Should the Aging New York Yankees Overhaul Their Roster for 2013?
It is no secret, the New York Yankees are an old team. In fact,with an average age of 32.7 years old, they are the oldest team in the league.
As players get older, their production tends to drop off. In the 2012 postseason this was drastically clear for the aging Bombers. The entire lineup batted just .188 in their nine games played in the playoffs.
The Yankees can last during a 162-game season when they get to play against teams' bottom starters every five days, but in the postseason when they are forced to face the opponent's top pitchers, their aging bats just can't keep up.
For a franchise where anything less than a World Series title is considered a failure, this trend cannot continue. This begs the question, "What should the Yankees do?"
Management is in a tough bind here. Do they go with what brought them to the dance, a lineup full of older players? Or do they have a fire sale and trade away all of their aging superstars for younger, unproven players and prospects?
Let's look at both options here.
Can the Yankees win with their current lineup? Certainly.
They won back in 2009 with the same core guys, so they can do it again. There is no denying that if their bats get hot at the right time, with that lineup, they could beat pretty much any pitcher. But that was three years ago and the entire team was three years younger.
That is what makes this decision so difficult.
What if the Yankees did decide to unload their older players? Who would they get? Who would they give up? What would it mean for the team's success?
If they do decide to take the trade route, Alex Rodriguez, who is 37 years old, should be the first to go. His production, especially in last year's playoffs was dismal at best.
But what about his monstrous contract? If the Yankees want to trade Rodriguez, they will have to get him to waive his no-trade clause, and then find a team to take him. The Yankees will be stuck with paying a vast majority of his contract — a cross they'll have to bear if they're committed to overhauling the team.
Once Rodriguez is another team's problem, the Yankees can focus on replacing the aging superstar. The Padres' Chase Headley would be a prime candidate. At 28 years old, Headley is in his prime and could do some damage for the Yanks. Last season he batted .286 with 31 homers in Petco Park.
In order to land Headley, the Yankees would have to offer a pretty hefty package to the Padres. Brian Cashman has built up an impressive farm system, and now might be the time to put it to use.
The Yankees also have a short remaining contract with the aging Derek Jeter.
Jeter, 38, had a really good 2012 regular season, smashing 15 home runs and driving in 58 runs. If he can even keep close to that level of production, the best move would be to let Jeter ride out his contract and groom a replacement for the shortstop.
After Jeter's contract is up, if Jayson Nix or Eduardo Nunez do not work out, the Yankees should test the free agent market in 2013 (or 2014 if Jeter picks up the option on his contract).
Speaking of the free agent market, if the Yankees are going to reload the team they should go back to spending big bucks on the market. It's not like they can't afford it.
This year's biggest fish is Josh Hamilton and the Yankees should certainly try and reel him in by dangling loads of cash in front of him.
Hamilton would be the perfect right field replacement for Nick Swisher who may be on his way out to the Bronx after a less than stellar postseason performance.
No matter what the Yankees decide to do, another season without a ring will not fly. And in order for the Yankees to compete for years to come an overhaul is needed.
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