As New York Yankees’ fans wait to see if Robinson Cano will re-sign, a disturbing and perplexing trend has evolved in the Bronx. It is no longer a sure bet that the Yankees will go the extra mile to keep players who have proven their value.
Here are four guys that the Yankees let get away that could have made a difference in 2013. This is not to say that the players who filled in didn’t contribute. You can argue that in some cases they may have wanted to leave. But the fact remains that the Yankees either evaluated poorly in their decision making, or did not make a great enough effort to keep them.
Russell Martin. Russell has shown muscle this season for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Although his numbers are not dazzling at .226 with 15 home runs and 55 RBI, they are better than the production of Chris Stewart. Stewart’s effort was tremendous, but he hit .211 with four homers and 25 RBI this year. Sure, Stewart was solid behind the plate, but Martin provided that as well.
Nick Swisher. While the Yankees had enough to get by in the outfield this year, Swisher could have helped out at first base. Swisher batted .246 with 22 home runs and 63 RBI in Cleveland. This exceeds Lyle Overbay in all three areas. Again, Overbay was dependable, but he hit .240 with 14 homers and 59 RBI. Of course, the downside with Swisher is that he is streaky, but he can carry a team when he is hot.
Raul Ibanez. The Yankees failure to keep Ibanez is perhaps the most disappointing. Just having his bat available on the bench had a tremendous influence on how opposing managers formed their game strategy. His ability to come up with the clutch home run was reminiscent of Reggie Jackson. Ibanez hit 29 home runs this season for Seattle.
Bartolo Colon. Yes, Colon has not been with the Yankees since 2011. But he went 18-6 with a 2.65 ERA this year in Oakland. As the season winded down, Colon could have helped out when Hiroki Kuroda seemed to get tired and CC Sabathia’s struggles lingered.
So is it a sure bet that they will sign Cano? I don’t think so. Cano can’t really expect to get the kind of money he is asking for. But the Yankees should not let a “true Yankee” get away because of what has happened to them due to the Alex Rodriguez contract.