Source: Yankees not expecting quick strike

For nearly a month we have known that the Yankees' plan is to spend in excess of $300 million in pursuit of Robinson Cano, Masahiro Tanaka, Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran, among others, while remaining under the $189 million salary threshold for 2014.

To that end, the Yankees are putting their plan in place at the GM Meetings, getting together with as many of the agents of these players as possible. A Daily News report said that the Yankees are "moving fast" in attempt to sign McCann and Beltran before a "major market" develops for the two players.

A source tells ESPN New York that, of course, they are interested in the two players, but the Yankees don't expect things to move quickly. The Yankees have yet to even make offers to the free agents, sources said.

It is a bit counter-intuitive that the agents for McCann and Beltran -- B.B. Abbott and Dan Lozano, respectively -- would want to do a deal before the market develops, unless they are overwhelmed.

"Exactly," a source with direct knowledge of the negotiations said when this reasoning was put forth.

A GM told ESPN New York in October, he thought McCann may get six years and $100 million, while Beltran is said to be looking for a three or four-year deal. The Yankees know that there is a lot of interest in both players so they may be compelled to try to strike sooner than later, like they did in their pursuit of CC Sabathia in 2008. The Yankees may figure with all the competition, there is no time to dilly-dally.

Still, it behooves Beltran and McCann to let all the offers roll in and then decide instead of making a decision before the market develops. That is what the Yankees are expecting. Could that happen before the Winter Meetings next month? Maybe, but, generally speaking, the process is usually a bit drawn out.

The source said the Yankees are keeping their options open and have not ruled out Shin-Soo Choo or Jacoby Ellsbury as possibilities, though, Beltran is their top outfield choice because the length of his contract would be shorter.

The Yankees also have interest in Stephen Drew as crutch for Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez. In the meantime, they are reportedly close to signing Brendan Ryan as a backup.