Wednesday, November 3, 2010
State of the Yankees: Offseason Edition
The Yankees were crowned the American League Wild Card Winners after losing the AL East title to the Tampa Bay Rays. Winning the wild card was a good thing for the Yankees as they were able to play the Minnesota Twins in the division series. The last few years the Yankees have played the Twins in the division round they were able to dispose of them easily, particularly in 2003, 2004, and 2009. Nothing was different in 2010, as the Yankees swept the Twins.
The League Championship series was a different story for the Yankees. The Yankees won games 1 and five, but were outplayed severely by the Rangers. Cliff Lee was not the biggest problem, it was the Ranger's pitching in general and the Yankees inability to hit at all. Robinson Cano was the only offensive player who showed up to play in that series.
Following the postseason, the Yankees made some changes. Most notably, pitching coach Dave Eiland was given the axe in what General Manager Brian Cashman called a "personal reason". The public was given no other explanation but Manager Joe Girardi did not object. Girardi signed a new three year contract worth between $9 and $10 million.
Cashman's checklist for the remainder of this offseason should be a big one. Here's some areas that need to be addressed:
1. What to do with Derek Jeter?
Closer Mariano Rivera is also a free agent, but after having another amazing season his new contract should not be an issue.
2. How can the rotation be fixed?
3. What about the bullpen?
Last season, the bridge to Mariano was in pretty good shape. With David Robertson, Joba Chamberlain and Kerry Wood the Yankees had the best late inning bullpen relief in the majors. Chamberlain and Robertson will be back next season. The Yankees already declined Wood's option for next season and they will try to resign him at a lower price but that does not seem possible as Wood was lights out next season. Boone Logan was the Yankees most consistent and at times only left handed reliever in the bullpen. Look for Brian Cashman to add another lefty in the pen for at least Spring Training.
4. Will the Yankees go after Carl Crawford?