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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Offseason Strategy: Yankees    

I thought I'd start a little project, of briefly discussing what I would seek to do, were I the GM of a team during this offseason. Hopefully, y'all will follow suit and we can cover as many of the teams as possible.

I'll start, naturally, with the Yankees.

WHAT I WOULD DO:

1) Don't Panic
Whoops, really too late for that. Chalk up the Torre and ARod debacles to panic. That said, they got Girardi, who would have been my #1 non-Torre choice, by FAR. You'll see with the rest of this post, Don't Panic will emerge as a recurrent theme. The bottom line is that their farm system has begun producing for the first time in a decade, and that's awesome.

2) Reverse your stance on ARod, privately, and extend him the olive branch that is a $325M contract. I don't give a shit about postseason samples, he's still the best player in the game, and shows exactly 0 signs of regression. Hell, offer him the SS job, and move Jeet to 3B, if that'd make him happy. I fully realize of course that this has 0 chance of happening, cause Hank Steinbrenner would look like a complete tool if he allowed this.

3) Failing ARod, don't overpay for Miguel Cabrera. Yes, he's an absurdly good hitter, and yes, he's still young and relatively affordable (for now). That said, he's putting on weight like a freshman brah, and I don't like the double whammy of having to trade away young talent and sign him to a long term deal. Without a long term deal, he's not worth the talent they'd have to give up, and I don't think he's a sure thing to live up to that contract. At the same time, although Wilson Betemit is pretty pathetic as your everyday 3B, the yankees honestly don't need offense from that position. They can, and should, seek better short-term options elsewhere (see below), and wait on filling this hole long-term until they figure out their long-term solutions at CF and 1B.

4) Let Melky play CF every day. Toss Damon into the DH/IB/reserve OF hopper, hope he catches fire early, and trade his ass for 50 cents on the dollar. Damon = Sunk Cost.

5) Pick up the 16M option on Abreu. Done and done.

6) Platoon Shelley Duncan at 1B with Giambi. Duncan cannot hit righties. Giambi can't hit lefties. Put Giambi on a goddamn aerobics regimen, and install a v-chip in his head that shocks him whenever he tries to pull the ball. Get him back to hitting gap doubles the other way and he's still a valuable hitter. Dougie Malphabet can get spot starts, and be a defensive replacement.

7) Insert Joba and Hughes into rotation. Wait. Profit. Give them time to struggle. While growing pains can be expected of both of them, which might even (gasp!) lead to missing the playoffs, in the long run, both have the makeup to be starters, and very good ones, for a long time.

8) If you must make a trade involving one of the kids, trade either IPK or Cano. While I love Cano, I'm still unconvinced he's going to be a superstar, and his value may never be higher than it is now. I think IPK is a 4th starter for a contender at best, and while that's pretty great, if you can get major value for him from some very stupid GM, I think you make the deal.

9) Offer Lowell a 2 year deal that is 25% larger than whatever another team is offering him per year. It looks like he's staying with the Sox though, oh well.

10) Hiroki Kuroda: DO NOT WANT. I read the words, "12-8 with a 3.56 earned run average for the Carp last season. He led Japan's Central League with a 1.85 earned run average in 2006 and has 74 complete games in 244 career starts" and I get very very fearful for this guy's long-term potential. Oh, by the way, he's 33.

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4 Comments:

  • Good call. However, if you traded for Cabrera, you could just slot him in at 1B and then DH Giambi/Duncan. Duncan's probably the best defender of the three, so you could try to make that platoon a little more complicated to get him time at first. Certainly the Yankees in particular cannot afford to actually play Cabrera at third, because he and Jeter together would be one of the worst defensive left-sides of an infield ever.

    But yeah, the Yankees need their young pitching more than Miguel Cabrera. They should have just re-signed A-Rod.

    By Blogger Jesse, at 7:05 PM  

  • If they could magically pull off a trade netting Cabrera for Giambi and some third rate POS (hi Professor Farnsworth!), I'd go for that in a heartbeat, and let Duncan be our 4th OF and reserve 1B (to give Cabrera nights off as DH - i really like Torre's DH by rotation approach with a veteran team - but Florida wouldn't be that stupid.

    By Blogger Alex, at 8:37 AM  

  • Oh, I forgot to mention:
    SIGN RIVERA AND POSADA.
    Yes, they'll soon be overpaid, but they're still in the top 3 in the game at their valuable positions, and if you let them go in the same offseason as ARod and Torre, then you'll soon find that the Bronx is burning.

    See what I did there? My mind - it's like a laser.

    By Blogger Alex, at 8:40 AM  

  • I think the Yankees have to re-sign Posada and Rivera, but only because they have no real back-up plan that's any good and they're the Yankees and thus can afford to be paying them after they're not good anymore. Both are still phenomenal, but either or both could fall off that cliff at any time, and there's no way they're signing for less than three years. I agree you have to sign them, but that would be a very scary decision for a team without such deep pockets.

    By Blogger Jesse, at 9:18 AM  

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