The Yankees had a strong idea of what their offseason checklist was going to look like this offseason; the headlining task on the list was finding a new shortstop. But their checklist got a little longer in October when they fired Mick Kelleher (who has since retired) and Kevin Long (who found a job with the New York Mets), opening the positions of first base coach and hitting coach. While October was the month for the Yankees to open jobs, November was the month where the Yankees started filling positions. So far they’ve completed three things on their list:
— They obtained a Major League left handed pitcher in Justin Wilson for the bullpen. In the past, the Achilles heel in the Yankees bullpen was not having enough left handed pitching.
— They assigned a fourth outfielder by signing Chris Young to a one-year deal.
However, the Yankees still need to make more decisions this offseason and they’re nowhere close to being ready to compete come 2015. So what do they need to do now?
— They need to find a shortstop to replace Derek Jeter: The Yankees could sign Stephen Drew to a one-year contract if they can’t find anything better, but they’ll be put in a position where they’re going to need to find another shortstop next offseason. However, looking at the trade market and the free agent market, Stephen Drew might be the Yankees best bet for this season.
— They need to find a third basemen: Joe Girardi is looking forward to having Alex Rodriguez back, but Brian Cashman plans to replace Rodriguez at third base. Rodriguez would still be on the team as the DH but the Yankees have been talking with Chase Headley for a potential reunion.
Side note: The Yankees need to keep the peace with the Rodriguez situation. Having Girardi trying to keep peace with A-Rod and Cashman saying something to cause a slight frenzy isn’t exactly helping all sides in the situation.
— They need to re-sign/replace David Robertson: David Robertson is arguably the top closer in the free agent market and the Yankees want more than anything to have him in their bullpen next season. But after hearing Robertson wants ‘Jonathan Papelbon money’, the Yankees might be iffy to shell out that kind of cash. Originally I wouldn’t give a closer ‘Papelbon money’ and I’ve publicly been against giving Robertson $50 Million…but if that’s the price it takes to keep him, the Yankees might want to consider investing. They throw money at non-homegrown talent, why not shell a little extra cash for the players who were success stories from their own farm system?
— They need to hire a hitting coach: Originally, the Yankees were planning on having a hitting coach by the World Series but now they seem to be taking their time with filling the position. It could be a while before they make a decision after sorting through potential candidates.
— They need to make decisions regarding the Rule 5 Draft: It seems like a given the Yankees are going to protect Tyler Austin from the draft, but there are still other decisions to be made as the draft approaches. The Yankees will have to determine whether Mark Montgomery, Brandon Pinder and Dan Burawa are ready for any Major League type action. There’s also uncertainty on if the Yankees will let Mason Williams go since the outfield is overcrowded in their system.