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If I Were Brian Cashman…..

Car-and-Cash1-265x300While the pain is still fresh coming off a 4 game sweep by Detroit, I wanted to provide a special weekend Yankees Struming with my perspectives on the Yankees for my Yankees loving friends. Phillies and Red Sox fans can feel free to delete this now; you have your own very serious issues as you well know. A 95 win for the Yankees isn’t chopped liver, nonetheless the Yankees were a flawed team whose flaws were magnified and visible in both the ALDS and ALCS.

If I were Brian Cashman, beyond hiring the red haired girl (daughter Carolyn) in the photo and giving her a great job in the organization, there are several things I would do in the off-season to make 2013 a successful season:

Free agent signings of Yankees players

1. Kuroda—proved to be a great pick up. Age not apparent. One year or two if necessary

2. Andy—If he chooses to return (iffy)

3. Mo—If he chooses to return (likely)

4. Russell Martin—best catcher available, despite his anemic BA in first half

5. Ichiro—There is still talent & he has the skills many of the Yankees sorely lack—speed, fielding, ability to bunt. 1 year deal.

6. Chavez—another 1 year deal.

Say goodbye to free agents:

1. Rauuuuuuul—What! Isn’t he a hero (yes), but he’s also a streaky 40-year old, left handed DH. Raul can come back to Old Timers Day whenever he wants & fans will cheer.

2. Andruw Jones—he is only 35, just plays like 45. He is spent. Didn’t even make the post season roster.

3. Swish—Times up, Swish. Time to take your “high energy” act on the road. It was wearing out anyhow.

4. Soriano (if he opts out). Big gamble for him to opt out of $14MM in 2013, but do not resign him if he does. He was excellent in 2012, but he does not have a history of maintaining this year to year.

5. Freddy Garcia—wasn’t even on playoff roster. Move on.

6. Derek Lowe—he was a mid-season pick up. Was serviceable, but he has no future with Yankees.

Option to pick up

Grandy—Big disappointment during year (195Ks!) and abysmal in playoffs, but I still have hope. Teach him how to make contact. Says he is not a home run hitter, but sure smells like a one dimensional player. If he can’t evolve, do not resign him when he becomes free agent in 2014. But he is worth trying to recast in final year on this contract.

Player to sign before free agency:

Cano—Yanks will pick up his 2013 option and he’ll be a free agent in 2014 like Granderson. The Yankees don’t normally sign free agents before the the end of their contract. They should rethink this in Cano’s case. Get out in front of his impending free agency, and  resign him–do it now because he’s one of the best hitters in baseball and a great fielder (despite his lousy playoff performance and sometimes appearances of lack of hustle). But try like hell to keep the # of years to 7-8, not 10.

Players to have more prominent roles in 2013

1. Nunez—I suspect that he will be playing shortstop during April & May while Jeter is still on mend. Let him play, make errors and get better. He has speed, youth, energy that they need for future. Minimally use him as righty DH and fill-in after Jeter returns if Jeter returns as the shortstop (see below)

2. Gardner—His style of play mirrors Ichiro though he is not the same level of hitter. But again speed, bunting, fielding make him a keeper. 2012 was a lost injury year, but he is still under 30.

3. Pineda—Almost forgot he was on team, since he was out all year. Let’s see if he can pitch. Young arm (23) makes him valuable.

4. Phelps—I like him and hope to see him pitch as a starter in 2013.

Consider unloading:

1. Nova—He was a disappointment but could have value given 28 wins in last 2 seasons. I don’t think he’s more than a back end starter at best.

2. A Rod—Trading him is highly unlikely given that he has 5 years remaining on a ridiculous contract. But despite his awful playoffs and weak regular season, he is still probably one of the 10 best third baseman in the game. Yankees need to ask, if not him, then who plays third? (Answer below). If A Rod returns,  adjust expectations to 20/80/.270 and he will probably deliver. But if they can unload him and not have to pay the full freight, do it and move on.

(PS: I have a suspicion that Jeter will come back as the Yankees third baseman if A Rod is dealt)

Top talent to trade for or sign in free agency:

1. Young outfielder with speed, hit for average.

2. Young infielder with speed, bat. Either in utility role or as replacement if A Rod is gone, or decision not to re-sign Cano in 2014.

What the Yankees do not need

Signing a home run hitter. The reality is that the short power alley in right field makes everyone become an occasional HR hitter. We don’t need power hitting, strike out artists, with no speed.

Remember the Yankees of the late 90s (4-time Champs) were built on good hitting, decent but not overwhelming power, and stellar pitching. They can’t replicate building that magic in a single year, but they still can be a playoff team in 2013, and maybe more. They are not a disaster, despite their lousy post season performance. But if the objective is to create teams more like the late 90s, then reshape the franchise with that vision for the coming years.

However, there will never be another Jeter or Mo. They are baseball immortals and will be honored in Cooperstown by the end of the decade. Time to create a new dynasty.

PS  There is no way to sugarcoat their meltdown vs. the Tigers, however I am old enough to have lived through being swept in 4 games vs. Reds (’76 WS) and Dodgers (’63 WS). Each time they returned to World Series the following year and won in ‘77 and lost in 7 in ‘64, so there’s hope too. Regardless, changes do need to be made.




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2 Comments

  1. Beth Frances Rosoff Strum says:

    Love it especially the part with the red head because she is the most dye heart yankees fan of her generation!

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