The World Series is now over as the Boston Red Sox were able to win their third title in ten years. Now, baseball will shift into the offseason and it gets off in a hurry.
The first deadline fans need to look out for is Monday, November 4th. That is the date that qualifying offers have to be made to free agents and options for 2014 have to be either accepted or rejected. It is a given that Robinson Cano and Hiroki Kuroda will be given qualifying offers by the New York Yankees, with Cano expected to decline the 1 year, $14 million offer.
The name that has to be in the center of focus is the Captain, Derek Jeter. Jeter has a player option for $9.5 million next year and has not made the decision yet to accept that option. Jeter appeared in just 17 games last season as he lost his battle recovering from ankle surgery. The shortstop will be 40 in June and history tells us that shortstops of his age barely play 100 games in a season.
As the Yankees develop their free agent plan, there are shortstops that the Yankees could go after that would be able to put Jeter in the DH spot 4-5 times a week and put less pressure on the ankle.
One of those players just finished up winning a title for the Red Sox. Stephen Drew was an option for the Yankees last season, but chose to go to Beantown for less money. The problem with Drew would be the uncertainty of the A-Rod situation taking over Jeter’s position at shortstop. He hit .256 this past season, but his defense is his strength.
One of the reasons John Farrell left Drew in the lineup instead of Will Middlebrooks was the above average defense of Drew. He would be an upgrade over Eduardo Nunez at short. The problem is the Red Sox plan to extend Drew with a qualifying offer. I don’t see the Yankees making a serious effort in giving up a draft pick for Drew.
The other player that would improve the Yankees’ offense is Jhonny Peralta. Peralta is only 31 years old and is used to winning in his time with the Detroit Tigers. Yes, Peralta did serve a 50 game suspension for Biogenesis. However, he hit .303 during the season with Detroit and played both shortstop and left field during the postseason. He has 14 RBI’s in his last 34 postseason games. He hit .344 last season with runners in scoring position and is a player that would bring some form of pop to the lineup.
The fact of the matter is the Yankees need to put more of an emphasis on the left side of the infield this winter. With Derek Jeter turning 40 and Alex Rodriguez‘s future as the third baseman uncertain, the Yankees have options out there. The question will still be how far they go in terms of spending with the $189 payroll limit. However, this has to be a priority for Brian Cashman and company after seeing Luis Cruz, Jayson Nix, David Adams, and Reid Brignac among others playing significant time on the left side of the infield this past season.