The 2013 MLB season has come to a close with the Boston Red Sox winning the World Series in 6 games, just like AVS predicted before the start of the World Series. The bats and balls have been put away until late February but there is still tons of baseball activity going on.
One of the most talked about teams will certainly be the Yankees. They missed the playoffs this year and had to deal with A-Rod’s scandal, which is not going away anytime soon. This may be the hardest offseason for Brain Cashman yet. Cashman gets a lot of flack from MLB fans because they assume he have an open checkbook and isn’t really a good GM. That could not be farther from the truth, the Cash man is a top GM that has very interesting few months ahead of him. Here is a look at some of the questions Cashman faces this offseason.
What to do with Robinson Cano?
Cano is the top free agent on this year, at 31 he is the definition of an all around player. He sometimes gives the impression that he might not care but Robbie is a GM dream. He is durable, hasn’t missed over 3 games in any season since 2007, and then finding a second baseman that consistently posts .300/25/100 is nearly impossible. He is an automatic sign for the Yanks, except the contracts that have been thrown around in recent years will make sure Cano is overpaid. The Yanks set the standard with 10 years deals and are gonna pay for it, they gave A-Rod too much and they will now give Cano too much. I don’t think he gets 10 years but a nice 8 year $225M could be coming Cano’s way. If someone steps up to the 10 yr demand Cashman will have to let this future Hall of Famer go.
Verdict: Signs with Yanks
A-Rod, A-Rod, A-Rod?
He always needs to be the center of attentions doesn’t he. Facing a 211 game suspension I think it is safe to say Rodriguez will not be playing for the Yanks next year. I believe the suspension gets reduced to a one year ban that he finally accepts. This leaves a big hole in at third and in the Yanks lineup. As much as the whole world hates him, the guy can still play and he proved that towards the end of last year. He will take the year off and recover that aging body and return 2015 with a vengeance, maybe. He will not get paid this year and that opens up tons of dollars for Cashman. This will help him sign other players besides Cano. Can I get a segue!?
Verdict: Sign journeyman stop gate for 1 year (Mark Reynolds?)
Who is behind the plate?
Letting Russell “the Muscle” Martin go after last year proved to be a mistake, as he helped the Pirates to their first playoff appearance in 22 years. The Yanks tried to make it work it Cervelli and Stewart but these guys are major league backups at best. The lack of production behind the plate really cost cost the Yanks. The Yankees have talent at the catching position in the minor leagues but they are still a year or 2 away. I would like to see them give a young guy like Gaby Sanchez a chance but it’s not going to happen. This is a position Cashman should value and spend his money on. Brian McCann name is already linked to New York and it would be a good fit. At 31, McCann can give New York a few good years then hand the reigns to Sanchez.
Verdict: Sign McCann for 3/4 year deal
The Yankees will need to be able to pitch better this year because the lineup is not the Bronx Bombers of old. They will need a big bounce back year from CC in order to be successful. After him what does the rotation look like? Kuroda was great for most the year but tailed off badly down the stretch and is creeping hard on 40. Phil Hughes is going to be like most his pitches, going going gone, and Pettitte finally hung up the cleats. The big international name is Tanaka but he will not come cheap. This is a more that has cost the Yanks before (Is Kei Iwaga still alive?), Cashman needs to take a big risk, this could be it. The wild card is youngster Michael Pineda. He was lights out for the Mariners before being dealt to the Yanks for Jesus Montero. Still has yet to don the pinstripes though, if he can come back healthy it will be a huge boost for New York.
Verdict: Sign Kuroda (1 yr) and sign Tanaka
It will be very busy offseason for Cashman. Only time will tell if he blows up the $189 budget plan. New York has not missed the playoffs in back to back year since ’92/ 93′. I expect Cashman to make sure that doesn’t happen again.