The Cove
Deep coverage of the Giants

Yanks Might Be Waiting on Cain

Matt Cain's not going to the Yankees in a trade, but what about free agency?

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    NEWSLETTERS

    It's been a strangely quiet offseason for the New York Yankees, and there's a theory out there that such silence should concern the San Francisco Giants.

    Why? Matt Cain remains on track to be a free agent after 2012, that's why.

    Tyler Kepner of the New York Times proposed this week that the Yankees aren't being silent because they're poor, scared or even satisfied with their roster.

    Kepner believes the Evil Empire (east-coast version) was simply unimpressed with this offseason's free-agent pitching class and is biding its time while waiting for Cain and the Phillies Cole Hamels to become free agents after the 2012 season.

    Of course, Cain might not become a free agent; the Giants made it clear this winter that signing him to an extension is a big-time priority.

    But the Giants are also clearly making an extension for Tim Lincecum, who becomes a free agent a year later than Cain, the No. 1 goal for the offseason.

    So it's possible that such an extension could be perceived by Cain's camp as a slight. Or it's possible that Cain just has no interest in continuing to put up with miserable offensive performances from the Giants roster and taking the blame (read: losses) for the lack of offense.

    Most folks believe there's zero chance Cain will be traded, and that's fine, unless the Giants fail to work out a deal with Cain and he heads to the Yankees with no real compensation coming back to San Francisco.

    That's the worst possible scenario for Giants fans; far, far worse than dealing Cain for a potential offensive monster (and/or fantastic trade chip) like Jesus Montero and other prospects.

    But with the Deathstar set into "orbit-->standby-->prepare to kill" mode and with Cain unsigned as winter continues to fade, it should remain an eerie, outside possibility.