As the September pennant races heat up in Major League Baseball, the New York Yankees must begin to realize that they will not be participating in the playoffs this year. After a frustrating year, dealing with injuries and disappointing performances, the Yankees must start looking towards next year right now.
The team needs to stop believing they still have a chance. The first thing management should do is to shut down Joba Chamberlain for the rest of this season. He is the future for the Yankees. He was injured for part of the season, and at this point, there is no reason to risk injury to him with nothing to play for.
Another step the management should take is to call up Phil Hughes from the minors and have him start a few games before the end of the season. After being injured early in the season, he has been pitching in AAA for most of the year.
Although he has struggled, the Yankees need to give him another opportunity to pitch in the majors this year. Give him the ball now to give him more experience, so he will be ready next spring.
I believe the Yankees have to have a chance to make an impact in the league next year. Here are five offseason moves I believe the Yankees need to make to compete next year.
1. Do not re-sign Andy Pettitte
The pitcher's contract is up at the end of this season. He has been a great Yankees pitcher in the past, but the second half of this season has shown that he does not have much left. In fact, he has been extremely disappointing.
2. Do not sign Jason Giambi
His contract is up at the end of this season. Although he still shows some display of power, he is very inconsistent and strikes out way too much for this team.
3. Move Jorge Posada to first base
Although injured most of the year, Posada can still contribute with his bat. However, at 37, his catching days should be behind him. With an opening at first base, the Yankees need to spend time training him to become the everyday first baseman in 2009.
4. Do not resign Hideki Matsui
He is still a very productive hitter. However, he continues to get injured for long periods of time, and with the acquisition of Xavier Nady, there are too many corner outfielders.
5. The Yankees need to make an effort to sign CC Sabathia
If they can sign him, I would like a rotation of Sabathia, Wang, Chamberlain, Mussina, and Phil Hughes.
The Yankees will need a new center fielder and a new catcher as well. But I believe these are the steps to take to clean house and start fresh in 2009.
2008 season is over.