Yankees Turmoil: Joe Girardi Faces Tall Order in New York

Tim MorleyCorrespondent IOctober 30, 2007

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/40928000/jpg/_40928196_joe203.jpgToday was the first day of a new era in Yankees baseball.

Out is Joe Torre, one of the most beloved and successful managers in Yankees history.

In is Joe Girardi, a main component of the Yankees dynasty in the late 1990s and Manager of the Year for the Florida Marlins in 2006.

Girardi beat out former Yankee captain Don Mattingly for the job this week. Now he inherits the most prestigious position in Major League Baseball—and a truckload of problems.

The day before Girardi accepted the position, Alex Rodriguez announced that he would opt out of the remaining years of his contract with the Yankees.

Yesterday, two of the last holdovers from the Yankees' latest dynasty—Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera—announced they would file for free agency.

While the Yankees' management will most likely offer both of them whatever they want to stay in the Bronx, the Bombers still might lose two of their best players.

Andy Pettitte and Bobby Abreu, two veterans who are integral parts of the Yankee roster, both have options for 2008. While Abreu's option is controlled by the Yankees, it's worth $16 million—which may be too much to keep Abreu for another year.

Pettitte's option, on the other hand, is controlled entirely by him. The lefty has a close relationship with both Roger Clemens and Joe Torre. If both are gone, there may not be anything holding Pettitte in New York.Icon

Consider this:

As of this moment, the New York Yankees' opening day lineup is up in the air.

They are already without a third baseman, a position that yielded 54 home runs and 154 RBI in 2007.

They may be without a catcher, with no replacement in line. Posada finished with one of the top five averages in the league (.338) and 90 RBI. 

The Yankee bullpen was already in trouble. Now they may be without their one mainstay for the last 13 years—Rivera.

They may also be without Abreu, who had an off year but still managed to knock in over 100 runs.

In other words:

The Yankees stand to lose upwards of 350 RBI, 80 home runs, 15 wins, and 30 saves.

This is the worst-case scenario—but given the way the offseason is going, nothing is out of the question.

Read more articles on the state of the Yankees at www.nyypride.com