Girardi acknowledged that the Yankees have considered several hitters, including free agents Johnny Damon, Raul Ibanez and Hideki Matsui as potential solutions. GM Brian Cashman has said several times this winter that the Yanks could use a surplus of starting pitchers – A.J. Burnett, Phil Hughes and Freddy Garcia will all vie for the No. 5 slot – as a trade chip for a hitter, too.
"Johnny's been a great player for a long time," Girardi said when a reporter brought up Damon, a Yankee from 2006-09. "There have been a bunch of names that have been talked about and they're all good players. Ibanez's name has been brought up and he's had a great career, Matsui's name has been brought up and he's had a great career.
"Obviously, we know what Johnny and Matty have meant to this organization over the years and how they've been successful in New York. I'm curious to see how it's all going to shake out."
And Bobby Valentine has been quoted as saying, "[Tazawa] could help bullpen from opening day."
Former Yomiuri Giant and Nippon Ham Fighters, Wirfin Obispo (27), has signed a minor league deal with the Cincinnati Reds.