And once the playoffs wrap up and the Hot Stove League kicks into high gear, no team will be more watched or talked about than the New York Yankees.
If I were Brian Cashman, this is what I'd do this offseason:
1. Get Alex Rodriguez signed to an extension.
Plain and simple, A-Rod is the reason the Yankees made the postseason this year. He hit better in the playoffs this time around, quieting the critics who've said the big third baseman wilts in clutch situations.
2. Release Jorge Posada.
I know what some fans are screaming now—yes, Posada had a big year and has been a part of great Yankee championships in the past.
But, and this is a HUGE but, he's hands-down a defensive liability. Posada cost the Yankees Game Two of the ALDS when he tried to backhand a ball in the dirt—he should have dropped to his knees and blocked it.
Also, outside of this year Posada, is a .260 hitter—and he didn't have a hit in the ALDS. Molina is capable of being an everyday catcher and is much better behind the plate.
3. Get rid of Jason Giambi.
Giambi hasn't been the same guy since he was signed. Plus, with Doug Mientkiewicz and Shelley Duncan, the Yanks are fine at first—not to mention that Mientkiewicz is a much better defensive player than the Giambino.
With Mientkiewicz's steady glovework, he can save you four to five runs a game. Also, New York has another utility player who can start at first in a pinch in Wilson Betemit.
4. Go after Andruw Jones.
I know, I can hear it now:
"Another high-profile, big-money free agent?"
But seriously, think about it.
Johnny Damon no longer has the wheels to play in the outfield every day. He's a great hitter, so you can move him to DH and play him only when needed in center.
Jones will add another big bat in the lineup, and the Bombers get someone with wheels and an arm in center field—which will allow them to move Cabera into right, because Abreu doesn't cover ground like he used to.
After another failed postseason run, it's time for the Yankees to make some moves—not just signing guys but also letting some go.
2001 was seven years ago. It's time to move on.
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