New York Yankees: 5 Players to Avoid This Offseason
After a disappointing end to 2012, the New York Yankees will be looking to re-stock on talent and re-align their roster during the offseason.
The Yankees will be altering their traditional top-down philosophy. This is a team that needs to get younger to stay competitive in the division and have a shot at a 28th World Series title.
With age comes experience and production, but also fatigue and inconsistency.
Age cut the Yankees' playoff run short. The team was completely gassed and unmotivated by the second game of the ALCS against Detroit, and lacked the intensity to advance.
The Giants have that youth and intensity. Key guys like Pablo Sandoval, Brandon Belt and Brandon Crawford have pushed their team to a six-game playoff winning streak with a World Series title in sight.
The average age of the Yankees is 31.1, the highest in baseball and something GM Brian Cashman will have to work on lowering over the next few months.
Here are five players the Yankees should stay away from this offseason.
Martin in Game 1 of the ALCS vs. Detroit.
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Russell Martin was one of the top catchers in baseball when the Yankees acquired him, but his two years in New York have been disappointing to say the least.
Martin, 29, has struggled in pinstripes offensively, hitting an abysmal .224 in his career for the Yankees.
Cashman rolled the dice last offseason signing Martin to a one-year, $7.5 million contract after he hit just .237 in 2011.
The Yankees’ gamble came up short and it’s looking more like they won’t be seeing Martin behind the plate in 2013.
Luckily for the Yankees, they possess two of the most coveted catching prospects in baseball.
23-year-old Austin Romine will compete for a starting job this offseason after he spent most of 2012 nursing a lower back injury. Romine has been on the Yankees' radar for the last few years and will be a key part of this team moving forward.
In 116 games in the minors this year, he’s hitting a respectable .290 with 18 home runs.
The Yankees have enough minor league talent to fill the hole behind the plate and have little reason to re-sign Martin.
Jackson pitching in Game 3 of the NLDS against St. Louis.
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Edwin Jackson has been on and off the free-agent carousel more than anyone else in baseball in recent memory, and it’s doubtful he remains in Washington for 2013.
Jackson, 29, has spent most of his career bouncing from team to team, and is a free agent again this offseason.
While his 4.03 ERA and 168 strikeouts may look appealing to a Yankees team whose starting pitching has struggled, they shouldn’t be too quick to pull the trigger.
Jackson has a 2-4 record with a 7.28 ERA in his career pitching in the Bronx.
His career has been plagued by fluctuating production from year to year, as well as various incidents on and off the field.
Jackson’s no stranger to clearing opponent’s benches. He was criticized for beaning Chris Carpenter in 2010 and got “particularly animated” in a Sept. 6 brawl with the Cubs, said Adam Kilgore of The Washington Post.
Throwing Jackson into a media-crazed New York market would only mean bad news for the Yankees moving forward.
Marcum in his last scheduled start of 2012 on Oct. 1.
Mike McGinnis/Getty Images
The 30-year-old Marcum has been one of the more underrated pitchers in the game since 2006. His career 57-36 record and 3.76 ERA makes him a prized commodity on paper, but it’s his elbow that is a cause for concern for interested teams.
The last thing the Yankees need is to acquire a pitcher prone to injury.
Marcum battled elbow problems for most of 2012 and has only managed over 200 innings in one of his seven major league seasons.
If the Yankees are going to go out and sign a big-name pitcher, why not get one with postseason success?
Marcum had three postseason starts in 2011, letting up 16 earned runs in just 9.2 innings pitched.
While those 16 earned runs may have flown under the radar in Milwaukee, New York surely will not be as forgiving.
Marcum will be an asset for whatever team he ends up on, but has no place in pinstripes.
Soriano closing out a game against the Blue Jays Sept. 28.
The Yankees would not have won the AL East if not for Rafael Soriano stepping in for the injured Mariano Rivera.
Soriano recorded 42 saves and a 2.26 ERA in 2012 and has established himself as an elite MLB closer. But with David Robertson and possibly Mariano Rivera returning next season, Soriano will end up closing for another playoff-bound team in 2013.
The future ninth-inning guy in New York will be the 27-year-old Robertson, who’s compiled a resume worthy of the job.
In 2011 Robertson was an All-Star, recording a ridiculous 1.08 ERA and 100 strikeouts.
While Rivera’s injury has him contemplating retirement, the Yankees should be confident that, whether he returns or not, Robertson can get it done (h/t ESPN).
Lee in a game against the Braves on Sept. 25.
Scott Cunningham/Getty Images
Carlos Lee has managed to fly under the radar with A-Rod-type numbers over the last few years.
Lee, 36, signed a six-year, $100 million contract with the Houston Astros in 2006. Since then, his productivity has been on a steady decline.
In 2012, Lee hit .264 with just nine home runs and 77 RBI.
A tempting player in this year’s free-agent market, signing Lee would be a gamble the Yankees are in no position to make.
Lee was traded in July from a rebuilding Astros team to a high payroll, high expectations Marlins squad. His numbers took a dive as he hit .243 with four home runs—not exactly what Miami GM Michael Hill was expecting when he made the deal.
No expectations are higher than that of the New York Yankees.
For a guy whose last playoff appearance was in 2000, an acquisition like Lee would make little sense financially and logistically.