Are the Yankees Depending on Too Many Aging Players in 2013?
With the offseason in full swing, the Yankees unsurprisingly haven’t made any big moves.
Brian Cashman resigned Hiroki Kuroda, Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera all before the Winter Meetings.
The average age of these three potentially major contributors is 40 years old, and Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez aren’t far behind.
With Jeter at 38 years old and Rodriguez at 37 years old, both are going to have to continue to fight age and produce on a high level for the Yankees to see success.
It seems that over the past year the “beat out Father Time” mentality has been guiding the Yankees.
In the first game of the Bombers’ American League Division Series matchup with Baltimore, the first three batters in the Yankees lineup were 37 years of age or older.
Now this would sound fine if either the Yankees won the World Series this season or if the Yankees only played in the playoffs.
But the fact of the matter is that the baseball season is a grind, and wears down athletes both physically and emotionally.
Although many of the veterans in the pinstripes have been able to handle the emotional grind, their bodies are just getting too old to be able to perform at a high level on a day-to-day basis.
That being said, Raul Ibanez was a great example of how much a veteran can be an asset to a team. Ibanez was a DH that occasionally played the field as part of a platoon effort by Joe Girardi to make up for Brett Gardner’s injury.
For the Yankees though, the bulk of their top talent is made up of older veterans. Every major contributor in the lineup is over 30 years old, and including Ibanez, the lineup had four players aged 37 or older.
The past season has been the clearest sign that this system won’t work for long, with Rivera, Jeter, Rodriguez and Pettitte all spending time on the disabled list.
I’m not here to offer any solution to this problem that is slowly unfolding in the Bronx.
It’s clear that the Yankees are depending on a core of too many aging players, and when this group retires in the next few years there will be a lot of holes to fill in New York.
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