New York Yankees: 3 Offseason Moves Yankees Should Have Made
With just about a month until pitchers and catchers report to spring training, the New York Yankees find themselves in an interesting situation.
The Yankees have an aging lineup with large contracts, with few young players getting opportunities to play in the Bronx.
Over this offseason, GM Brian Cashman was able to bring back veteran pitchers Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte and Hiroki Kuroda. Cashman also brought in third baseman Kevin Youkilis and utility man Russ Canzler.
The only problem with all of this is that of all of the offseason moves to bring players to New York, only one player (Canzler) is under 30 years old.
With spring training on the horizon, Hal Steinbrenner said that the front office in New York still has “some work to do."
In what might be the understatement of the year, New York has a lot of work to do before becoming contenders once again.
Here are three offseason moves that the Yankees should have made in 2012.
Sign BJ Upton and Trade Curtis Granderson for Pitching
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Before signing with the Atlanta Braves, BJ Upton was one of the top center fielders in the free agency market.
At only 28 years old, Upton would bring speed and power to an offense that lost two of its top five power hitters in Russell Martin and Nick Swisher. He would have brought a strong right-handed bat along with solid defense.
If the Yankees signed Upton, Cashman would then be able to seriously pursue trades for Curtis Granderson.
Bringing in the younger Upton to replace Granderson while looking to trade Granderson for a top-tier pitcher would be a win-win for New York. It wouldn’t be cheap to bring in Upton, who signed a five-year $75 million deal in Atlanta, but the reward would be a younger outfielder with more speed.
As New York fans found out last season, there is never enough pitching, and dealing Granderson for a starter would’ve been a big move.
Re-Sign Catcher Russell Martin to a Short-Term Deal
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Losing Russell Martin to the Pittsburgh Pirates could go two ways for New York: very well or terribly wrong.
The Yankees went out on a limb by not re-signing Martin, and now fans are left to see who wins the starting catching job in the spring.
But of the three catchers in the hunt, none of the bring the offense that Martin produced. Martin had an up-and-down 2012 season, but still managed to hit over 20 home runs.
Although Martin was looking for more money, it would have been money well spent to bring the Ontario native back to the Bronx.
Sign Pitcher Brandon McCarthy
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In one of the quieter moves of the offseason, the Arizona Diamondbacks signed starter Brandon McCarthy to a two-year, $15.5 million deal.
Over the past two seasons in Oakland, McCarthy has won 17 games while posting an earned run average under 3.35 both years. The 29-year-old struggled early in his career but over the past two years, McCarthy has continued to improve.
Cashman has made it well known that his hands are tied in terms of spending, so this means he needs to begin to get creative.
Signing a pitcher like McCarthy to a short-term deal like Arizona did would have stabilized the middle of the rotation in the Bronx. McCarthy may not lead the league in strikeouts, but he gets batters out and doesn’t give up many walks or home runs—he gave up 24 walks and 10 home runs last season.
Overpaying players with massive long-term contracts is by no means the correct path of action for New York to get better.
But as far as I’m concerned, inaction is just as bad.
Re-signing old veterans rather than picking up inexpensive players such as McCarthy is not the way to get this team better.