The 2013 offseason started off with a bang as the Yankees signed three of the top free agents on the market: Brian McCann, Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran. The Winter Meetings seemed promising for a team that was planning on turning their mediocre season around, but instead of adding players, the Yankees also lost some players. The Yankees lost Robinson Cano to the Mariners, Joba Chamberlain to the Tigers and Boone Logan to the Rockies. The Yankees also missed out on free agents such as Omar Infante and Mark Ellis as potential second base replacements.
Now the Yankees are sitting around, watching the free agent market dwindle down and unfortunately, the trade market isn’t much better. So the question for the second half of the offseason is:
What’s next for the Yankees?
First let’s address the positions that need to be filled: the rotation, second base, possibly third base and the bullpen. Now, what are the Yankees going to do?
The Starting Pitching: Don’t expect the Yankees to sign anyone in free agency. The Yankees are instead planning on filling the last two spots within the organization. However, if Masahiro Tanaka is posted, then the Yankees will be “all in” on the pitcher and if they land him, they would only have one spot to fill within the organization. Some names floating around to potentially take a rotation spot are Michael Pineda, David Phelps, Vidal Nuno and Adam Warren.
Second Base: The Yankees could let Kelly Johnson be the every day second basemen…but he’s not a very good fielder. Although he can hit, expect the Yankees to go into the free agent market to find a player to platoon with Johnson, maybe a player that has a better glove. Jayson Nix (who the Yankees recently non-tendered) would be a good fit to platoon. It’s either Nix–or Eduardo Nunez who doesn’t have the best glove. Nix doesn’t look like the odd man out anymore, now does he?
Bullpen: This could be a situation where the Yankees also look within the organization. Since the Yankees lost Boone Logan to the Rockies, Joba Chamberlain to the Tigers and Mariano Rivera to retirement, this could be a chance for the young arms in the organization to show Joe Girardi that they have what it takes to make the club.
Now, the Yankees still have a lot of work to do, but with some creative thinking, Brian Cashman could turn this club of last season misfits into a contending team–if he plays his cards right.