Found December 10, 2012 on Taking Bad Schotz:
The Yankees, once again, had another tumultuous postseason this year which ended with the Detroit Tigers making quick work of them. When watching that series I could only compare it to a random country taking on Japan in the early stages of the Little League World Series, Japan being the Tigers in this example. It was not so much the pitching, although it wasn’t fabulous, but the hitting was atrocious. It seemed the only guy who could get a hit was the captain, but once he suffered a gruesome ankle break, the Yankees had absolutely no chance of doing anything offensively. Raul Ibanez had some incredibly timely hits, but the rest of the Bronx Bombers could not close the deal resulting in their futility. Before we get into what they need to accomplish this offseason, let’s look at what the situation looks at with the current roster for the 2013 campaign. The Infield As we look towards 2013, Mark Teixeira, Robinson Cano, Derek Jeter, and Alex Rodriguez are all under contract for at least the upcoming season. Rodriguez announced recently that he will have surgery on his left hip to repair a tear, which forces New York to look for a replacement as he will be sidelined for at least half the season. Catcher Russell Martin signed a two year contract worth $17 million with the Pittsburgh Pirates last week, which leaves the catcher position wide open. The Outfield Left fielder Brett Gardner just recently avoided arbitration with the Yankees and signed a one year $2.85 million contract; expect him to be your opening day left fielder. Center fielder Curtis Granderson had his 2013 team option exercised in late-October, but that does not necessarily mean he will be in pinstripes come April. On Wednesday, the Yankees placed Granderson on the trading block as they are looking to create extra salary for a future catcher, corner outfielder, and third baseman. Granderson struggled during the postseason and is expendable, which explains why the Yankees are shopping him around in hopes of striking gold. Ichiro Suzuki is currently a free agent, but the Yankees have expressed strong interest in bringing back the Hall of Famer, so expect him to be in right field come opening day. Fan favorite Nick Swisher’s days with New York seem to be over; as his notorious postseason struggles along with the contract he will command are too much for the Yankees to consider. Four teams appear to be in on Swisher including division foe Baltimore. Along with the Orioles are the Mariners, Indians, and possibly the Giants. The Giants are a stretch due to their tight budget after resigning Marco Scutaro and Angel Pagan, but Swisher would fit in nicely if they can make it work. Bench Several of New York’s bench hitters are up for free agency including Andruw Jones, Raul Ibanez, Eric Chavez, and Casey McGehee. Chavez recently signed a one year deal to be a member of the Diamondbacks which really stresses the Yankees need to go out and find a new third baseman. Andruw Jones’s future is up in the air, but many see him returning as he a cheap source of power off the bench. Raul Ibanez wants to return to New York, but that all depends on what other teams offer him. Ibanez was a fantastic addition to the 2012 roster after only costing $1.1 million. He hit for a solid 19 homeruns and 62 RBIs, but really became a known contributor during the playoffs where he hit .318 and collected clutch hit after clutch hit. Casey McGehee won’t command much at all from other teams and is a good hitter to come off the bench. Starting Pitching The Yankees have done their job with locking up the starting rotation. CC Sabathia is under contract through 2017, while Andy Pettitte, Hiroki Kuroda, and Phil Hughes all will be back for at least this upcoming season. The only hole would appear the fifth spot in the rotation and Joe Giradi has an interesting decision to make between Ivan Nova and David Phelps. Nova’s 2011 campaign earned him a rotation spot after going 16-4 with a 3.70era. His 2012 season was another story after going 12-8 with a horrendous 5.02 era. David Phelps entered last year as a reliever, but emerged as a reliable spot starter and collected a 3.34 era.  The decision is all up to Giradi. Bullpen This past season was a strange one for New York, as majority of it was done without the help of Hall of Fame closer Mariano Rivera. Rivera suffered a gruesome leg injury during warm-ups before one the Yanks early season games and was forced to miss the entire season. Rafael Soriano filled in for him and didn’t miss a beat as he converted 42 of 46 saves while maintaining a 2.26 era. Soriano opted out of his final year in his three year deal with the Yanks and became a free agent this off-season. Mariano Rivera was thought by many to hang up his cleats and retire, but the best closer in baseball history wanted to go out on his own terms and signed a one year deal worth $10 million with the Yankees for the 2013 campaign. All of the Yankees other key relievers will be back for the 2013 season so expect David Robertson and Co. to shut down the later innings once again. So now that we know their contract situations heading into the 2013 campaign, let’s look at some moves the Bombers should be making to help solidify their chances of heading back to the Fall Classic. 1. Sign Kevin Youkilis For however I can remember following the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry, there weren’t many more hated players than the likes of Kevin Youkilis.  The Youkster was booed constantly in the Bronx and seen as a knight in shining armor at Fenway. As much as the Yankee faithful dislike him, he is a perfect fit for the now vacant hot corner with A-Rod on the mend for at least the first half of the year. With his stellar defense and talent for getting on base at a high percentage the Yanks would be lucky to have him on the roster. Brian Cashman has offered him a one year deal worth $12 million. Reports have said that if he agrees to the deal then he would be the everyday third baseman even when Rodriguez returned. The one year deal would be the equivalent of a try out and if he excels, he would most likely get a nice extension in the off season. Most of the roster would be on board with the acquisition, as Kevin is a very respectable guy in the baseball world, but Joba Chamberlain might have something to say. Chamberlain has a history of throwing at Youkilis whenever he gets the chance and it would be really interesting to see how these two would co-exist in the same locker room. Youkilis was contemplating a two year deal from the Indians as well, but after their signing of Mark Reynolds they will all but surely pull the plug on their offer. The Mariners and Dodgers have shown interest lately, but the Yankees, as of now, have the best offer on the table. 