Fan Confidence Poll: December 20th, 2010

Mailbag: Russell Martin, Utility Player?
The asking price for Zack Greinke

Season Record: 95-67 (859 RS, 693 RA, 98-64 Pythag. record), finished one game back in AL East, won Wild Card, lost in ALCS

Top stories from last week:

Please take a second to answer the poll below and give us an idea of how confident you are in the team. You can view the Fan Confidence Graph anytime via the nav bar above, or by clicking here. Thanks in advance for voting.

Given the team's current roster construction, farm system, management, etc., how confident are you in the Yankees' overall future?
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Mailbag: Russell Martin, Utility Player?
The asking price for Zack Greinke
  • Doug

    Voted a 6 (down from 7), but just a hunch that we’ll see the lowest average rating of the year and possibly, for the first time since I’ve been here, an average in the 5s.

    Discontent in running rampant.

    • jsbrendog (returns)

      yes, and the comments have been a trainwreck of awfulness. it is becoming unbearable

  • http://twitter.com/Mattpat11 Matt DiBari

    I think the future as a whole is probably going to be fine-ish.

    I’m currently in a very bad place with the 2011 team.

    • The Big City of Dreams

      Yankees have themselves to blame

      • bonestock94

        Really? Everything hinged on Lee and he took less money to go elsewhere.

        • The Big City of Dreams

          That’s the point they were desperate to get Lee at all costs. It’s not his fault that Lee went elsewhere it’s his fault that they had no viable options in house to at least offset the need for Lee. Not saying any internal option is on Lee’s level because clearly they aren’t.

          • pete

            there are like 5 pitchers in baseball who are on Lee’s level. The yankees aren’t “desperate” for him he’s just the only player who was really available to them this offseason who would have made them an utterly dominant, clear-cut WS favorite kind of team.

    • Chris

      Why? They improved the offense slightly, and will likely return an equivalent pitching staff as the team that won 95 games (and a pythag record of 97 wins) and was within 2 wins of the WS despite having their top two pitchers pitching injured during the playoffs.

      • Doug

        why do you think we’re going to have a low average rating….have you been reading the boards?

      • BklynJT

        Lets not count the Pettitte egg before it hatches.

      • Jimmy McNulty

        That pitching staff was in the bottom third of baseball, and now their rival won’t have to count on career years from merely good players…they just have to hope that Pedroia and Youkilis are healthy.

  • theyankeewarrior

    Andy Pettitte.

  • mike

    losing Lee was a huge moral loss my confidence is at a 3.

  • Sheepmeister

    Tough to be too optimistic when the royals sought montero and nunez for greinke but the yanks didn’t think he would fit.

  • http://twitter.com/cephster Ross in Jersey

    7, hard to be confident about anything right now after the way this offseason has gone. It’d be nice if Cashman pulled a rabbit out of his hat sometime this week.

  • Erica

    I voted 8. I still have hope. Blind, blind hope.

  • Cy Pettitte

    Heyman says “KC sought Montero, Nunez from NYY for Greinke, who told KC he’d go. But Yanks weren’t convinced NY was right for kid”

    interesting….with Martin signed I think I would have gone for it if it was just those two

    • Doug

      me too. if it was just those two and nothing else (i find it hard to believe they wouldn’t have wanted one of our top shelf pitchers as well), then cash should have pulled the trigger.

      • Camilo

        I wouldn’t.

        • Doug

          so, essentially you wouldn’t trade montero for greinke straight up?

          • Chris

            I think that decision comes down to how people view Greinke’s SAD. Right or wrong, some people have more concerns than others.

            • AndrewYF

              It also comes down to Greinke having one amazingly outstanding season that he will most likely never, ever come even close to repeating. I would honestly project him to be a worse pitcher than Dan Haren, and at a higher monetary cost.

              Dan Haren would not have cost Montero. Why should Greinke? People are waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyy overrating him. It’s like when Mike et. al. would have traded Cano straight up for Grady Sizemore, Matt Kemp, etc. Many people sometimes blindly choose a player to go gaga over without seeing the bigger picture. I’m guilty of it sometimes as well, but I see it happen all the time. Sometimes, you’re just plain wrong about a player. This, I predict, is also going to be one of those times.

              • Doug

                he was a 5-win player in the 2 years surrounding the Cy year. that’s still very good player and there’s no reason to think (at 27) he can’t have 3-4 more years like that.

                with his defensive shortcomings, we should be thanking our lucky stars if montero has even 1 or 2 years at a 5-win level.

