It’s the holiday season, so of course gifts are on our mind. While we may celebrate different holidays and give/receive gifts in our own special ways, when it comes to the Yankees, we get a little greedy, don’t we? We want what we want for the team and we want it now. I wrote a post similar to this last year, so I thought it might be prudent to run down some wants and needs again.
This year, it seems that there aren’t many needs for the Yankees, but the two biggest ones blend perfectly with the wants. All the Yankees really do need to complete the 2012 roster are a number-two starter and a lefty-mashing, right handed hitting outfielder. The latter is more than likely going to be Andruw Jones, which I think we’re all okay with. He fits the role perfectly, did it perfectly last year, and there aren’t many good options other than him, internal or external.
As for the former, that upgrade to the starting rotation, it’s an obvious need, but how to fill it has been much less obvious. On my part, there have been a ton of wants, including Yu Darvish, Hiroki Kuroda, Roy Oswalt, John Danks, Gio Gonzalez, Matt Garza, C.J. Wilson, and even Edwin Jackson and Joba Chamberlain. There have been different degrees of want for each guy, but each of them could probably fit the need pretty well. But, the cost for all of these guys (non-Joba division) hasn’t been in a place the Yankees have liked. So what does one do when one both needs and wants something, but can’t find the right thing at the right price? Be patient. Wait.
Out of a combination of needing and wanting something comes desperation. From desperation comes foolish waste. If the Yankees don’t like what’s out there, they should just sit on their hands. Better to do that than to make a move for the sake of making a move. While flawed in some respects, the team the Yankees have right now is still pretty good. Larry touched on this in his Friday post at RAB:
Additionally, for what it’s worth — and depending on your opinion on forecasting systems, it may not be much — as rosters currently stand the Yankees are projected to win the AL East by both CAIRO (with a 94-68 record) and Oliver (92-70). While the usual projection caveats of course apply, and rosters will obviously change prior to opening day, that the Yankees would appear to have a roughly 93-win team on paper even if they don’t add a single piece the rest of the winter should be pretty heartening, all things considered.
The Yankees are in a good spot right now and even though we’ve seen them remain relatively silent over the last two months, the competition around them hasn’t exactly shot ahead. The Red Sox still have rotation issues that are similar to the Yankees. They have a strong front in Josh Beckett and John Lester, but have essentially no depth. Like the Yankees are counting on a young guy in Ivan Nova, the Sox are doing the same in Clay Buccholz, who has the added pressure of trying to stay healthy. The Blue Jays made a shrewd trade to acquire Sergio Santos, but haven’t done much else. The Rays have yet to make significant moves and the Orioles’ biggest move of the offseason was reassigning their pro-scouting department.
Without any big moves, save for extending CC Sabathia, the Yankees are still in a favorable position in the American League. They still have a tremendous lineup and a shutdown bullpen. The rotation upgrade hasn’t come yet, but there is still plenty of time before the season starts to add something else. And, as we all know, the team you come to Spring Training with is rarely the team you end the season with.
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