The Yankees did not play well in 2014. They spent heavily on free agents Brian McCann, Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran, and Masahiro Tanaka, but came away with another mediocre campaign that showed off more weaknesses than strengths. They have another winter to address those issues, and the resources to do so, but they might not go about it the same way they did a year ago: according to the New York Daily News, the Yankees "have no plans" to pursue a few of the upper-tier free agents of this offseason, a group that includes former Red Sox starter Jon Lester.
This is good news! Well, if you're a Red Sox fan, anyway. Losing Jacoby Ellsbury wasn't what hurt many Sox fans last year: it was losing him to pinstripes. If the Yankees don't plan on going after Lester, it at least softens the blow should he sign somewhere besides Boston, and does rid the Red Sox of one impossibly rich suitor to contend with. It's not a win-win, because there will be other teams with interest in the former Sox ace, but at least none of them are the Yankees. And the one that is the Rays can't afford him, anyway.
Remember this, though: a single report suggesting the Yankees are going to focus on their own free agents -- Chase Headley and Brandon McCarthy -- instead of Lester, Pablo Sandoval, and Max Scherzer doesn't mean that's what will go down. Headley could be lured away to Boston (or wherever) on a longer or better-paying deal. McCarthy reportedly is into being on the Yankees, but maybe someone else who can't afford the top free agent pitchers goes all-in on McCarthy to ensure they get someone. If that happens, maybe the Yankees switch gears and decide to throw their considerable financial weight around to bring in Panda or Lester or Scherzer.
Essentially, it's good news that the Yankees don't plan on pursuing Lester. It's also worth remembering that they didn't "plan" to go over the luxury tax in 2014, but then did a 180 and spent more than anyone else last offseason. They're the absolute best at making huge signings come out of nowhere, and part of it is because their true intentions aren't always known. Plans can change, so let's just hope this one does not.