            • Gonzo

              I wasn’t concerned. However, it became a concern when his family was concerned.

              Concerned citizen.

    • Clay Bellinger

      I’d imagine that there must have been someone else involved as well.

      The underlying question is what’s the deal with Nunez? Not only to teams appear to want him, the Yanks seem very reluctant to give him up.

      • Doug

        especially with jeter resigned. maybe they’re really considering making a position switch next year and they see nunez as his heir apparent (which would thrill mike a. to no end).

      • Cy Pettitte

        they seem to be developing a Mitre-like obsession with Nunie, i don’t know why, he seems to be very replaceable

        • Gonzo

          Maybe they see his last couple of years as a trend upward. I have no clue. That’s all I got.

      • AndrewYF

        It’s because he always gets packaged in with Montero. I’m sure the Yankees would happily give him up in a deal that didn’t involve Montero.

        • Clay Bellinger

          I’m sure they would too. They also seem to be willing to give up Montero without Nunez though.

          • A.D.

            There is one example of this, with Lee, and that may have been less Nunez and more they already had a deal in place with Seattle.

            Additionally at that time Jeter wasn’t under contract for 2011

            • Clay Bellinger

              I find it hard to believe that they wouldn’t be willing to deal Montero for Greinke, or any other ace-type pitcher, straight up.

              I also find it hard to believe that Jeter’s contract situation had anything to do with their stance on keeping Nunez out of the Lee trade. Everyone knew that he’d be back and there was no way they’d go into 2011 with Nunez as the starting SS.

    • Jorge

      My gut has always said “no” on Grienke but my gut, although usually only tested on food, is usually right.

  • The Lodge

    2011 is looking a little grim at the moment; but, big picture in mind, the organization does seem to be wholly re-focused on developing the farm (and also not cleaning it to gain short-term impacts). Given this; I call it a long-term win.

    My vote therefore remains unchanged, crappy off-season and all.

  • bonestock94

    6. In two starters it’ll go up.

    • Doug

      even if it’s freddy garcia

      • bonestock94

        No lol

      • bonestock94

        But if its a minor league deal + ST invite fuck it

  • Jorge

    8. It’s been a little stomach-churning but, if Cashman does not like what the market has to offer, why should the team throw money to the wind? Who are they, the Red Sox?

    When the dust settles, the team that will take the field, and the organization that will be in motion, will be one worthy of the title “27-time World Champion New York Yankees.” Count on it.

  • goterpsgo

    I put in a 7. I was an 8 throughout last season, but I don’t see our Boyz running away with it in ’11 with the current squad, and there is no immediate resolution in sight for improving the starting rotation. I suspect it’ll get better come July when SEA and FLA are in the tank. ;)

    I do see a much brighter future after ’11 with more young guys coming up from the Farm and lots of payroll flexibility.

  • http://twitter.com/joero23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

    8. My vote is no fun, because it hardly ever changes, but I was an 8 through the 2010 season and I see no reason to change that vote now. If Spring Training started right now, the Yanks would go into it with basically the same team that won 95 games and went to the ALCS in 2010, minus Wood, Javy etc., plus some assorted pieces, and with the prospects having another year under the belts.

    I know everyone was expecting a big move for a starting pitcher, but this wasn’t like the ’08-’09 offseason when the Yanks absolutely needed to get some pitchers on the roster. They’re thin right now, for sure, but they’re not in an emergency situation. I think people are going a little overboard with the worries.

    Also… Keep in mind, none of these things are happening in a vacuum. Just because you may lose out on a free agent, and the roster may look a certain way on a particular day, doesn’t mean the roster will look that way forever. This isn’t a static system, things are always changing.

    • jsbrendog (returns)

      thank you. i cant handle what this whole thing has devolved into. it has ignited in me a new found hatred of many types of yankee fans. I agree with you and am glad someone else is sane

      • http://twitter.com/joero23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        Yeah… We all know Yankee fans have different expectations than most people, but the sense of entitlement to free agents, and the ensuing panic if/when they’re not acquired, has gotten a bit out of control this offseason.

