Forget Third Base, Yankees Need To Focus On The Rotation Now

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Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports


The New York Yankees did absolutely nothing during this week’s Winter Meetings out in San Diego. They didn’t make the big splash move by signing someone like Jon Lester, they didn’t pull the trigger and make an impact trade to immediately upgrade the team with someone like Johnny Cueto or Mat Latos. No, they stood pat, Brian Cashman listened, investigated, and by the end of the the yearly event, was out one free agent reliever (David Robertson) and one solid starting rotation piece (Brandon McCarthy). Where does that leave the Yankees now? 

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The focus over the past 24-48 hours has been on free agent third baseman Chase Headley. Here’s the thing folks, Headley and third base is the least of the Yankees’ concerns two weeks before Christmas. If Headley leaves, the Yankees have accomplished a handful of things: A. They maintained their stance in not overpaying for talent just because they are the Yankees B. They remained strong is wanting to bring back a player on THEIR terms, not the player or his agent C. They could finally be understanding that injecting youth into the lineup isn’t a bad thing.

If Headley bolts for the Giants, or the Marlins, or someone else willing to give him four years and $50+ million dollars, I say good for him. I also say good for the Yankees. They have options at third base WITHOUT resigning Headley. Martin Prado slides across the diamond, becomes one half of the third base platoon with the return of Alex Rodriguez, and now the winner of the spring time Jose Pirela/Rob Refsnyder battle gets big league exposure in the Bronx at second base. How is that a bad thing? Third base is nothing to panic over. Neither is second base. Hell, it couldn’t get much worse that having to choose between Kelly Johnson and Brian Roberts could it? No, the focus should be on filling two vacant holes in the starting rotation. The bullpen is as strong as ever, even without Robertson closing games out. 2015 could be the dawn of the next great Yankees’ closer in Dellin Betances. The Yankees made the right move not overpaying and panicking when D-Rob called their bluff.

Rather than talk about something that is under control, let’s look at some of the cheaper, low cost, high reward options to fill the starting rotation. I’ll assume the Yankees are going to fill one of the rotation spots with a high-priced free agent that they’ll overspend on, such as Max Scherzer or James Shields. That now leaves either the #4 or #5 spot in the rotation to be filled, depending on where you slot C.C. Sabathia. To me, he’s the #5 starter now, so you’re looking for a back-end, #4 starter, most likely on a one or two-year deal. 

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