Okay, who are you guys and what have you done with the real New York Yankees? This isn’t the Yankees that we know and love….or hate in many circles. Typically at this time of the year, the Yankees have thrown millions of dollars at players, and they usually get their man. This year, despite perhaps more needs than in past years, the Yankees have been sitting on the sidelines watching potential Yankees going elsewhere. Not only that, but they are letting their own leave as well. With A-Rod on the shelf, Jeff Keppinger, or resigning Eric Chavez would have been the most logical moves. Yet, both players have signed elsewhere. So, what’s going on in the Bronx?
I believe the Yankees don’t know which direction they want to go. Hal Steinbrenner has decided that the Yankees payroll must not exceed the $189 million threshold. The Yankees usually don’t have any thresholds to adhere to. Perhaps the biggest problem facing the Yankees is not the reduction in payroll, but the reduction coupled with the Yankees aging roster is presenting problems for Brian Cashman.
Is this Yankee team going to be able to last the entire season and vie for a post-season spot, or is Father Time about to catch up with this club? Do the Yankees want to invest millions in a club that could be close to a major rebuild? Russ Martin, Rafael Soriano, Chavez, and Nick Swisher are gone. A-Rod is out until June, and not getting any younger at 37. The Yankees are relying on Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera, Hiroki Kuroda, and Derek Jeter. All are over 38, and could break down without warning. Ivan Nova and Phil Hughes still have to prove themselves. And Michael Pineda can’t be counted on this season? And to further muddle the situation, the Yankees were courting Torii Hunter and an Ichiro return…two more old guys. Of course, the Yankees still have a solid core of players, but so did the Phillies last season before key injuries marred their season.
Worst case scenario: Alex Rodriguez is out until July, Pettitte and Kuroda suffer arm fatigue (or worse), Rivera doesn’t return to form, Jeter needs a few more days off, and the Yankees are stuck with Cervelli catching 120 games. Brian Cashman has had too much success for anyone to doubt his decisions. But there will come a point in time when the Yankees will have to consider a major rebuilding overall. That time could very well come at some point this season. Cashman may very well realize this, and is pulling back on free agent signings. And with the Blue Jays and Orioles vastly improving, and the Rays continuing to be an AL East force, Cashman realizes that this may be one difficult year for the Yankees.
A rebuild will be in the works soon for the Yankees. Will this be the year? Brian Cashman’s moves, or lack thereof, may foreshadow and tell us when it will happen. Don’t be shocked if the Yankees are sellers in July.
Filed under: Digging Deep - Analysis Tagged: | Alex Rodriguez, Andy Pettitte, Brian Cashman, Derek Jeter, Eric Chavez, Hiroki Kuroda, Ivan Nova, Jeff Keppinger, Mariano Rivera, Michael Pineda, New York Yankees, Nick Swisher, Phil Hughes, Rafael Soriano, Russell Martin, Torii Hunter