Last week the New York Yankees gave All-Star backstop Brian McCann one of the richest contracts ever given to a catcher. Just when I thought they were actually serious about getting under the luxury tax… I guess I shouldn’t be all that surprised. The Yankees are legendary for their Free Agent shopping sprees. But the Robinson Cano contract demands, the McCann signing, and the rest of the Yankees roster (or should I say lack there of) got me thinking. Out of all 30 MLB squads, the Yanks might have the most interesting off-season laying ahead of them.
Here is the huge list 2013 Yankees who are now Free Agents:
- Robinson Cano, 2B
- Curtis Granderson, CF
- Hiroki Kuroda, SP
- Kevin Youkilis, 1B/3B
- Mark Reynolds, 1B/3B
- Travis Hafner, 1B/DH
- Lyle Overbay, 1B/DH
- Phil Hughes, SP
- Boone Logan, RP
The Yankees are stacked with aging vets galore and the production decline with Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira, A-Rod, CC Sabathia, Vernon Wells, Alfonso Soriano, and Ichiro Suzuki is glaring. Jeter and Teixeira are coming off horrible, injury riddled seasons in 2013. Then there is the whole Alex Rodriguez suspension looming… Will he or won’t he be gone for 211 games? And who could forget the huge void left by Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte’s retirement? All this adds up to the Bronx Bombers having some major holes to fill. Coming off a season in which they did not make the post season.
What is poor old GM Brian Cashman to do, enter a rebuilding phase? Ha… rebuilding is for the poor. The Yankees will do what the Yankees always do – reload. The thing they always seem to miss out on during these reloading sessions though is team chemistry. Chemistry can go a long way i.e. the 2013 Boston Red Sox.
Robinson Cano’s goal of getting a 10 year/$305 Million deal immediately puts New York in somewhat of a quandary. And I believe that his demands are a big reason Brian McCann is now a Yankee.
Personally, I think I’d categorize the McCann signing as desperate, but good. Other than Robinson Cano this past season, the middle of the Yankees order ceased to exist. So Mr. Cashman did what he does best (knowing there is a chance Cano isn’t back in the middle of the NY line-up), he offered Brian McCann a deal he couldn’t refuse, killing two birds with one stone. Solidifying a middle of the order bat, AND a nabbing a serious upgrade at catcher.
It’s just my belief, but I think that with each player the Yankees sign before bringing Cano back, the chance of him being back in New York gets less and less. Carlos Beltran is rumored to being really close to a deal with the Yankees. I saw mention of a possible swap with the Los Angeles Dodgers involving Matt Kemp/CC Sabathia. If either of those things happen, New York will be looking at their new 3 & 4 hole hitters, making a Cano deal less imperative.
I would be interested to see a Cano-less Yankees projected line-up. Yes, it would be filled with familiar names, but you can’t get sucked in by that, those names ARE NOT what they used to be. Not signing Cano would free up money needed to upgrade the pitching staff, but the alternatives at 2B are less than desirable – Mark Ellis, Omar Infante, Brian Roberts…
What do you think?
1. CF – Brett Gardner
2. SS – Derek Jeter
3. RF – Carlos Beltran
4. C – Brian McCann
5. 1B – Mark Teixeira
6. LF – Alfonso Soriano
7. DH – Vernon Wells
8. 3B – Eduardo Nunez
9. 2B – Omar Infante
Is this a good enough line-up to compete in the AL East? Even with A-Rod at 3B, I don’t believe this team would be poised to make a playoff run. Add Cano into the mix along with Beltran and McCann, the dynamic would change, but Wells, Soriano, Teixeira… Against the Red Sox, Rays, and Orioles this team just doesn’t stack up.
The New York Yankees off-season of intrigue started with the Brian McCann signing, but where Brian Cashman and the Yankees go from here what everyone is anxious to see. Think about it… I didn’t even dive into the pitching aspect that needs to be addressed.