Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Who I would dump from the 2010 Yankees

The three Core Four New York Yankees eligible for free agency have gotten most of the attention, but nearly half the roster is eligible or could be non-tendered. Here's who I would dump:

Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte will all be back if they want to be, but how much it will cost to keep them is a separate question. I would love to see Kerry Wood back if the Yankees can work out a cheaper deal with him, but I think he will get plenty of offers in the offseason.

Nick Johnson and Javier Vazquez are the easiest to wave goodbye with Johnson hurt again for most of the year and Vazquez not even making the postseason roster (That Kelly Clarkson song Already Gone just popped into my head).

For me, Marcus Thames is the toughest call among the free agents because he was such a productive offensive player and he is pretty cheap. But I think the Yankees really need to free up the designated hitter spot for Jorge Posada, Jeter and Alex Rodriguez. Lance Berkman will simply fade away, having fallen short in his one chance to win a World Series before his career comes to an end. Austin Kearns did nothing to impress me and I would let him walk away. Hell, I didn't even want him on the postseason roster.

Of the six guys eligible for arbitration, Chad Gaudin, Dustin Moseley and Sergio Mitre could be non-tendered. I would only keep Moseley because I think he has shown enough promise as a potential fifth starter. Gaudin and Mitre have been disappointing and they aren't much value to the team if they are relegated to mop-up duty.

Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain and Boone Logan are also arbitration eligible, but they will all be back barring a trade. I can't wait to see the number Hughes' agent puts forth in arbitration after he won 18 games at the bargain price of $447,000. Coming off the year he had, it would be difficult for the Yankees to fight him although they could point to his increasing ERA through the year and his two losses to the Texas Rangers in the playoffs.

Some guys will remain on the team because they are simply untradeable, namely AJ Burnett with three years and another $60 million on his contract. Both Joe Girardi and Cashman expressed confidence that Burnett would have a bounce-back year in 2011. On what they are basing this assessment, I don't really know.

So I will be sad to see Wood and Thames go, but most of the others are expendable (And now the Stallone movie just popped into my head so I'll have to get rid of that image).

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