Curtis Granderson is one of many Yankees whose status for next year remains uncertain
A number of New York Yankees will go into 2013 with uncertainty as to their status with the club. Two key pieces to the offense are under team options going into next year. They are Curtis Granderson and Robinson Cano.
With Cano the answer seems to be a no-brainer. The Yankees must keep the All-Star second baseman as he has become both an offensive and defensive mainstay for the team.
The situation is murkier for Curtis Granderson. He is an excellent defensive center fielder and a long-ball threat every time he comes to the plate, but in 2012 he has taken a step back offensively. In 2011 he hit .262 with 41 HR and 119 RBI, and he is on pace with HR and RBI this season, but his average has plummeted to .233 making him an all-or-nothing type of hitter in 2012.
The size of Granderson's current contract (5 years at $6.5 million per year) could mean that the Yankees look for other less-expensive options in center field for 2013.
Free agents next season are many. They include Nick Swisher, Eric Chavez, Raul Ibanez, Andruw Jones, Ichiro Suzuki, Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera and Russell Martin.
For Ibanez and Jones, this could be their last year putting on the pinstripes. Age and decline in productivity is working against them.
Pettitte and Rivera both control their own destiny with the club. If they choose to come back, they will be welcomed with open arms.
Swisher, Chavez, Martin and Suzuki will all be tough calls whether or not the team decides to pursue them. Swisher has endeared himself to Yankee fans with his love of the game and occasional streaks where he is the most productive player in the batting order.
Suzuki has recently shown just how valuable he can be. He remains an outstanding outfielder and a more than capable hitter. However, his asking price may be more than the Yankees are willing to pay.
Martin is a gritty player who lays it all on the line every game. This season his batting average has dropped dramatically (.205) and with Austin Romine waiting in the wings, it remains to be seen if he will be brought back.
Chavez is a solid third base option for the Yankees—especially if Alex Rodriguez continues to have health issues—and as long as the price is right, there is no reason that the team should not bring him back.
One can see that the "Bombers" could be in for a huge turnover in talent for 2013, and that means the team will have to re-establish an identity next year.