Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Yankees set 2013 plan in motion

We don’t know all the details yet, of course, but the New York Yankees have finally put their plan for the 2013 baseball season in motion.

The first element of the plan was picking up the options on second baseman Robinson Cano and center fielder Curtis Granderson. Picking up Cano’s option was a no brainer, even though his agent Scott Boras had been clamoring for a multi-year extension, which the Yankees were unwilling to do right now. I’m slightly surprised they were so quick to pick up Granderson’s option, but the Yankees could have decided to give him another year to right himself, meaning to correct the bad tendencies that made him a swing-and-miss hitter, before they let him walk as a free agent. There is also speculation that Granderson could be traded, which would not surprise me in the least.

So what’s next? The next news out of Yankees land will likely be Rafael Soriano officially opting out of his deal to secure a rich, multi-year contract after his successful year closing games for the Yankees. But I don’t think the situation will be resolved anytime soon, not until Mariano Rivera commits to another year or retirement. And we’ll know soon enough if the Yankees, as expected, decline to retain Nick Swisher’s services, although this seems like a foregone conclusion given his constant struggles in the playoffs.

The Yankees will have to decide what to do with their other free agents or players just a year away from free agency such as Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain. There seems to be a movement to send these two out the door in exchange for cheaper talent. I’m frankly surprised at how eager people are to get rid of two young, but experienced pitchers. I know they are going to cost money when they hit free agency, but I doubt the Yankees are willing to bid adieu to either one just yet, especially Hughes, who at times this year pitched like the top-flight starter the Yankees projected him to be. The Yankees will likely give these two one more year to prove that they can consistently perform in the Bronx.

Given that the Yankees failed in their quest to win another World Series championship, I expect some major changes. It will be interesting to see who the Yankees show the door. 

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