        • http://twitter.com/joero23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

          PS: You’ll enjoy this Yankeeist post: http://bit.ly/gu86Df

          • jsbrendog (returns)

            And you know what? I for one wouldn’t have a problem with a non-dominant Yankee team in 2011, as that’ll help weed out many of the bandwagon fans who can’t handle the idea that the Yankees don’t have five aces in the rotation. What kind of fan are you if you’re ready to panic at the first sign of duress? The whole point of following and supporting a baseball team is that you experience all of the ups and downs that come with it. Yankee fans really haven’t had to deal with any downs since the early 1990s, which is basically the longest run of sustained success in baseball. Maybe it’s time for the spoiled fanbase to take some lumps, and learn that not even Yankee money can buy everything, and that there are 29 other teams in baseball all competing for the same thing.

            ::swoooooon::

            • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com bexarama

              As much as I would like to weed out the bandwagon fans uh, I can’t say I’d ever want that. What Yankee fan would?

              • jsbrendog (returns)

                The Yankees as presently constructed are still a playoff-caliber team, something that people seem to be losing sight of in the wake of the Lee saga. And if they don’t make the playoffs, so be it. A down year or two will only make the next Championship that much sweeter.

                winning every yr makes me indifferent. you need heartbreak.

                • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com bexarama

                  Well then why don’t we just sacrifice the next ten years so we can have some nice draft picks, then pull a 2008 Rays? Yeah it’ll suck for ten years but that one year in ten will be sooooooo good!

                  I know what you’re saying, and I realize it’s completely unrealistic to win every year and the Yankees, as currently constructed, are still a pretty darn good team. But heartbreak? Fuck that.

                  • jsbrendog (returns)

                    you cant have aaron boone hitting his hr without johnny damon hitting his

                    • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com bexarama

                      I’d prefer it if Mo closes out Game 4 (or 5, though it’s hard to blame that one on Mo) or the offense wakes up in 2004. I’m the last thing from a spoiled, panicky, bandwagon fan, but I think it’s ridiculous to want to lose just to make winning better. 1998-2000 was pretty fucking sweet.

                    • Mike HC

                      Agreed Bexy. If you need to have shitty things happen just so you can appreciate the good times, you might need to re-evaluate some things.

            • Mike HC

              If this guy does not have a problem and does not really care if the Yanks experience a down year of two, how is that “experiencing all of the ups and downs.” Seems like he does not experience the downs at all.

            • Jimmy McNulty

              You guys are idiots.

    • Clay Bellinger

      Agreed. Well said. As long as Pettitte gets back into the fold, we’ll essentially have the same club as last year…a club that fell just two games short of a return to the World Series.

      Another benefit is that, besides the Red Sox, the AL contenders haven’t gotten a whole lot better. In fact, two of the participants have gotten worse (Rangers and Rays).

      • Clay Bellinger

        participants as in last year’s postseason participants.

  • king of fruitless hypotheticals

    9.

    Bouyed by the fantastic arms race we have going in AAA. Montero now won’t be rushed to opening day, but maybe can wait as long as June to avoid super two status. Everyone’s knees and wrists are on the mend.

    Would be a ten, but nobody told me if Tex was taking BP yet…need him to not have such a slow start this time!

    • jsbrendog (returns)

      unfortunately, i dont know if teix will ever not have a slow start. thats one of those ill believe it when i see it things. here’s hoping

  • Camilo

    7.3 with 4 and below taken out of sample. close boys, I was 10

    I know our farm doesn’t have any casey kelly arms, but it is built to last! Nova, Noesi, Chamberlain for the 5th, possibly 4th starter. I am excited

    • Colombo

      As much as we all wish it, Joba is not going to be given a shot at the rotation. That ship has sailed, unfortunately.

      • king of fruitless hypotheticals

        I’m torn. Part of me wants to say ‘uh…that boy ain’t raght.’

        The other part wants to just keep beating that Joba drum again and again and again and…

  • MidlandTX

    When Cashman says the plan is “patience,” to me that means “Wait and see who shakes loose and becomes available through as the season progresses.” I think the mass free-agent exodus of Crawford, Pena, Soriano, and half the bullpen will lead to a little more breathing room in the standings, so there is no reason to try to keep up with the Sox’s spending spree.

    I can’t wait for Spring Training to start so the handwringers have something besides their panic and impatience to obsess over.

  • RL

    I’m at an 8 (up from a 7 a few weeks ago). While I expect the beginning of the ’11 season will give us fits every once in a while, I also expect some moves at or before the trade deadline to fill any holes that are apparent at that time. The payroll flexibility provided by the non-signings this offseason will really help the team longer-term. Just need Pettitte to return. Even a season-openning rotation of CC, Hughes, Pettitte, AJ and Nova should keep them in the hunt as long as AJ rebounds a bit, Nova is close to league-average, Hughes progresses a bit from last season and Pettitte and CC perform to career norms. Certainly this is not out of the question.

