What Does 2010 ALCS Loss Mean For 2011 Yankees?

What do the years 2001, 2003, and 2010 all now have in common? They all involve deep playoff runs and subsequent disappointing playoff exits for the New York Yankees.

Following the 2001 and 2003 seasons, the Yankees acquired a dynamic hitter and veteran pitcher in each off-season, Jason Giambi and Mike Mussina after ’01 and Alex Rodriguez and Kevin Brown following ’03, and now it is very possible 2010 will also share that distinct similarity.

Don’t get me wrong, every postseason that doesn’t end with a World Series Title is a disappointment to the Yankees and Yankees fans, but the 2001 World Series was a huge letdown and the 2003 loss was the official end to that Yankee dynasty. 2010 wasn’t a World Series loss but an ALCS exit where the Yankees were truly over matched and could not perform in the clutch was still hard to watch.

So who might the Yankees be targeting this off-season? Well, the popular pick is Cliff Lee and I think (hope) that he will be in pinstripes next season, after what he has done to the Yankees in the past, just signing him and keeping him away from other teams would be a bonus.

By the time it is all said and done he very well could be the highest paid pitcher in baseball history, because a bidding war is certainly going to take place between Texas and New York, along with whoever else is interested in him.

As for the bat, that remains to be seen, but some two of the most talked about hitters out there on the market are Adrian Beltre and Adam Dunn.

Beltre is coming off of a fantastic year in Boston hitting .321 with 28 home runs and 102 RBI, along with 49 doubles to lead the league. He also has a two gold gloves at third base.

Dunn is a much more one dimensional player being a typical middle of the order power bat, having not hit fewer than 38 home runs since 2003. His defense is nothing to brag about, but he can play first base and the corner outfield spots.

Both players would make the Yankees lineup even more stacked than it already is, but there would be one problem with signing either one of these All Star caliber players. The DH spot would be jammed.

Beltre could play third base and A-Rod could move to the DH, but with an aging catcher, I have a feeling Jorge Posada is going to be the everyday DH next year, which brings me to my next point.

The Yankees don’t really need to sign either of these expensive free agents, because they have the young phenom catcher Jesus Montero waiting for his opportunity and next year the starting catching job could be his.

This is a player the Yankees have been high since they signed him as a 17 year old. Now at age 20, he has shown at every level of the minors that he has a major league ready bat, having hit 21 home runs and knocked in 75 RBI this year at triple-A Scranton, while hitting .289. His defense was a concern but it is reportedly improved this year.

I have no doubt that by the end of next year, that Montero is the Yankees starting catcher and is an impact bat in the lineup, maybe not to the degree of Dunn or Beltre yet, but he certainly looks like he has the potential to hit 30 home runs in a season. And obviously, he is a much cheaper option than most free agents out there (not that money is an obstacle).

So maybe the Yankees just sign Cliff Lee and a few lesser free agents to be role players, possibly Johnny Damon, and go with Montero as their new starting catcher. Either way, if history repeats itself, the Yankees are going to have some new faces around in 2011

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5 Responses to What Does 2010 ALCS Loss Mean For 2011 Yankees?

  1. Mike S. says:

    The biggest problem next year will be the age of certain core players. Even if they sign Lee, the left side of the infield has a SS turning 37 next summer and a 3B turning 36. We don't know if Pettitte returns, but he'll turn 39 next summer. You already mentioned Posada, whose contract expires next year. Jorge turns 40 in August of next year. Mo will be 41 in five weeks.

    We've already seen signs of decline in Posada and Jeter this year. Should that continue, and age finally catches up to others, 2011 will be a problem. You would have an aging left side of the infield, one catcher that may be too old, another maybe too young, and two pitchers (Andy if he returns & Mo) who may finally lose out to Father Time. (…and I won't even get into what Burnett may do in 2011).

    It'll be an interesting offseason.

  2. Robert G. Kramer says:

    I was hoping Montero's bat at AAA would catch fire a lot earlier and we would see him in NY in September. I think he needs to start the year 2011 in SWB and hit his way to NY by July. Like his bat, his defense in the second half was a lot better!!!

  3. Bronx Knight says:

    Montero is still young, and still needs to develop as a catcher. Meanwhile, Jorge the Great is getting old. Maybe they split time behind the plate next year, and then for 2012 we get a veteran defensive catcher to tutor Montero for another year or two — sort of like Girardi and Posada in the late 90's.

    Beltre makes absolutely no sense, seeing as how we still have A-Rod. Dunn makes even less sense, seeing as how we still have Texeira (and a fine outfield).

    Nor do I think that Jeter is ready to shift to the outfield — maybe that'll happen in 2012. But I would certainly like Jeter to be a true captain and step forward and ask to hit in the lower half of the order — maybe seventh — and make room for Gardner and Granderson to hit one-two, for the benefit of the team.

    What do we need in terms of acquisitions: pitching, pitching, pitching.

    • Lucas Weick says:

      There is no doubt that Cliff Lee or another starter will be their top priority. I never said that I wanted Adrian Beltre or Adam Dunn, but knowing how Brian Cashman operates, he just might sign a big bat to help the offense who got blown away by the Rangers pitching in the ALCS. He might sign a big bat if nothing else but to keep him away from the Red Sox or another contendor.

      As far Montero goes, I believe that he is ready and deserves to be a regular in the lineup. Posada has been great for this team for a long time, but he needs to take a step back and fall into a backup catching role and part time DH role.

      It may be time for Jeter to be dropped in the batting order, but knowing Joe Girardi and the ammount of respect he has for Jeter, I think he is going to stick with him at the top of the order for at least the first couple months of next season. And just maybe Jeter bounces back and has a great year.

  4. myles says:

    they acquired mussina after the 2000 season and NOT after the 2001 season.