In the event you haven't heard, the New York Yankees are no longer in the World Series hunt. We're not sure if word has gotten out about that so, in an attempt to perform a necessary civic duty, we felt it would be productive to point things out.
As any Yankee observer will tell you, you can bet that changes are inevitable any time a Yankees team goes home without the big cookie at the end of the year. In fact, change is inevitable even when they do go home winners, as evidenced by the jettisoning of Johnny Damon, Hideki Matsui, Melky Cabrera and others after the 2009 World Series victory.
This offseason, though, promises to be more active than most, even by Yankee standards. Yankee GM Brian Cashman did not personally oversee any major additions following the 2010 season, though the Yankees organization did of course pursue and ultimately land Rafael Soriano, this despite Cashman's misgivings regarding both the length and heft of the contract.
It was Cashman's choice, rather, to plug holes in the pitching staff and on the bench with relatively low-cost additions such as Freddy Garcia, Bartolo Colon, Eric Chavez and Andruw Jones among others. Additionally, the signing of Russell Martin at catcher was another example of Cashman's low risk, low dollar approach, as Martin's $4 million dollar agreement fit rather easily into the Yankee budget.
The strategy did prove successful by most measures, especially in that the Yankees were able to take their division's crown and were not forced to trade any of their blue-chip pitching or hitting prospects. In the final analysis, though, the Yankees did not advance past the first round of the 2011 playoffs.
Holes in their lineup and pitching staff were exposed, and poor performances from some of their most critical offensive contributors made it clear that the Yankees' offense, so capable of feasting on mediocre pitching, will need a huge infusion of talent if they are to overcome the typically stellar pitching staffs encountered in the playoffs.
Here, then, are 10 players that the Yankees will pursue this offseason, via trade or free agency, to supplement an undermanned rotation and an aging, underperforming lineup. Players are ranked in order of least likely or capable to acquire to most likely or capable to acquire.