New York Yankees Will Once Again Be Big Players in Free Agency
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No matter what happens during the 2010 Major League Playoffs, the Yankees will immediately get to work in the offseason to either win a third straight title or try to get back on top after a one year hiatus.
One free agent target most everyone in the industry agrees the Yankees will get their hands on is current Rangers ace Cliff Lee. Lee has been one of the best pitchers in baseball over the past three seasons and is bolstering his playoff resume with each gem he twirls in October.
In game one of the American Division Series against the Tampa Bay Rays, Lee pitched one of the best games in his career, striking out 10 in a crucial match-up with Rays ace David Price. The Rangers knew if they could win game one then they would have a great chance of winning the series and Lee made sure that was taken care of.
For the Yankees to obtain Lee's services they better come prepared with a blank check and a willingness to outspend every other team. It has been rumored that Lee prefers to pitch in the Bronx, joining up with his old Indians teammate CC Sabathia, but he will not take a discount to do so.
Another target of the Bombers can be a person who currently plays in the Far East and his name is Yu Darvish. Not much is know about Darvish, but he possesses four quality pitchers to go along with his mid-90s fastball. Darvish is not a free agent meaning he will require the posting fee, ala Matsuzaka, but unlike his predecessor, he may be worth the money.
The Yankees don't seemingly need anyone to fill out their outfield as all spots are currently occupied. Nick Swisher is signed on for another two seasons, Curtis Granderson, who looked like he would be run out of town, is swinging a hot bat and Brett Gardner surprised many with his breakout season.
However, the Yankees are the Yankees and a run for Carl Crawford is not out of the question. Gardner faded fast down the stretch after a hot start while Granderson is a new man after some mechanical adjustments.
If the Yankees were to sign Crawford, Gardner would be displaced to the fourth outfielder spot where he is best suited and would give the Yankees a very strong defensive outfield. To make it clear, the Yankees don't need Crawford, but signing him would make the lineup just that much stronger.
Besides throwing their hat in the ring for Darvish's and Lee's services, the Yankees still have a need in the rotation. A.J. Burnett is not quite doing the job in New York and Andy Pettitte will most likely retire, leading to voids in the rotation. The Yankees would be best served looking for rotation fillers such as Hiroki Kuroda or a Jon Garland.
Both of these pitchers have the capability of eating up innings while keeping their teams in every game. It is something that neither A.J. Burnett nor Javier Vazquez can seem to master. For the Yankees to continue to try to make a modern day dynasty, they need more pitching.
As the old adage states, you can never have enough pitching.
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