While the trade for Michael Pineda has made the 2012 Yankees a stronger team than they were before, losing Jesus Montero should not be minimized. In the end, the Yankees lost to the Tigers in the ALDS because they couldn’t score runs when they needed to, not because they couldn’t prevent them. Montero was going to bring value to the team. The issue he was supposed to address remains.
At this point, only a fool would rule out Brian Cashman making a trade for a bat. I was certain that the Yankees were going to war with the team they put on the field in 2011. I was wrong. I’m not about to make the same mistake twice in virtual ink. However, in the event that the team is set (and this time, they mean it) the Yankees don’t need to rely on external players to get an offensive boost. Players currently on the team can step up as well.
Alex Rodriguez playing healthy for 130 or more games comes to mind immediately. (How sad it is that A-Rod missing only 30 games next season would be seen by all as a rousing success.) Alex was swinging the bat well when he went down with his knee injury. Unfortunately, any graph of the number of games that Rodriguez has played each of the last three seasons points down and to the right, which is not where one wants a graph to go. Don’t bet the farm on A-Rod coming back to form.
Failing that, the Yankees could also get another impact bat in the lineup if Mark Teixeira can turn into the player that he was up until the 2010 season. Enough posts have already run highlighting the obvious, that Tex’s production, although ample, is disappointing given his contract and the expectations that came with it. There is no need to revisit that topic. However, that doesn’t mean that the Yankees and their fans should write Tex off as a hitter with lots of power and little else. Until the 2011 season Tex consistently showed superior on-base skills, in addition to his light tower power. If Teixeira can work with Kevin Long to improve his performance from the left side of the plate it can give the Yankees precisely the kind of boost so many fans were hoping the team would get from Montero. Tex has been somewhat over looked on the Yankees the past couple of seasons as players such as Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson have eclipsed his production. If he can return to form from the left-side of the plate it may be the secret ingredient to an already potent offense.
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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