One thing I’ve learned over the past several seasons is not to make bold predictions about what the Yankees will do during the offseason. I’ve been surprised almost every year.
In 2009 every one and his uncle knew the Yankees would make a hard run at CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett, but Red Sox fans were pre-ordering Mark Teixeira jerseys when the Yankees shocked the baseball world and signed the heavy hitting first baseman. In 2010 I was adamant that the Yankees needed to add a starting pitcher, but looked no further than the free-agent market, which consisted solely of John Lackey. Brian Cashman pulled Javier Vazquez out of a hat, in a move that ultimately backfired, but was widely heralded at the time. He added Curtis Granderson to boot. This past offseason former-future-Yankee Cliff Lee spurned New York’s big bucks for Philadelphia’s slightly less big bucks, so the Yankees went to the scrap heap and added Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia to a surprisingly effective rotation. Three years. Three different outcomes. This offseason will be no different.
Having established why it does me no good to predict these kinds of things, allow me to make a handful of observations about what I think is likely to happen between now and Spring Training. With respect to the offense, I don’t expect the Yankees to do anything. The Bombers have a player returning at every single offensive position (I’m including Russell Martin) except Designated Hitter. The entire outfield is relatively cheap, and in its prime. Apart from Robinson Cano the infield may be expensive and aging, but it’s still productive. A combination of cost and lack of need will keep all eight of the everyday position players right where they are.
Don’t expect the Yankees to make a big splash for a professional DH. For several seasons now the Yankees have expressed an interest in keeping the DH slot flexible to rest older regulars. 2012 figures to be the only season where that actually may be a good strategy because it behooves the team to get Jesus Montero into the lineup on a regular basis next year without closing the door on using him as a Catcher. He’s tailor made to be the team’s semi-regular DH, while trying to give him reps at Catcher when other players need half a day off. This is a low cost option that figures to improve the offense immediately. Jorge Posada gave the team a .353 wOBA as a DH against righties in 2011. In an admittedly small sample size, Montero was better against righties, posting a .367 wOBA, while annihilating lefties with a .506 wOBA. After such a strong cup-of-coffee in September, combined with his low cost, the DH/Catcher spot seems Montero’s to lose.
Montero, obviously, remains tantalizing trade bait for the Yankees to dangle for starting pitching, but Joe Pawlikowski at RAB summed up nicely why Jesus will probably stay put. I agree. Montero’s trade value has never been higher, but that’s only because he’s made himself such a known quantity. Unless the Yankees can get a young starter with proven front line potential my money is on Jesus providing the improvements to the offense in 2012.
On the pitching side of the ledger my hunch is that the Yankees will pass on both C.J. Wilson and Yu Darvish. Wilson seems like a Burnett/Lackey redux. He’s clearly a good starter, but he’s not great with a lot of question marks. Ponying up the $90 million or so (before the luxury tax) that it will take to sign him seems like a desperation move, and the Yankees aren’t desperate. They can make the playoffs again with their current personnel plus some additions. Why, then, add another long term contract for a pitcher the team doesn’t need? There are other clubs who will give Wilson his pay day.
Darvish, on the other hand, has the make up that the Yankees are looking for. He’s young, cheaper and has more upside. The problem is the posting fee, combined with the spotty track record Japanese pitchers have had in the US. The Yankees are already at most two years away from having young, upside pitchers who will be less expensive. In that environment Darvish only seems like an option if the Bombers are in love with his stuff.
This is why I’m expecting the unexpected. The Yankees have a clear need for pitching, but there are no obvious targets. My expectation is that the Yankees will be active in the trade market this offseason, even if that market isn’t well developed yet. The Yankees are prime counter parties for a trade. The farm system is deep and talented and the Bombers can absorb young players who are about to become expensive or older players who have one year left on costlier deals. Brian Cashman has done an excellent job of meeting the team’s needs each of the past three seasons. This season will be no different, but none of the big names floating about figure to be on the Yankees in 2012.
LIKE TYA ON FACEBOOK
- TYA To Merge With It’s About The Money, Stupid
- What about Kevin Youkilis?
- Teix Now Front And Center On The “Needs To Produce” Radar
- Cashman: Heathcott A Dark Horse Candidate
- A Dog Chasing Cars
- Outfield Trade Targets
- The Problem With Brett Gardner
- A Look At Relief Prospect Branden Pinder
- The Yankees Should Be Realistic, Put Team on Short Leash in 2013
- Briefly discussing the internal options to replace Curtis Granderson
- Brand bc on Briefly discussing the internal options to replace Curtis Granderson
- http://2804lasela.wordpress.com/ on TYA Predictions: Bold predictions for 2012
- the tao of badass pdf on What about Austin Romine?
- Joey Parkhill on Dante Bichette Jr’s Swing
- lululemon factory outlet on Contact Us
- Cary on Will R.A. Dickey’s Knuckleball Succeed In A Domed Stadium?
- Brenna on Links: Prospects, Support for A-Rod, Mariano is Love and Who’s in Center?
- Louis Vuitton Outlet Sale Singapore on The Monthly Prospector: April Edition
- Authentic Louis Vuitton Outlet Store on The Monthly Prospector: June Edition
- Louis Vuitton Outlet San Diego on Banuelos to Undergo Tommy John Surgery, Yankees Prospectors to Undergo Grief Counseling
TagsA.J. Burnett Alex Rodriguez Andy Pettitte Austin Romine Baltimore Orioles Bartolo Colon Boston Red Sox Brett Gardner Brian Cashman Bullpen CC Sabathia Chien-Ming Wang Cliff Lee Curtis Granderson David Robertson Dellin Betances Derek Jeter Francisco Cervelli Freddy Garcia Game Recap Hiroki Kuroda Ivan Nova Javier Vazquez Jesus Montero Joba Chamberlain Joe Girardi Johnny Damon Jorge Posada Manny Banuelos Mariano Rivera Mark Teixeira Melky Cabrera Michael Pineda New York New York Yankees Nick Johnson Nick Swisher Phil Hughes Prospects Rafael Soriano Red Sox Robinson Cano Russell Martin Tampa Bay Rays Yankees