2010 Offseason Will Be Tough For Yankees

Two seasons ago, the Yankees missed the playoffs for the first––and last––time this decade. They went into the off-season with a sense of urgency––a sense that holds none of the connoted nerves for Yankees fans, considering they always have the financial power to get the job done.

And they did.

The Yankees signed three of the top free agents to long term deals. CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Mark Teixeira were all Yankees. They would go on to win the World Series.

After accomplishing the ultimate goal, the Yankees sought out to polish up the necessary pieces in the 2009 off-season, and add in some smaller pieces that they thought could help their team repeat. Javier Vazquez, Lance Berkman and other, small pieces, were now Yankees.

These two situations are normal for Yankees fans. New York is always going to be in the bidding for the top free agents, and they will always look for ways to improve their team. However, in the 2010 off-season, the Yankees are going to enter some unfamiliar water; and it will be interesting––and essential––to see how it is handled.

Why is it going to be different? Among all the normal acquisitions, the Yankees are going to be dealing with players who have been essential to their past, but may not be too important in the future. Additionally, they will be negotiating with players who will hopefully be replacing the players who were important in the past.

It all starts with Derek Jeter. Jeter, 36, has been a Yankee his entire life, and is nearing 3,000 hits. He will be a Yankee next season, nobody doubts that. But the question looms over the amount and the duration. It is expected to be a smooth process––no other team is in the mix, and the Yankees need Jeter as a marketing piece––but look back in your memory and try to think of a time when an off-season move went smoothly for the Yankees, without any bumps along the way. Difficult, right?

Then, there is Andy Pettitte. At 38, and another member of the “core four,” Pettitte is statistically and historically set to pitch for another few years. However, he ponders over retirement nearly every off-season in recent memory, and he will surely consider it this off-season as well. The Yankees will be happy to wait for his decision, but it will not help to have yet another possible tough decision looming over the their heads.

The last member of the “core four” to be a free agent this off-season is Mariano Rivera. Rivera, 40,doesn’t seem to have any problems on the mound. Although he has had spots where he looked off, he is generally pitching at his norm. Two seasons ago, he hinted that this would be his last season. However, if he can still pitch, there will be no reason for him to hang it up so suddenly. Again, another tough decision will wander in the minds of the Yankees front office.

Then the youngsters come into play. Boone Logan, Phil Hughes, and Joba Chamberlain, all aged 25 or younger, will be eligible for arbitration for the first time in their career (except Logan who will be eligible for the second time in his career). Arbitration is always a messy process, and the Yankees will thus avoid attending the hearing by trying to work out a contract. However, these pitchers, all essential to the Yankees’ future, have never dealt with the Yankees before in a financial setting. We have no idea if their egos will take over. If such is the case, we could be in for a very, very messy process.

Berkman will also present a tough decision. After putting on a show in the early rounds of the playoffs, the Yankees have realized how valuable he can he. He has a club option for 2011, and the Yankees will need to decide which direction they are moving in.

After that, it will be relatively easy for the Yankees. Small pieces such as Vazquez, Austin Kearns and Marcus Thames will become free agents. The Yankees will simply need to make yet another decision on all three of them. The good news is that there will be no serious repercussions.

And then, of course, come the big free agents. The Yankees are expected to go after Cliff Lee. Don’t expect that to be an easy process, with many other teams expected to bid as well. Furthermore, the Yankees have expressed varying interests in Carl Crawford, who will also be targeted by many teams. These decisions, however, are normal for the Yankees.

Just like every off-season, the Yankees will look to improve their team. However, for a change, the Yankees are going to be faced with many, many decisions that will induce crucial effects on the future success of the Yankees on, and off, the field. The Yankees love winning, but as we all know, winning has its costs.

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10 Responses to 2010 Offseason Will Be Tough For Yankees

  1. Marc Perez says:

    Lance Berkman will not present a tough decision, in fact he presents no decision at all. Berkman made the Yankees agree that they wouldn't pick up his option for next year before he accepted the trade. He doesn't like being a platoon player and he wants to go back to being a starter for the Astros in 2011. He came over solely for a chance to get a ring, and will definitely not be a Yankee next season.

