aggressive pursuing Lester should they so choose. And if these reports are true about the Yankees backing off, they can go after him with a little extra confidence.