Offseason 2- Yankees

I was originally planning on waiting on this one for a little and doing some other teams first. However, it looks like that won't be a possibility as I expect the Yankees to start making moves this week. The Yankees are in an interesting position where they had the best record in baseball but really can't sit back and play the same lineup. They need young power pitchers and those are real hard to come by. That is why the first thing the Yankees need to make sure to do is win the posting for Daisuke Matsuzaka.

I know there is a lot of concern that he is just going to turn into Hideki Irabu, but you have to take the risk. Cashman should try to feel out what the market is going to be for him and then bid 5 million more. Make sure you win him even if it means you waste a little money. The Yanks are the favorite to get him so far but I would not be suprised if Tom Hicks decided to make a very large offer out of the blue. The Yankees need Matsuzaka and they have the money to make it happen.

Next thing the Yankees need to work out is Gary Sheffield. It seems like his option will be picked up just to trade him and their are a lot of teams that could have interest. I have read that the Yankees turned down an offer of Kris Benson and a reliever, so I will consider that the minimum offer. The best thing about trading Gary is that it enables the Yanks to keep him away from the Mets and Red Sox. Personally my preference would be to move him to the NL but getting him out of the East would be good enough. The Yankees should be looking for prospects and pitching in return. Some of the teams that have been rumored to have had interest are the Rangers, Indians, Cubs, Phillies, Braves, Padres, Giants and Astros. The Cubs and Phillies are the most intense after him. Each of these teams has interesting pieces that they could offer in return. From the Rangers I would want one of the DVD trio, from the Indians one of their young arms such as Carmona and Betancourt. I would prefer him go to the NL though and here are some guys I would love from each team listed:

Cubs-Bobby Howry, Mark Prior, Scott Eyre: Howry and Eyre are bullpen guys who have proven themselves. Howry has experience in the AL while Eyre is a reliable lefty. Prior is a buy low candidate as he is one of the best pitchers in baseball when healthy. Unfortunately he is never healthy. The Yankees could take him as a salary dump and hope that with some coaching they could fix his delivery and get him healthy. He is still younger than Wang.

Phillies-They supposedly offered Ryan Madsen and that could be a good start to a package. If they sent Madsen and one of their young arms (Carrasco, Maloney, or Gonzalez) that could work. I would also be willing to eat an ugly salary for them if they want. Which may mean taking a Pat Burrel, Arthur Rhodes, or a Jeff Conine.

Braves- Adam LaRoche is a player that interests me a lot. He is coming off a great year in which he showed his defensive prowess as well as outslugging his 90th% Pecota. I would love him and would throw in a couple prospects to make it happen. The only issue their is it would make the Yankees lineup lean further left, which A-Rod and Jeter the only righties. If the Braves weren't willing to part with LaRoche I could be very interested in Jarrod Saltamacchia. Salty is a sweet hitting catcher who is blocked by McCann at catcher and LaRoche at first. I have a feeling either Salty or LaRoche will be dealt and I would love either one.

Padres- I dont know much about the Padres. Other than Scott Linebrink I dont know what would intrigue the Yanks. They could put together a package of prospects.

Giants- The Giants are in the same boat as the Padres. They dont have much that would intrigue the Yankees in my opinion. If they were really interested they could figure it out.

Astros- Brad Lidge is the guy that would interest me most. The Astros have a lot of young pitching that I would be very interested in. Guys like Hirsch, Patton and Albers for starters or Qualls, Wheeler and Springer as relievers.

So that is what I would like to get for Sheffield if the Yanks take any of those packages they would be on their way to a good season. There are a couple other things the Yankees must address. For one a backup catcher. It would be awesome to get a young guy we could groom to take over for Jorge, but if we cant I would like a backup who could hit a little so the offense wouldn't take such a hit when Jorge sits. A guy like Greg Zaun could be the perfect option. They will also need a firstbaseman. Giambi should never touch a glove and I dont think Phillips has enough bat to play the position. I would love to get a glove guy. Someone like Mientkiewicz could work. The Yankees offense can carry a weak bat if the glove makes up for it. Doug could be had real cheap. As for the bullpen Mo, Farnsworth, Proctor, Bruney, and Myers will be back. That leaves two spots open. I would love to bring Dotel back one more time to see if he can put it together now that he is full healed. We also need someone to replace Villones innings. Internally Sean Henn is an option but if the Yanks dont feel he is ready Scott Shoenweis or Justin Spier could do the job admirably. The starting rotation is pretty set if they get DMat. I would explore the trade market and free agency to see if we could snag a more reliable starter for the #3-#4 slot. Randy Johnson probably wont be ready until May and I never count on Pavano. Hughes could be ready mid season and Rasner and Karstens performed well enough to get a chance at a spot. If I was the Yanks I would consider a guy like Gil Meche or Vincente Padilla. Chronic underperformers with good stuff.

So that is my Yankee writeup. Their main needs are:
  1. Starting pitching
  2. Relief Pitching
  3. Good Fielding first baseman
  4. Backup Catcher
  5. Bench guys who can hit a little

If the Yankees adress those needs and get a little younger in the process they will be well on their way to #27. One of my dark horse possibilities is trading Giambi. The Yankees most likely won't do it but it could prove to be a very smart move if they did. It would be the first time the Yankees actually sold while the value was high.


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