2011 New York Yankees Offseason: Trades and Signings They Need To Make
The New York Yankees have once again failed to reach their goal of winning a World Series Championship. While the team was solid, it won nothing last year but a single playoff series. Granted, it sounds pretentious to 29 other teams to call a trip to the ALCS a failure, but in Yankee town, that’s all it is.
However, in the offseason, youth springs eternal, and the Yankees will no doubt look to reload. They already made the mistakes this offseason of resigning emotionless Joe Girardi (aka Joe Torre Jr without the great baseball mind and with a silly notebook) and passing on legendary pitching coach Leo Mazzone for their vacant opening.
That being said, the Yanks could still rebound this offseason and become champions in 2011 and beyond by making these moves:
Re-sign, But Don't Overpay Derek Jeter
Derek Jeter is a great player and great Yankee.
However, there’s a chance his best days could be behind him.
The Yankees shouldn’t sign a 36-year-old shortstop to a six-year contract worth $150 million. It’s completely ludicrous to give him any more than three years for $45 million, and even that’s a stretch. If he went to any other team, he could do no better than two years for maybe $20 million TOTAL.
We all know he’ll be back next year, but the Yankees can’t make the same mistake they made when they gave 36-year-old Jorge Posada a four year deal worth $52 million four offseasons ago.
Sign Cliff Lee
Simple enough, the title of this slide speaks for itself. There are too many questions in the rotation after CC Sabathia. Is Andy Pettitte coming back? Will Phil Hughes continue to improve? Can they get anything out of A.J. Burnett?
Having Lee decreases the need for Pettitte to come back or Hughes to step up. Burnett is too much of a quagmire to be counted on. It could take six years to get it done, but the Yankees should shoot for five years and $135 million
Have Manager Joe Girardi Spend the Entire Offseason With Jesus Montero
Jesus Montero has long been touted as a superior hitting prospect with Victor Martinez-like potential. However, like Martinez, he supposedly lacks in defense.
In his day, manager Joe Girardi was a fine defensive catcher, and he should focus on getting Montero ready for starting catching duties next season. Francisco Cervelli is a nice backup catcher, but he can’t hit good pitching, and Posada is a complete eyesore (putting it lightly) in the field.
If Girardi can make Montero a good defensive catcher, as Bill Dickey did for Yogi Berra, then the Yankees would be at a major advantage next season.
Sign Carl Crawford
He’s simply a great all-around ball-player, who is better than any outfielder the Yankees have. He can ignite the offense, and is the type of player born to play under the bright lights of Yankee Stadium. Yankee and Red Sox fans need only think about how he terrorized their teams over the course of his career.
Michael Kay may call Brett Gardner the poor man’s Carl Crawford, but Gardner’s ineffectiveness against good pitching hardly qualifies himself in Crawford’s league. Four-years for $60 million should bring the real deal to the Bronx.
Trade for Justin Upton
Somehow, he’s on the market. He had a subpar year last season, but he’s still 23, and still will be one of the game’s most elite talents over the next 10-15 years. Getting Upton to play in center or right will greatly increase the team’s offensive and defensive potential.
The Diamondbacks seem to like Joba Chamberlain, and while Yankee fans know he is a bust as a starter or reliever, he could have some value in a trade. By offering Joba, Nick Swisher (along with his career .163 playoff average) and some prospects, the Yankees have a shot at getting a player who will make them a good team for the long haul at a bargain salary.
Re-sign Mariano Rivera
With all the intrigue surrounding negotiations with Lee and Jeter, Mariano Rivera has been overlooked. He is the best player on the team, and the most important. Again, we all know he’ll be taken care of, but it needs to be done quickly so efforts can be moved towards Lee, Jeter, and Upton. Without Mariano, the team can’t close games.
Even though he’s 40, his easy delivery and past performance should make Brian Cashman have no problem giving Mo two-years for $32 million. This gives him a raise and a second year, which might be considered a gamble, but in his case, an exception should be made.
If the Yankees can accomplish these goals, then they should have no problem winning their 28th championship next November...