From Lohud, with my comments:
• The Yankees first significant signing of the winter — if you call it that — could be shortstop Brendan Ryan. The team is said to be “close” to a deal that would bring Ryan back as infield insurance. He’s an elite defender, and he had his moments with the bat during his brief Yankees tenure this season.
My thought? Ryan is a great defensive SS who can’t hit. It may be time to get Jeter off of SS and to DH him much more often (the same can be said for A-Rod and 3B if he comes back).
• Knowing the Yankees are in the market for a shortstop, Derek Jeter spoke at Joe Torre’s foundation gala and said he still fully expects to be the Yankees everyday player at the position next season. Jeter has started his offseason workout and said he feels good. He expects to be 100 percent healthy in 2014.
• Brian Cashman made it clear that the Yankees will tender a contract to Francisco Cervelli, meaning Cervelli will be back in some capacity next season. Chris Stewart might not be back.
My thoughts? Let Cervelli go. Let Stewart go too. Get someone like McCann or go for Pierzynski on a one-year deal to let Romine, Murphy and/or Sanchez develop. I’m down on Cervelli what with that suspension. Stewart, although good defensively, can’t hit a lick.
• The Arizona Fall League season came to an end. Vidal Nuno probably had the most impressive numbers of all the Yankees prospects assigned to the league. The numbers from Peter O’Brien and Mason Williams showed a mix of good and bad, while the most significant Yankees news coming out of Arizona was the early decision to pull Tyler Austin because of ongoing wrist issues.
I liked Nuno. He had a good spring training, is a lefty (needed since Andy retired) and was 1-2, 2.25 in 20 IP (5 g., 3 starts) for the Yanks last season. His season came to a quick end. I’d like to see more of him. Does he have what it takes to be successful over a full season?
• Nothing official yet, but it certainly sounds like the Yankees are going to play two exhibition games in Panama next season. The trip would be a sort of gesture of thanks to Mariano Rivera, who’s from Panama and would, presumably, make the trip.