NY Yankees Free-Agent Rumors: 10 Reasons They Must Sign Cespedes and Darvish
This entire offseason, I've listed every reason known to man why the New York Yankees shouldn't sign Yu Darvish.
On the other hand, Yoennis Cespedes will be a cheaper venture for the Yanks but with just as much uncertainty.
The latest rumor from The New York Post does not believe the Yankees will go hard after Darvish, while USA Today reports the Yankees at least have interest in Cespedes. However, ESPN New York's Wallace Matthews believes that neither one will sign with the Yankees.
But let's take the rosy road for a second. What if the Yankees signed both of these players and like their fellow countrymen before them (Hideki Matsui, Orlando Hernandez), contribute to a World Series ring?
It's been done before in Yankees' history, and what's to say it can't happen again. Allow me to play devil's advocate for a second and let you know just how good signing these two players could be for New York.
After watching Muammar Gaddafi fall at the hands of a man with a Yankee hat on, I don't think this team is desperately seeking more appeal across the globe.
Since the departure of Hideki Matsui, the Yankees haven't featured another significant Japanese player the past two seasons. It's important because from a marketing standpoint, Japan is a big market for the Yankees to draw attention from by signing it's best player.
Darvish's presence alone would be worth it, but Cespedes would just add to an already strong Latino following for the Bronx Bombers.
Injection of Youth
It's no secret the Yankees are a team on the older side of their years, although they're not exactly geriatric either. But it's never a bad time to inject some youth into your roster, and that's what signing Cespedes (26) and Darvish (25) does for New York.
If successful, the Yankees could have themselves two dominate players for the next decade to help them build another dynasty.
Besides, it wouldn't hurt to have some younger guys on the team when A-Rod is 59 and batting ninth, needing a pinch-runner to get to first base for him whenever he makes contact at the plate.
By the way, no pun intended on injection and A-Rod being in the same slide. I meant no harm.
It's no secret the Yankees have starting rotation problems.
A lack of reliable pitching for reasonable money has left the Yankees in a bind as the season approaches. The Yanks have tried their hand at making trades as well but no luck.
Darvish could be the spark plug for the Yankees, giving them a solid 1-2-3 combination with Sabathia and Ivan Nova around him. It's a formula that, if successful, could win in the playoffs as well.
Certainly couldn't be much worse than what they have now.
With good speed, Cespedes could be a major improvement in either right or left field for the Yankees.
Faster than Nick Swisher, Cespedes would complete one of the quickest outfields in the MLB today alongside Curtis Granderson and Brett Gardner.
Cespedes has the ability to play center field as well, but it isn't certain if the job would be taken away from Granderson full-time.
No matter how Joe Girardi plays it, the Yanks' defensive ability in the outfield will be upgraded.
When you hit as badly in the clutch as the Yankees did in the 2011 ALDS, it becomes pretty apparent a different approach might need to be taken.
The Yanks did do a good job of stealing bases and moving runners along in 2011 after relying on the longball became a problem early in the season. But when it got to the playoffs, the Bombers found themselves grounded offensively, waiting for the big hit to come.
And it never came, thus the Yanks stood no chance.
Running a 6.3 60-yard dash, Cespedes has the speed to steal bases and will add to the decent speed the Yanks have already.
Now, the question becomes, will Girardi use it in a playoff game.
History Repeats Itself
I mentioned in the first slide how important Matsui and "El Duque" were to the Yankees, and the same could ring true for Darvish and Cespedes.
Hernandez and Matsui were no more certain to work out than these two young players, but when given the chance, both succeeded in the toughest of baseball situations. Because of that, the Yankees have raised more World Series banners.
While it will be tough to justify spending the money, you can certainly make a case there's a chance it'll be well worth the risk.
More Trade Options
If the Bombers can land Darvish and/or Cespedes, it could open up more options for the Bombers to cut a deal for a pitcher.
The market has been rough, and if the Yanks hope to make a trade, they will need all the help they can get. Signing Cespedes means Nick Swisher could be the odd man out on the last year of his deal and therefore tradable.
There are plenty of teams who could use a corner outfielder that's capable of 25 home runs and 80 RBI in a season. Packaged with some of their younger prospects, the Yanks might catch lightning in a bottle and find the trade that they, and Yankees' fans, have been looking for.
If they signed Darvish, that would leave either A.J. Burnett or Phil Hughes as tradable in which case the Yankees might be up a bucket of baseballs and/or a bat bag.
Change Is Needed
If you believe the Yankees' starting rotation will never get it done, then you'd certainly want to make the move to sign Darvish.
There's a strong feeling out there for some Yankees' fans that no success can be had from the current rotation which is a fair thought. Certainly, trust is an issue with two starters—Burnett and Hughes.
Although you're not really adding anymore certainty to an uncertain rotation, bringing in Darvish would give more options for a better chance to get the job done.
From where the Yankees are sitting, the more insurance they have, the better.
Keep Them from the Red Sox!
It's a sick thought, but yes, I'd sign a player to keep them from the Boston Red Sox.
Just imagine the agony if Boston were to sign either of these two players, or both, and they put a beatdown on the Yankees for a decade. Yanks general manager Brian Cashman would never hear the end of it even after his days as GM are over.
I know the Red Sox might not have much money to spend or have trust for a Japanese pitcher, but I'd bet if new manager Bobby Valentine has his way, they'll take a shot at Darvish.
After all, Bobby V is a former Japanese baseball manager.
It's Just Money!
Come on, these are the Yankees, and since when are we pinching pennies over there in Tampa? As it stands now, the Yankees' payroll would for certain be even higher than it was last season if both these players were added.
But looking at it realistically, the Yankees could have $20-$30 million coming off their books next season with Mariano Rivera's $15 million coming off after hinting he'd retire after 2012.
After that, factor in Russell Martin's salary and other one-year bench players and you have covered the cost of Darvish and Cespedes who could cost around $10 million per year each.
That would be OK for New York if this amount of payroll was their target, but according to reports, they might be looking to slash it to $189 million by 2014. In that case, it'll be harder to make these signings.