One thing seems certain when it comes to the 2012 New York Yankees. There will be at least one new name-brand pitcher in the team's starting rotation. Who that will be is anyone's guess, including that of Yankees general manager Brian Cashman.
The biggest prize on the market is left-hander C.J. Wilson, who has gone 31-15 for the Texas Rangers the past two seasons. The Yankees have spoken to Wilson's agent, Bob Garber, and have invited Wilson to New York.
"I think it's a good fit. We have a lot of teams we have to narrow down," said Garber. "I think the Yankees are a team that we've narrowed down as a team we want to spend a little time with."
Of course they are. What has yet to be ironed out is if each side is serious about making a deal, or if both sides are showing interest simply to drive the price up for someone else.
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-- Another view of the possibilities
Here is what one Yankee official said about Wilson:
"Our scouts love [Wilson], but we love him in a certain way and it is not at what the market is likely to bring him. So I don't think we sign him."
The other much-discussed possibility is the Yankees making a huge bid for Yu Darvish if the 25-year-old Japanese star is posted for availability to major league teams. Cashman said the Yankees won't be deterred from pursuing Darvish despite having been burned by spending big money on Japanese pitchers Hideki Irabu and Kei Igawa.
"We haven't had a successful Japanese pitcher. It doesn't mean we won't have one," he said.
Veteran Roy Oswalt, 34, has also been discussed. Best guess, though, is the Yankees only pursue the former Houston Astro and Philadelphia Phillie as a fallback plan, especially if they don't re-sign veteran Freddy Garcia.
A trade is also a possibility, according to Cashman, who said he would "sacrifice offense to improve our pitching if I could." Nothing is imminent or obvious on that front, however.
What is, obvious, though is that there will be at least one new arm in the rotation next season.
-- See Pinstripe Alley for more about the Yankees