What The Yankees Must Do To Ensure a Playoff Berth

Vinny GazzaraCorrespondent IJuly 19, 2008

As we all know the Yankees and under performing. Here is what they'll need to do to make the playoffs.


1. Acquire a right handed bat

The Yankees lineup is loaded with lefties. that would explain why their team batting average is below .250 against southpaws. I am aware that the Yankees signed Richie Sexson, but i just don't think that's the answer. Sure, Sexson's numbers are good against left handed pitching this year but if you look at his career numbers vs. lefties, they aren't very good. I think the Yankees should go out and trade for Colorado's Matt Holliday. Holliday is a solid hitter from the right side, he can play both corner outfield positions and can be plugged anywhere from the 3 to the 7 spot in the Yankees lineup. Holliday is batting .331, with 15 home runs, 53 RBI's and a .552 slugging percentage. The Yankees could also try to make a deal for Pittsburgh's Xavier Nady, Nady can also play both corner outfield positions and is hitting .321, with 12 home runs, 56 RBI's and a .525 slugging percentage. The Yankees could trade UTIL infielder Wilson Betemit, with Roberto Gonzalez in the minor leagues, they could trade Betemit and not miss a beat. They Yankees could also trade Melky Cabrera. The Yankees have two good, young center fielders in their system, Brett Gardner and Austin Jackson, making Melky expendable. I would say the Yankees could also trade Ian Kennedy, who still has some value despite his horrific year so far, but Brian Cashman seems reluctant to trade him.


2. Acquire a starting pitcher

I'm not saying they have to pull of a deal to get some like the Brewers did in C.C. Sabathia, but more like a number 3 or 4 starter, like Cinncinati's Bronson Arroyo or San Diego's Randy Wolf. The Yankees are not in need of an ace with Mike Mussina pitching the way he is. Joba Chamberlain and Andy Pettitte both pitching well, but a little inconsistent. Arroyo and Wolf would both be low risk, high reward moves, and wouldn't cost as much as Matt Holliday or Xavier Nady. Although the replacements for the injured Chien-Ming Wang and Phil Hughes have been decent, I just don't think they can make the playoffs with Darrell Rasner and Sidney Ponson in the rotation. Neither Arroyo or Wolf have been phenomenal this season, but both have been pretty solid and i think would be of great value to the Yankees rotation. Again, the Yankees could trade Betemit, Melky, Ian Kennedy, or even some lower level prospects here, such as starting pitcher Chase "Mr.5 homers in a row" Wright, or outfielder Justin Christian.


3. Get Healthy

The Yankees have been hit with and unbelievable amount of injuries. Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Jorge Posada, Johnny Damon, Hideki Matsui and Chien-Ming Wang have all missed time with injuries this season. All of these players are very important to the Yankees success. If the Yankees had all these players in the lineup at once, I think that alone would at least let them finish within three games of wining the division.


4. Get The Regulars Going

Who would have that with a lineup that consists or Alex Rodriguez, Hideki Matsui and Bobby Abreu, that Jason Giambi would be the one producing the most. Now, I'm not saying Giambi is a bad hitter at all, hes one of the better ones, but if you look at the last couple seasons he had, this isn't what you would expect. Jeter is having a down year, by his standards. A-Rod is having a decent year, but hes missed too much time to be  with the league leaders in home runs and RBI's, where he should be. Robinson Cano, who in 2006 hit .342, is having a horrible year by anyones standards, but he does seem as if he's turning it around. Jorge Posada, who almost won the batting title last year is also having a down year. If these guys don't get going, there is no hope of the Yankees beating out the Red Sox. Maybe they should all grow mustaches? Hey, its worth a shot.