After tonight's loss it has finally become painfully apparent that the New York Yankees have as much chance of making the postseason as I have dating Megan Fox. It's really sad to see the greatest baseball field ever made not see postseason baseball in its last season.
What's even worse is that land becoming a parking lot instead of a monument to the glorious past of the Yankees, but that is a different matter.
2009 is a year of great change for the Yankees and could set them up for further failure or a bunch of World Series.
First, Brian Cashman needs to be resigned as GM of the Yankees. He has learned from his mistakes and is putting the Yankees on the right path for success. In this case the status quo is the best because the last thing the development of the Yankees needs is a new head.
As long as the Yankees stay away from the long term contract (like Giambi) that put them in trouble they will develop well.
Second the Yankees need to make important decisions on the players whose contracts expire this year. There is no doubt that Giambi is playing his last year as a Yankee. He was signed to replace the beloved Tino Martinez and has failed. This year his batting average with RISP is at .200. I could hit .200 with runners in scoring position and field better.
Andy Pettitte will probably retire, but the Yankees should not sign him for another year. His performance this year should show him that he is at the end of his career. Ivan Rodriguez should also be let go.
Though Jorge can't last an entire season, Francisco Cerivelli will be the back up and is the future for the Yankees at catcher. (Jesus Montero will probably moved to first base with that power) Carl Pavano is gone and I don't need to explain why. Wilson Betemit should be let go since a utility player is not that hard to come by.
Sidney Ponson and Billy Traber should be let go.
The Yankees need to keep Bobby Abreu. He should be sign to a short term deal of one or two years. This gives the Yankees a quality hitter and time to develop Austin Jackson into the future outfield superstar of the Yankees.
The most important decision has to do with Mike Mussina. Had this come last year I would have kicked him out the door but he has reinvented the way he has pitched and had great success.
If he doesn't retire the Yankees should sign him to one more year. Chin Ming Wang should be signed to a three to four year deal. He will become the number two starter for the Yankees.
Xavier Nady needs to be resigned. He is hitting great, stays healthy and is only 31. He should be signed for three to four years and become a major contributor to the Yankees lineup. Melky should be resigned for two more years to see if he can bounce back. All the pitchers that aren't mentioned should be resigned as well (mostly bullpen and Joba).
In free agency the Yankees should spend some cash to sure up their needs. Absolutely paramount to Yankee success is the signing of CC Sabathia. the 28 year old ace should be signed to a four to six year contract. He will the number one starter of the Yankees staff which will be positive for all the Yankee pitchers.
Though Wang is a great pitcher he is not an ace. Wang is more suited as a number two. Joba will be an absolutely dominant number three starter who won't have to work as hard to win ball games. Mussina will become the five starter, leaving the four spot to either Phil Hughes or Ian Kennedy.
If that doesn't happen the option is a fragile Ben Sheets (would like to avoid) or an contract year player in AJ Burnett. The next big target of the summer was Mark Teixeira. Though the Angels can resign him the Angels won't pay him more than Vlad and the Angels do not want two 20 million dollar players on their roster for the long term.
Also the Angels were already a World Series team before they acquired Teixeira. The problem is that we could run into another Jason Giambi. Scot Boras will demand a eight to ten year deal. This is absolutely unacceptable. A 28 year old player should not be signed until he is 38.
The maximum amount of years that should be offered is six for 120 million. His signing along with Damon leaving in 2009 or 2011 if resigned, Jesus Montero (what a sweet name) can take over as DH. At 16 this kid had an 80 in power on the 20-80 scale used for all minor leaguers.
The Lineup For the 2009 Yankees
Lead off Johnny Damon DH—Johnny can't play in the field anymore but can still hit. He has probably been the most productive Yankee this season at the plate
2nd Derek Jeter SS
3rd Bobby Abreu RF
4th Alex Rodriguez 3B
5th Mark Texiera 1B
6th Xavier Nady LF
7th Robinson Cano 2B
8th Jorge Posada/Francisco Cerevelli
9th Brett Gardner CF—Speed kills and this guy has it. Regained his discipline at the plate and can get on base at a .400 clip. His speed can really put pressure on a defense and help the Yankees score those small ball runs they have been failing to produce.
1. CC Sabathia
2. Chien Ming Wang
3. Joba Chamberlain
4. Phil Hughes—He is a better than pitcher than Kennedy when it comes to raw ability but I think his performance will outshine Ian Kennedy.
5. Mike Mussina—Putting him as the fifth starter could sure up a spot the Yankees haven't been able to
This rotation has the potential to become one of the best in baseball
Relief Pitchers: Edwar Ramirez, Jose Vera, Damaso Marte, David Robertson, and Brain Bruney.
The bullpen will also be bolster by the Yankees farm system that is overflowing with pitching talent.
The closer will still be Mariano Rivera.