Off in the distance, you hear what you believe to be Frank Sinatra singing “New York, New York.” Around you, there’s rubble…rubble where the bases used to be. The foul poles have long since fell onto the field and the bleachers torn apart. The stadium looks like a war zone, almost like something you would see from the video game Fallout 3.
Then you hear it again, the siren. Looking up nervously, you see another name and face flash into the sky, much like in The Hunger Games. As you see the name and face float in the air, you realize, this was another missed opportunity. Jeff Keppinger…gone…Eric Chavez…gone…Nate Schierholtz…gone. As you realize the free agency market dwindles down, so do the New York Yankees’ chances of competing in 2013. You just ask yourself, ‘how did it come to this?’
Then you wake up from the nightmare.
Okay folks, enough with the over-dramatic Red Dawn-ish type of scenario. It’s true the Yankees are in some trouble that keeps rising, but it’s nowhere near Apocalypse bad. In the past few days, we’ve seen a lot of free-agents slip through the fingers of the Yankees. Some people say Kevin Youkilis will fill in nicely at third in Alex Rodriguez‘s absence, but I disagree.
It may sound cynical to shoot down everything the front office is trying to do, but at this point, the chess board has been thrown into the air and nobody knows where the pieces are. Reportedly, the Yankees offered Youkilis a one-year deal worth $12 million just in the past few days. However, Youkilis is an everyday player and we know once A-Rod comes back there’s going to be a problem. Someone is going to be benched or be a DH. I’m not in favor of signing Youk, simply because A) $12 million is way too much for one-year and B) he’s not going to play every day once A-Rod is back, so why have two everyday guys? Neither man will be happy with that scenario, but in the end, it’s for the good of the team, right?
Let’s move on from our problems at third. The latest thing I’ve read that has disturbed me is the fact that the Yankees are actually listening to trade offers on Phil Hughes and Ivan Nova. Wait, what? Didn’t we just spend $27 million on two pitchers who may not even be with us beyond 2013 and now we want to trade the rest of our rotation? That puts a heck of a lot of responsibility and pressure on guys like David Phelps and Adam Warren, not to mention a CC Sabathia coming off two DL stints in 2012. I’m not exactly sure what kind of statement this makes, but the Yankees really need to think this one through. They will be getting Michael Pineda back from surgery mid-season, but who knows what they’ll get out of him. The farm is far from deep in pitching prospects. There’s the hurt Manny Banuelos, the struggling Dellin Betances and guys like Brett Marshall who are years away from the majors.
Has the front office gone completely crazy? It certainly seems that way. The missing of free-agents left and right is rather disturbing and it’s leaving the Yankees empty. The biggest problem is still that we have no catcher. A.J. Pierzynski has been linked with the Yanks, and A.J. who turns 36 at the end of this month, may have had the best year of his career this season. Clearly we realize if we were to sign him that we wouldn’t expect the same All-Star snubbed production, but he’d provide us a solid year until Austin Romine is projected to be major league ready.
Oh, not to mention that the hopeful re-signings of Ichiro Suzuki and Raul Ibanez are still tasks that need completed. Right field and DH are just as vacant as our catcher spot and even the left side of our infield. I’m not exactly sure how Brian Cashman, Hank and Hal Steinbrenner and Randy Levine see this situation, but the longer it continues to be idle, the longer the Yankees will be left in the dark. Is our overspending from the past coming back to haunt us? Possibly, and to avoid being slammed with the 2014 tax, the Yanks will have to stay under $189 million.
Regardless, the Yankees need some key pieces and badly. The market is drying up and soon all it’s going to be are your big free-agents such as Zack Greinke, Josh Hamilton, Anibal Sanchez and so on. The front office has missed the boat on several key players we could have signed. Youkilis is still out there for third, as is Jack Hannahan, but who really knows? This situation has raised some giant red flags, which leads the Yankees into very unfamiliar territory.