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A Sensible Yankees Offseason Plan

By Mike Silva ~ October 17th, 2011. Filed under: New York Yankees.

We have been debating how many years the Yankees should go with CC Sabathia if he elects to opt-out of his current 7 year/$161 million dollar deal. I mentioned on Friday how the Yankees should see all the red flags displayed by C.J. Wilson this postseason and stay away. In reading Joel Sherman the last couple of days it may be an offseason where the Yankees re-sign Sabathia and complement the roster with lesser transactions. No big bat like David Ortiz, no Wilson, and no Yu Darvish. One member of the Yankees told Sherman that Wilson is “is a No. 4 on a championship-caliber team.” I agree with this statement, and certainly wouldn’t invest the reported $100 million dollars Wilson is expecting for a backend-of- the rotation-type starter.

Sherman expects the Yanks to bring back Nick Swisher and Andruw Jones, while giving Jesus Montero a full season of DH at-bats and Eduardo Nunez their main utility man off the bench.

As for the staff, the big move may be finally signing a true LOOGY, something everyone thought they accomplished last offseason when Pedro Feliciano inked a 2 year/$8 million dollar deal. Some of the top names I believe they should pursue are the Rangers Mike Gonzalez (.574 OPS vs. LH), and  the Giants duo of Javier Lopez (.430 OPS vs. LH) and if he is bought out, Jeremy Affeldt (.406 OPS vs. LH).

The Yanks were interested in Gonzalez at the deadline, but they were told by Andy McPhail he was not available, only to turn him around and send him to Texas. Orioles owner Peter Angelos has long had a “no trade edict” with the Yankees so this isn’t a surprise, but it might give you a hint as to who they may target this offseason. Lopez might be the best of all three as he has a history with the Red Sox and AL East. I don’t think you can go wrong with any, and the winner might be the one that takes the deal with the most value.

As for the rotation, after the signing of Sabathia, they should look at some veterans that can provide quality innings. With a strong bullpen, better versions of Freddy Garcia and Bartolo Colon should do the trick. Remember, it was the failure of the offense to execute with runners on third and less than two outs that led to the ALDS defeat; not the rotation. The average rotation/strong bullpen/strong offense formula clearly worked for the Yankees this past season.

I wouldn’t be averse to bringing Garcia back and invite Colon to spring training on a minor league deal. Maybe you can sign Mark Buehrle to a 2 year/$30 million dollar deal as a stopgap until Betances, Banuelos, or one of the other kids are ready. If the Pirates decline the option on Paul Maholm he might be worth taking a look at a well. Hiroki Kuroda, if he doesn’t retire or return to Japan, is another name to consider. I would also invite as many “scrap heap” reclamation projects as possible. Jon GarlandJason Marquis, and maybe Joel Pineiro fall into that category. None of those guys will block the kids since they would have to earn their way onto the roster and be around no more than a year. You make their contracts based heavily on incentives. Typical low risk/high reward.

If you want to get creative I would also keep an eye on the Adam Wainwright/Cardinals situation because you never know what is going on with that option year. Remember, the Yankees signed Jon Lieber many years ago and paid him for a full year of DL time. Wainwright should be back next season, but even if you get a half-year out of him it would be worth the investment. Roy Oswalt may be available if the Phillies don’t pick up his option as well. I am not sure how I feel about him, but if it’s a one-year deal he certainly is worth the investment.

Buehrle would be my desired target. I don’t know if he even wants to play here, but he could be the perfect guy to replace Garcia. It would almost be like having Andy Pettitte back.

Same lineup, new LOOGY, a veteran pitcher and away you go for 2012. Now only if they could find a new manager. Let me stop there before I get off topic and completely move this piece into a dark place. That is a conversation for another day.

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Mike Silva has hosted sports shows on 107.1 FM Champions ESPN Radio Long Island ,1240 AM WGBB , Blog Talk Radio and live from Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant. He’s also built and maintained two popular social media hubs: New York Baseball Digest and Sports Media Watchdog. Mike has broken national and local stories, as well as been mentioned on the YES Network, SNY.tv, WFAN, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, NY Daily News, New York Magazine, Journal News and the NY Post. Contact Mike professionally at mikesilvamedia.com

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8 Responses to A Sensible Yankees Offseason Plan

  1. Michael Maggi

    As an alternative to Buehrle, I’d also see what the White Sox want for John Danks. Could do very well at the Stadium and shouldn’t cost much one year from free agency. Is also just 27 years old and going into his prime years. I agree with you on a loogy for the pen and another bat to replace Chavez. A Hinske-type would be ideal.

  2. Steve S.

    L-O-V-E the Wainwright idea, Mike. I just may steal that for a post. :wink:

  3. Steve S.

    BTW-9 mil in 2012, 12 mil in 2013

    I can’t see the Cards paying him 9 mil for MAYBE half a season next year, plus bigger money the year after. They’d want to rework the contract, he may balk (he should) and then the window opens up for a big market team.

  4. Geo

    I’m _BIG_ on the Buehrle idea. A short term deal (even at an over market salary) would allow a little time for the young pitchers to develop.

  5. Steve S.



  6. Ralph C

    I wouldn’t go after Wilson either and don’t think he is anything great but how is he only a 4th starter on a championship caliber team? The Rangers are in the World Series and he is their top starter. I guess it’s because Texas has a great offense to bail him out?

  7. Stu B

    Wilson went 31-15 with a 3.14 ERA, a 1.21 WHIP, 6 complete games, 376 Ks vs 352 hits allowed in 427.1 IP (only the best of elite pitchers have more Ks than hits allowed – a rare feat that is even more remarkable over an extended time period) OVER THE LAST 2 SEASONS! This compares favorably with the almighty CC Sabathia, who went 40-15 with a 3.09 ERA, a 1.21 WHIP, 427 Ks vs 439 hits allowed in 475 IP (notice that CC failed to strike out more batters than hits allowed).

    Two seasons are a much more statistically significant sample size than one postseason, especially when you consider that Wilson posted a 3.7 ERA in last year’s postseason play. Any pitcher with numbers like those above can have a spot in my team’s rotation any day, month, or year. He’s the no. 1 starter on the Rangers, who resemble a championship team much, much more than do the Yankees at this point. He’s arguably as good as Sabathia and orders of magnitude better than any other starter the Yankees have run out there in the last couple of seasons.

    Anybody who wouldn’t want their team to sign this guy is either nuts or much too picky.


    I agree that Girardi needs to go. He doesn’t have the stomach for making tough decisions (like getting ARod out of the 4 spot during the playoffs)…but, yes, that is a topic for another day.

    I disagree, however, that the offense should remain the same next year. There is no excuse for the kind of ineptitude this team displayed with RISP during the post season. It was truly maddening to watch. Had they been able to fundamentally execute even the smallest of small ball strategies, they would have been playing in the ALCS. The dynasty teams always knew how to wear down even the best opposing pitchers (yes…even Pedro!!!) and they never seemed to try to do too much. This team seems to swing out of their shoes…always looking for the bomb. Good pitching will always expose holes in swings like that. The lineup needs a professional hitter or two sprinkled in.

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