Finally, the baseball season is almost here. For the last few months, all Yankees’ fans have talked about is $189 million thresholds, World Baseball Classic insurance payments, and lack of financial spending on key free agents. The Yankees saw a combination of those water cooler topics culminate on Sunday when they agreed to acquire outfielder Vernon Wells from the Los Angeles Angels and pay the final $13 million of his contract. It’s a move that has all Yankee fans uniting in terms of not liking this move one bit.
As for my take on Wells, I don’t mind the move because on a team of complementary players, you will need someone to step up and outplay the back of their baseball card. Maybe, with the short porch in right field, Wells can be that player who runs into 15 or 20 home runs.
Now, I do disagree with the Yankees on the notion that he should be the starting left fielder. I would make it an open competition with other new acquisitions like Brennan Boesch and even Ben Francisco, who is having a great spring for the Bombers. But, Wells will bring a quality at-bat off the bench in the worst case scenario.
As for my outlook on the season, the Yankees are going to have some tough times to start especially with all these injuries to Derek Jeter, Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeira, etc. Runs will be tough to come by and fans will be frustrated. However, I like the expression “next man up” when it comes to these situations and I am sure manager Joe Girardi has used that expression repeatedly in Spring Training.
Keep in mind, the season is a marathon, not a sprint. For some stretches of the season, the pitching rotation of CC Sabathia, Andy Pettitte, and Hiroki Kuroda will carry the club and when the big bats come back to help Robinson Cano, the offense will be the catalysts of the team.
When the season starts on Monday afternoon against the Boston Red Sox, the offseason talk goes away at least till next winter or in the eyes of the media, the Yankees’ next losing streak. As for me, I am not going to write on the obituary on this team just yet because of the talent that they still have on the roster. So, who do I like to win the AL East? Well, you will have to listen to the first Yanks Go Yard series preview show of 2013 on Friday afternoon at 5:30 PM ET to find out!