Well, the surprising move has happened. Robinson Cano has left the building for the Emerald City. In what was less of a surprise, Curtis Granderson has moved on to Queens. Now the New York Yankees need to brush the dirt of (not the dirt of their shoulder) and fill out and shape the rest of the roster. If the Yankees want to remain at $189 million, the Yankees have about $40 million left. With $12 million allocated to arbitration eligible players, that leaves $28 million left to fill a lot of holes. Or you can look at that they have $175 million which is what Cano was offered by the Yankees. So, here are some moves the Yankees can make for a deeper team in 2014.
Sign Carlos Beltran, Omar Infante, and Mark Reynolds: You can’t go into next year with Ichiro Suzuki starting in your outfield. Instead of spending a ton of money on Shin-Soo Choo, spread it around. Infante comes in and plays second base. Beltran plays right which makes Alfonso Soriano your DH. Reynolds and Kelly Johnson can platoon at third if Alex Rodriguez is suspended, plus Reynolds gives you insurance at first if Mark Teixeira isn’t 100 percent healthy. If A-Rod isn’t suspended, Johnson and Reynolds are on your bench with Francisco Cervelli and Brendan Ryan, with Ichiro traded and Vernon Wells either traded, or the Yankees release him and eat the $1 million.
Sign Grant Balfour: Balfour is the best closer left on the market and has been somewhat forgotten about after Joe Nathan got his deal. Keep David Robertson in a role he excels at in the eighth inning and don’t put the added pressure of him replacing Mariano Rivera. Balfour is tough and battle tested and would strengthen the bullpen.
Sign Johan Santana and/or Roy Halladay To Incentive Laden Deals: This could work with or without Masahiro Tanaka being posted. The Yankees bottom-fed in the free agent market before for starters and it worked with Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia. If Tanaka is posted and the Yankees sign him you still need a fifth starter. Why not bring either in for a couple of million dollars with incentives depending on how many innings or games started? You can put David Phelps in the bullpen if the loses out to either pitcher to help the bullpen, or if either are hurt and not ready they can be released.
These moves won’t keep them below $189 million, but as they have said, it’s a goal not a mandate. At this point the mandate needs to go out the window. The Yankees can now take a more balanced approached to building their roster without Cano’s contract. Now that they have some extra money to play with, it’s how they spend it and how they fill the holes on the roster. With the moves above, the team is deeper than they were last season and that’s important considering all the injuries the Yankees had last season.