  2. Marc Perez says:

    There is also the decision regarding going after Carl Crawford. After the progression Gardner has shown, it should make for a difficult choice for the Yanks.

  3. Mike B. says:

    Although I agree with Marc Perez above…imagine the fun of the small ball Garner, Crawford, & Granderson can bring playing together.

    Yanks neeed SP especially after melt down of AJ & the ALCS so far.

    They'll go after & get Cliff Lee.

  4. Bronx Knight says:

    Man, that Carl Crawford, he sure can pitch! Oh, wait a minute … no, he can't.

    We have Gardy, Grandy, and Swisher. We don't need Crawford who, in my humble opinion, is overtouted anyway. And who is he going to replace? Swisher is under contract through 2011, and Grandy is under contract through 2012. So that leaves Gardy, who is not eligible for free agency until 2015.

    Crawford is better than Gardner, but he is NOT 10 times better, and that is probably how much more he will be making in 2011 to 2014. Crawford, the supposed fastest man in the universe, had 47 stolen bases this year. Little nobody Gardy had … 47, batting from the no. 9 spot, with 100 fewer plate appearances. Crawford scored 110 runs, batting high in the order, while Gardy, batting ninth, with 100 fewer plate appearances, had 97. Crawford does have some power (19 HR), and Gardy has almost none (5 HR). Crawford's BA was also 30 points higher (.307 to .277). BUT Gardy drew 79 walks, so his OBP was 27 points higher than Crawford's (.383 to .356). With all due respect to Captain Jeter (praised be his name), Gardy should be batting first

    Our outfield is fine. Let's not get distracted by the Crawford imbroglio. Save the money for Lee, we need PITCHING.

    • Marc Perez says:

      I totally I agree with you. I'm just saying that it's going to make for a difficult choice for the team because of their tendency to go after high profile free agents. I think it's the right move to stay with Gardner, but you never know. And for the issue of who Crawford would replace if he was signed: the Yanks had no problem making room for Granderson last offseason. They could easily make a trade (see Melky, Ajax) if they wanted to, especially considering the high trade value that Gardner would have. Regardless, I'll be happy if it ends up either way.

      • Bronx Knight says:

        You're right, under the Boss, the team had a tendency to go after big names just because they were big. I don't think that is so much the case now, but I guess we'll see.

        • I would argue that they still go after the big names even without the Boss around. They tried to trade for Cliff Lee and Dan Haren this season. They tried to trade for Roy Halladay last offseason. They signed Teixeira, Sabathia, and Burnett all in the same offseason. Yeah, they still covet the big names.

  5. Will Soltren says:

    Getting Crawford is what we need. Put Gardner in CF and Trade Grandy for a Young but able Pitcher. Signing C. Lee is a plus. And giving Jesus Montero a chance to catch is a given cause Cervelli is overrated behind the plate and he and Jorge Can't seem to throw anybody Out.

  6. Will Soltren says:

    They also should have put A.J. on waviers. They should move Mark "The Puller" Teixeira to the no. 5 hold and move Cano to the no.3 stop in the lineup. As a Yankee Fan since 1969 I have to say this was the worst I've seen on players always swinging on 2-0 and 3-1 as well as doing it on the first pitch. What ever happen to waiting for your Pitch. They could have won over a 100 games this year. Playing small ball wins games as well.

  7. seasoned observer says:

    Letting Gerardi go is the best offseason move this team can make. Golston should have pinch run for Tex. Fourth spot in the lineup or not, It was a defensive game at this point. He gets to that leadoff single while Thames backs off and puts Burnett in the stretch where he struggles. Then lifting Robinson for Logan (who couldn't get Hamilton out last night) and gets burned. Joe has lost way more games late then he wins. He is a horrible tactical manager. He is just lucky he is surrounded by all the talent money can buy or he would have been gone a long time ago. The worst news of the day for me was when the Cubs filled their managers spot.