It is about the money.
The Yankees are still unlikely to do anything major this offseason unless they can unload some money, a baseball official with knowledge of their plans. So even though they like Hiroki Kuroda a lot, Yankees GM Brian Cashman does not have the cash to spend on the righty starter. Kuroda figures to receive at least $12 million on a one-year deal.
Feeling they have five starters in CC Sabathia, Ivan Nova, Phil Hughes, A.J. Burnett and Freddy Garcia, that is not in Cashman's budget. The Yankees already have commitments that will put their 2012 payroll in the $185-$200M range.
So how does something big happen? Well, there are probably two options. One would be to trade Burnett, freeing up money. The Yankees, according to the New York Post, were willing to eat $8 million of the $33 million remaining on the final two years of Burnett's contract. They probably would have to swallow $15-20 million, maybe more, to get teams really interested.
They could also deal Nick Swisher, which could pave the way for the signing of Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes. Right now, the Yankees really aren't expected to be in on Cespedes because they don't have the payroll flexibility to add a $30-$50M player. The Yankees like Cespedes, but, at this point it doesn't seem it is enough for Cashman to go to Hal Steinbrenner and ask for more dough.
So barring Cashman going to Steinbrenner for more allowance, the only way for the Yankees to make a big move is to make a big trade. Since Cashman has been talking about these players all offseason and nothing has been close, it seems unlikely anything big happens. But things change. Remember Aaron Boone?