New York Yankees: The 5 Biggest Offseason Disappointments for the Bombers
It's been anything but an offseason to remember if you are a New York Yankee fan.
Normally, fans are accustomed to seeing the Yankees make at least one blockbuster move every winter. Whether it be by trade or via free agency, Yankees GM Brian Cashman is known for making an impact move.
So far, heading into the middle of January, the team has yet to do either of those things, and some fans are getting a little restless with the inactivity.
Granted, it was right around this time last year when, in a span of two hours, the Yankees traded Jesus Montero to the Mariners for Michael Pineda and then signed Hiroki Kuroda as a free agent.
I don't know if the Yankees have any of those kinds of moves in them before pitchers and catchers report next month, but Yankees fans everywhere are still holding out hope.
The team still has holes to fill—such as a starting catcher, designated hitter and fourth-outfielder—so we could certainly see some moves made before camp breaks.
But that is wishful thinking, and here are the five biggest disappointments from the Yankees so far this offseason.
Letting Raul Ibanez Go Without a Fight
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I'm going to start with this one, because at the time of it happening, I was really annoyed.
It wasn't the fact that Raul Ibanez chose to go back to the Seattle Mariners that annoyed me.
Rather, it was the fact that the Yankees never offered Ibanez a contract in order to try and keep him.
Yes, I know they need a right-handed hitter, but the Yankees clearly could have found a way to keep Ibanez for one more season.
Instead, the only hitter who seemed to do anything for the team last October will, once again, be coming up with clutch hits at Safeco Field.
Brian Cashman is really going to regret this one, especially if during any game where the Yankees and Mariners play in 2013, Ibanez gets a game-winning hit or home run against his now former team.
Not Making a Stronger Attempt to Trade for Justin Upton
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When the season ended, I had a weird feeling that the Yankees might make a huge push to trade for Justin Upton.
I felt this way because I knew that Nick Swisher wasn't coming back, and it was no certain lock that Ichiro Suzuki was either.
Well, the Yankees did bring Ichiro back, and they let Swisher walk, but the Yankees have not been involved in any Upton rumors up to this point.
Now, landing a player like Upton would almost certainly mean that the Yankees would have to trade away a lot of their top prospects to the Diamondbacks. Gary Sanchez, Manny Banuelos, Tyler Austin and Slade Hearthcott are just a few examples of names you would expect to see in any trade offering.
But the Yankees haven't made that kind of push for Upton, and I'm very shocked by it.
Even if it meant dealing Curtis Granderson to free up payroll, I would have been all for landing Upton in a deal.
I must say, it's pretty disappointing that there hasn't even been an attempt by Cashman to land him at all.
Not Making an Even Stronger Attempt for Giancarlo Stanton
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If there is one player who you would be willing to "gut the farm" for, which name comes to mind?
Aside from Clayton Kershaw, my pick is Giancarlo Stanton, and I am really surprised that he's still a member of the Miami Marlins.
For the third time in team history, the Marlins completed a fire sale of their roster that began during the summer and carried over into the winter when the team completed a blockbuster—yet extremely one-sided—deal with the Toronto Blue Jays.
All that remains from last year's Marlins team is Ricky Nolasco and Stanton, who has been very vocal on his disapproval of what has gone down in Miami lately.
Stanton is the last trade chip that the Marlins have, and given that the team is in full rebuild mode with no chance of contending for several years, they should find the best deal for their slugging outfielder.
Stanton is still playing under a very affordable contract, but he's going to be due for a raise in pay very soon. Unless the Marlins magically start contending in 2013, Stanton is on a sinking ship.
How the Yankees have not gotten aggressive and made a major play for Stanton is beyond me because he makes perfect sense for the team.
The Bombers could afford him in the future and he would be the perfect type of player, talent and age-wise, to be infused into the Bronx.
Perhaps the Yankees are waiting until after 2014 to make any drastic moves, but I honestly thought that this was the best trade for the Yankees to make over the winter.
Having No Plan B After Russell Martin Bolted to Pittsburgh
When Russell Martin left to sign with the Pittsburgh Pirates after Thanksgiving, I was fine with it.
Honestly, I knew there was a chance that Martin might not be back after he declined a three-year extension during last offseason, and I was prepared for his departure.
But I'm not really sure that the Yankees were, because they have yet to figure out the catching situation for next season.
Having four potential backups and letting them fight it out over spring training is not exactly the best plan, and thus far, that's what the Yankees are going with—for now at least.
OK, I like Francisco Cervelli, but he's not a starting catcher, and neither is Chris Stewart or Bobby Wilson, who are both career backups. Also, Austin Romine has yet to prove that he can produce and be consistent enough to be at the Major League level.
Yet, those four are who the Yankees will have at the catching position with approximately a month left before pitchers and catchers report.
I still hope Brian Cashman has a trade for a catcher up his sleeve that he's waiting to spring on everyone because I just can't see him going into camp with this group.
But, maybe that's just me.
Not Getting Rid of Alex Rodriguez When They Had the Chance
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During the 2012 American League Championship Series, we knew the Yankees were pretty fed up with Alex Rodriguez.
Not only did he get benched as a starter, but he also got caught flirting with females in the stands during Game 1 of the ALCS, which to me is a "no-no."
You're a professional athlete getting paid millions to perform and you just got pulled because you are doing anything but your job. I'm sorry Alex, but keep your rear-end on the bench and be a quiet spectator.
When the season ended, there were a ton of rumors floating around about a potential trade to get his remaining five years and $114 million out of the Bronx.
One rumor involved trading A-Rod to the Marlins for Heath Bell, and that never happened because Bell ended up getting traded in a separate deal.
The other involved moving A-Rod to the Angels for Vernon Wells, and nothing ever happened with that one either.
The Yankees could have also done the unthinkable and simply cut their losses by releasing A-Rod.
Yes, eating that kind of contract would have been a mess and one that the New York media would have had a field day with, but the Yankees at least wouldn't have to see A-Rod on the field ever again if they had the nerve to do it.
Instead, the Yankees are stuck with him and the remaining five years left on the deal, especially since A-Rod now needs surgery on his other hip (not the one that was surgically repaired before 2009.)
His status for 2013 is unknown, and if he makes any kind of return, he'll likely have to be a DH. If that is the case, he won't be the same type of impact player that he once was.
The Yankees should hope that A-Rod has to retire early because his deal is mostly insured, which wass a smart move by the team and whoever implemented that clause into his deal.
But the fact that A-Rod is still a member of the New York Yankees in 2013 is by far the biggest offseason disappointment.