"What should the Yankees do this offseason?"
Not even ten seconds had passed since Detroit stormed the field of their own ballpark after sweeping the Bronx Bombers away like the miniscule spec of dust they had become, and every Yankees fan and baseball writer had stepped into the shoes of Brian Cashman.
Perhaps a better question is: “Who are the Yankees?”
Gone is the mid-90’s dynasty of an unhittable bullpen and a team of quality starters, productive corner infielders and outfielders and phenom players up the middle.
Mariano Rivera is scheduled to return coming off of ACL surgery at 43. He has no contract as of today.
Derek Jeter is scheduled to miss the first spring training of his career, and return from a fractured ankle at 38.
Andy Pettite is going to make up his mind about the Yankees in the coming weeks. Posada is going to enter his second spring out of Pinstripes.
It’s time for a philosophy change.
But first, let’s look at expiring deals:
C Martin (30) (7.5 MIL)
3B Chavez (35) (900K)
OF Jones (36) (2.0 MIL)
OF Suzuki (39) ($0)
OF Swisher (32) (10.25 MIL)
DH Ibanez (41) (1.1 MIL)
SP Garcia (37) (4 MIL)
SP Kuroda (38) (10 MIL)
MR Lowe (40) ($0)
MR Wade (500k) gone on waivers CL Rivera (43)
Bringing back Rivera is a given. I can realistically see the Yankees letting everyone else walk, with the strongest possibilities to return being Ichiro, Kuroda and Martin. However, I’d like to see Rivera as the only guy back, unless Ichiro is our 4th outfielder (because he wasn’t cutting it this summer, let’s remember).
$ Subtracting: 34.25 MILLION
Special Contract Options:
CF Granderson (32) $15 mil club option, $2 mil buyout (10.0 MIL)
2B Cano (30) $15 mil club option, $2 mil buyout (14.0 MIL)
MR Feliciano (37) $4.5 mil club option ($0)
CL Soriano (33) - $14MM player option or a $1.5MM buyout (11.0 MIL)
Yankees will obviously pick up Cano’s option, as they should; it’s time to lock him up anyway (at a discount after this offseason). They should deny Granderson and buy him out, because his production in terms of offense and defense can be readily replaced on the free agent market. Declining Feliciano and Soriano opting out of his deal are apparent no brainers to me.
$ Subtracting: 21.0 MIL-3.5 MIL= 17.5 MIL
TOTAL $ SUBTRACTED: $51.75 MIL
Other Notables Under Contract
Prospects Not Mentioned that could play Role
3B Bichette Jr.
RHP Montgomery* 2B Pirela*
So, let’s talk. All of the “#” players are pretty much no brainers to make the roster. All the “*” could compete for a spot.
Now, let me break down the 5 best moves for the New York Yankees to make this offseason:
#1: Trade for Elvis Andrus. Sanchez, Pirela and Montgomery for Andrus will seem like a steal for Texas. But this move gives the Yankees their leadoff hitter and starting SS. Time for Jeter to move to 3B and ARod to start DHing.
#2: Sign Josh Hamilton (5 years, $105mil). Replacing Granderson never seemed so easy. He’s got “problems” so we could sign him for basically Swisher money and undoubtedly more future production. Moving Gardner to CF and Hamilton to RF will pave the way for my next move.
#3: Sign Melky Cabrera (2 years, 23mil). MVP quality LF suffering from legitimacy questions. Returns to his home team to pair with his best friend, Robinson Cano, who needs a jolt. Also, a switch hitter to aid the lefty heavy lineup.
#4: Sign Francisco Liriano (4 years, 32mil). Let CC mentor the 29 year old Liriano, who is streaky. He is big, throws an awesome slider and has a plus fastball and plus changeup. With or without Pettite, his signing will solidify the rotation more than any 35+ year old low risk high reward player, and give the team a chance to build.
#5: Sign Carlos Ruiz (3 years, 33mil). Remember how badly he’s killed the Yankees, and how well he’s hit in our ballpark? He was also 4th in Caught Stealing % this year, has steadily improved defensively since ‘09, and could share time with Romine/Cervelli/Stewart with little difficulty.
Additions: $54.875 Million
Take a look at my dream 25 man:
#1 SP: Sabathia
#2 SP: Pettite
#3 SP: Hughes
#4 SP: Liriano
#5 SP: Nova
1: Andrus SS
2: Jeter 3B
3: Hamilton RF
4: Teixeira 1B
5: Cano 2B
6: Rodriguez DH
7: Ruiz C
8: Cabrera LF
9: Gardner CF
We can always wish, right? It’s only adding $3.1 million to the $189 Million dollar payroll, and could be offset by cutting Chris Stewart, getting Rivera at a discount, getting Pettite at a discount, or restructuring part of ARod’s deal.
What moves do you think would best suit the Yankees offseason?