Up until Friday, this offseason for the Yankees was similar to the refrain of a famous Simon and Garfunkel song, though with a slight tweak:
“Where have you gone Brian Cashman?”.
Not that the Yankees weren’t set to compete for another World Series title in 2012, but they did seem to be a player or two short to be considered a favorite, especially after being dispatched by the Tigers in the opening round of the playoffs.
The Yanks GM had been quiet too, though perhaps he was working behind the scenes while the Angels improved with the acquisitions of Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson. Even worse, the defending AL champion Rangers are wooing a top Japanese pitcher in Yu Darvish and slugger in Prince Fielder.
Cashman obviously did his part to keep the Yanks near the top, at least in the AL East, if not all of baseball with the trade for Mariners pitcher Michael Pineda and the signing of free-agent Hiroki Kuroda. Ignore the fact both had losing records last season, as each still managed to post ERA’s below 4.00 while boasting speed and control for sub-par teams.
In fact, with CC Sabathia, Ivan Nova and Phil Hughes in the rotation along with the newcomers, last year’s No. 2 starter, the enigmatic AJ Burnett, just may have to settle for long relief and/or an occasional spot start for the Bombers.
That could be the best part of these deals for the Yanks.