In yesterday’s New York Sun — which might close its doors at month’s end — Steven Goldman penned a gloomy article on the near future of the Yankees. The main idea of his post is highlighted in the above headline. According to Goldman, the Yankees will not be good in 2009.
The main argument is age. He notes that only one player currently under contract, Robinson Cano, is under 30. That’s never a good thing, though they do have control of Xavier Nady for one more year before he reaches free agency. Then you have to look at the players who are under contract. A-Rod is still a monster. Jeter could have a rebound year, but even if he doesn’t, he’s still a solid shortstop while at the plate. Jorge Posada should be back and healthy, supplying above-average performance for a catcher. Chien-Ming Wang can come back and win us another 19 games. Johnny Damon has been great this year, and hopefully he can eke out one more good year before hitting free agency.
There are a few IFs in the above paragraph, of course. More IFs circle around the pitching staff. Moose and Pettitte get the double IF: IF they come back, and IF they continue giving you quality innings. IF Joba Chamberlain can stay healthy and in the rotation for most of the season (Goldman has a few words on that). Then you move on to free agency. IF they sign CC Sabathia or Ben Sheets. IF they’re able to fill the center field hole. IF…the lost goes on.
So I can understand where Goldman is coming from. In a boatload of IFs, a few are bound to fall overboard. However, that doesn’t mean all hope is lost. The Yankees will have to be shrewd this off-season. They can’t afford to be sentimental. We’ll go over this in more depth as the season comes to a close.