As it’s been indicated by part-owner Hal Steinbrenner, the New York Yankees are not done in making moves for the 2013 season. With the pursuits of Mike Morse and Scott Hairston, the Yankees have been keeping their name afloat somewhat. However, how realistic is it that the team can sign one of the players mentioned? Very doubtful. Hairston’s connection with the Bronx Bombers is fading and the Washington Nationals, if they’re smart about moving Morse, will want some decent prospects in return, which is something the Yankees don’t have much of. Where exactly are the Yankees suppose to sign players from?
Looking at who is left in the free agency market, the Yankees don’t have much to choose from. Either they say “forget the luxury tax, we’re spending big” and sign per se, Michael Bourn and Kyle Lohse, or they look at reality and realize all that’s left is mediocre veteran talent. Not to mention, Hal hasn’t even described what exactly the Yankees are even looking for, so what exactly can we prepare for?
If we are looking at an outfield arm, Hairston was the Yankees first pick. Now since that idea has pretty much collapsed at this point, Morse would be the next option. However, how viable an option is it to trade for Morse? Well, it’s not a bad idea, considering Morse had a tremendous year in 2012, slugging out a .291/.321/.470 slash line along with 18 homers and 62 RBIs. That said, the Nationals want prospects, and more than likely bullpen arms with the departures of Tom Gorzelanny and Mike Gonzalez. Morse, who will be 31 in March, presents the Yankees an option that they can stick in the outfield, in the DH spot and even at first if need be.
That said, how willing are the Yankees in wanting to trade? Heck, if they’re willing to trade up for Morse, I’d say wait and see if a possible deal for either Justin Upton or Giancarlo Stanton could work out. Looking beyond that, other free-agent outfield options are Austin Kearns, Grady Sizemore and Nyjer Morgan, none of whom I see coming to the Bronx. In the infield, there’s pretty much next to nobody out there and especially as far as catchers go. Kelly Shoppach may be the best available option out there, but at that point, you’re better off starting Francisco Cervelli or Chris Stewart.
Pitching-wise, Lohse is pretty much the stand alone free-agent left. There are guys like Shaun Marcum and Joe Saunders who the Yankees could consider, but it’s highly unlikely. The market for relief pitching is even more scarce with guys like Francisco Rodriguez and Jose Valverde being the top options who will surely put a dent into a wallet. So pitching can be scratched off the list of where the Yankees will spend money.
So really, whatever Hal is getting at doesn’t seem to be much of anything. The market is dried up in pretty much every aspect and even when it wasn’t, it’s not as if the Yankees could have signed anyone to a multi-million/year deal anyway. Trading is a route the Yankees can explore, but they also have to take into consideration the future of the organization as well. If they trade away their best prospects now, what will they have left in a Yankee farm that is far from plentiful in serious talent?
The Yankees are currently in a very unfamiliar position heading into the 2013 season. They have aging veterans who are seemingly becoming more injury prone, and the youngest guy in the line-up, Brett Gardner, is 29. They also are taking a hard hit in the farm with Dellin Betances regressing, Manny Banuelos having Tommy John surgery and a catcher in Austin Romine whose future may be uncertain with the ball club if he becomes the epicenter of trade bait talks. These unfamiliar waters may see the Yankees miss the postseason in 2013 and maybe 2014, but this is a team that needs to start rebuilding now or they won’t see the postseason for a long, long time.