Report: Yanks Backed Out Of A 2-Year Deal With Tommy Hunter After Failed Physical

The Yankees not signing a single Major League free agent was the most popular storyline over the last few weeks leading up to pitchers and catchers reporting, and now we know a big reason why that happened.  Via Joel Sherman, the team had an agreement in place with righty reliever Tommy Hunter before something came up on his physical that the team didn't like and they backed away.  The deal was "believed to be" between $11.5-12 million for 2 years. Hunter recently signed with the Indians for 1 year and 2 mil, so clearly this had a significant impact on his market.  He had been a pretty good middle reliever for the Orioles for the better part of the last 3 seasons, but he's also had multiple offseason surgeries to repair core muscle injuries.  The most recent one was in early January, so chances are good Hunter isn't in "the best shape of his life" right now.  Had the deal gone through, Hunter presumably would have stepped into a primary middle relief role alongside Chasen Shreve to set up the big 3 at the end.

I'm not too broken up about this deal falling apart.  6 mil is a pretty penny to pay for a middle reliever that doesn't strike a lot of guys out, especially when you're not 100% sure he's 100% healthy.  The Yankees have a slew of righty relief options in camp this spring and I don't think it will be difficult to replace whatever Hunter would have provided.  Being so passive on the free agent front this offseason was incredibly frustrating as a fan and Hal and his bean counters are still cheap pricks, but passing on Hunter sounds like a smart business and baseball decision to me.