2. Sign Josh Hamilton If you put aside his off the field problems and his once-a-season injury then you get maybe the best hitter the game has ever seen.  Does anyone remember when Hamilton came to the Bronx for the Home Run Derby? Well, the guy set a record for most homeruns in a single round. His swing is perfect for the Yankees’ short right field porch and he would easily hit forty to fifty homeruns each season. We can compare the hype of his swing to Curtis Granderson’s when he first arrived in the Bronx; except Grandy’s career average is .262 and Hamilton’s is .304. Hamilton would become a bigger icon than Alex Rodriguez ever was, except Josh would not date Madonna or Kate Hudson, he would stay out of the tabloids. I will guarantee Derek Jeter would take Hamilton under his wing and make sure he wouldn’t have another relapse like Ian Kinsler allowed him to do in Texas. New York has come out and said they are looking to trim their payroll, but the first sign that you are not looking to trim payroll is to throw $12 million at a replacement third baseman. With the Rangers looking more at Justin Upton than Hamilton, I think Josh has grown impatient of their waiting game. Seattle has been known to be Josh’s second choice to Texas, but I think that was before the Yankees became players. Reports have surfaced that the Yanks’ brass are conducting a background check on Hamilton which, in my mind, tells me they are interested. Hamilton would command a sizeable contract obviously, which would probably look like a five year deal worth around $110 million. In order for the Yankees to avoid adding too much salary to the payroll and open up a position for Hamilton, they would have to do my next move almost certainly… 3. Trade Curtis Granderson When many think of Granderson, they think of the 108 homeruns he has hit over the last three years. What I think of is a guy who never hit higher than .262 in any of those seasons. Curtis was a very good fielding center fielder, but the rest of his game was questionable. In the last two postseasons Curtis went eight for fifty with 23 strikeouts. When I see numbers like those it makes me think that player is expendable; which is what the Yankees’ higher-ups think as well. The other day Granderson was placed on the trading block, as the Bombers hope to rid themselves of the final $15 million they owe him in the coming season. By signing Hamilton it would almost certainly mean getting rid of Granderson if the Yankees stay true to their plan of trimming salary. 4. Sign A.J. Pierzynski With the departure of last year’s starting catcher, Russell Martin, the Yankees are in dire need of a man behind the plate. If you look into their own system one will find Francisco Cervelli, Chris Stewart, Austin Romine, or even Gary Sanchez. Cervelli and Stewart are viewed as solid back-ups, but nothing more; while Austin Romine does not have enough experience in AAA to be considered as an everyday catcher. Top prospect Gary Sanchez has been mentioned as the future catcher, but with him playing on Single A ball there is no real consideration for him to be even part of the team in 2013. This leaves the Yankees to look into the free agent market for a new catcher. I really wanted the Yankees to make a play on Mike Napoli due to his reasonable contract and very solid play, but the rival Boston Red Sox scooped him up instead. With not too many solid options left, I think adding A.J. Pierzynski would be a very smart move. After coming off his best offensive season in his 15 year career, Pierzynski has become unwanted by his former club the White Sox, as they have the utmost confidence in young star Tyler Flowers. Pierzynski, in 2012, smashed 27 homeruns, drove in 77 RBIs, batted .278, and possessed an OPS of .827. A.J.‘s durability is one of his greatest qualities as he has averaged over 130-plus games since 2002. With teams questioning his age and defensive ability I think he will not cost the Yankees too much money, and is a must add. He was rated the most hated player in baseball this past summer which would make him a perfect Yankee because everyone hates the Yankees, besides the Yankees and their fan base. With a great personality and a ton of experience he will fit right into the system and become a fan favorite very quickly. After all of these moves the Bronx Bombers lineup will look something like this going into the 2013 season… 1. RF Ichiro Suzuki 2. SS Derek Jeter 3. 2B Robinson Cano 4. CF Josh Hamilton 5. 1B Mark Teixera 6. 3B Kevin Youkilis 7. C A.J. Pierzynski 8. DH Raul Ibanez 9. LF Brett Gardner I think Brian Cashman goes nuts here and makes their lineup look something of an all-star team. Cashman’s acquisitions have been called “soft” lately and the Yankees don’t like being called soft. Be prepared for signature Yankee deals that include enormous amounts of money being handed out, which is the only way we know the Yankees of conducting their business. All of them will happen rather quickly and hopefully the first one to occur is Kevin Youkilis. What better way to celebrate Chanukah then to sign one of the best Jewish baseball players in the game right now? -Huberman
1 Comment:
  • Maybe too late after the Rays unloaded 2 starters but I would sign Hamilton and trade Granderson and Hughes to the Rays for David Price. This upgrades the Rays offense like they want and gives them a decent pitcher in return. It upgrades the Yanks in center with a guy that not hits for power but for avg. It also upgrades the pitching. I know these types of trades are tough to make in the same division but it will help both clubs.
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