    • jsbrendog (returns)

      sergio mitre for cy young!

  • Anthony Murillo

    7.

    If Cashman adds Pettitte and another quality, middle of the rotation starter (damned if I know who that is) then it’ll bump up to a 9. I’m also glad they didn’t trade for Grienke, I wouldn’t trade Montero for him. No way.

  • Rey22

    I voted 6, will be back at 7 as soon as Pettitte makes it official, and 8 if Cashman gets a decent innings eater that can give us an ERA of about 4 (Basically what we expected Javy to do last year.)

  • AndrewYF

    Still at a 9. Might drop down to an 8 if Pettitte doesn’t come back, but if he does, this will be the same team that put up a pythag of 97 wins last year, except that Cervelli’s at bats will be replaced by Martin/Montero, and it will be hard for Burnett and whoever replaces Vazquez to be much worse than they were last year. Plus, the high-ceilinged pitching prospects will be that much closer to the major leagues. Frankly, the team’s future looks better than it did at this time last year.

    I just don’t understand the all-out panic.

    • Bob Stone

      I am at a 9 as well. The team didn’t lose any big pieces from last year. I am hoping Andy comes back and that A.J. rebounds. I am confident that Hughes will continue to mature and improve. The farm system has been getting stronger for several years. Attendance has been excellent.

      Overall, the Yankees look to be a strong, healthy, competitive orgainzation for the present and the future.

      I don’t get all the panic.

  • http://twitter.com/#!/YanktheMike yankthemike

    I had to drop to six taking into account that Pettitte has not returned as of yet and waking up to the news that they could have had Greinke for Montero and Nunez. I think that was a foolish decision based no doubt on the “intangibles” of “playing in New York” winning breeds confidence and there is NO reason to suppose his psyche would crumble if he got booed after a bad start or two. Cashman prospect hugging…and mind you- I’m very much a supporter of his. this team looks to be significantly worse than ther 2010 version unless Andy returns and even if he did, it looks like a team willing to settle for a wild card spot…a theo-esque, a “just get us in” kinda roster…

    • http://twitter.com/#!/YanktheMike yankthemike

      I also forgot about aging SS signed for three more years. AJ and his at best inconsistency, or worse for 3 more years. i worry about possibility of A-Rod declining because of the hip problem.

  • Reggie C.

    6.

    Mitre and Nova are currently in the starting rotation. ‘Nuff said.

    • Jorge

      …and first pitch is set for 1:0-April.

      • Poopy Pants

        So you’re basing your rating on pitchers the Yankees don’t have yet?

        • pete

          I think he’s basing his rating on the fact that Sergio Mitre and Ivan Nova most likely will not be starting concurrently to open the 2011 season. If that happens, ratings will go down.

  • Yank the Frank

    Right now it’s a 6 down from 7 but that’s as low as I think it will go. We can cobble together a rotation from ST castoffs that can keep us close until the July trade deadline then make a bold move for SP. We are the Yankees, we don’t run and hide or re-build, we re-load.

  • Dan

    I think the whole “Zach Greinke is a one year wonder” is just wrong. He has improved in a lot of areas in his game over the past 5 seasons leading up to 2010. Many pitchers have blips on the radar, and how could a pitcher not after the 2009 campaign he had. His career W/L% is not indicative of his talent, his peripherals are. I think we are talking about a guy who could easily put up sub 3.5, 15-19 W seasons in New York. With NOBODY else available, and doors closing fast, I just don’t understand this decision. Anxiety schmangziety. Give the kid his own plastic bubble to sit in after games.

    I do agree that Montero is a great prospect offensively, but how does he fit with this organization? He’s a trade chip because of his suspect defense. So if he’s not a catcher (gets run on at a ridiculous clip), then why is he in this organization?

    So if Martin will be used to shore up Posada and Montero, who both may need to be given a position switch, then we are talking about too many cocks in the hen house at 1B and DH.

    Should just trade Montero while his value is highest, and steal a quality player (Greinke?)

    I wasn’t as clear on trading AJAX, cause I thought he should have been starting in CF last year for NY. Don’t get me wrong, I love grandy, but AJAX was ready to go, young, etc.

    • Jorge

      There are reports that say Montero can handle himself just fine behind the plate. There are some that say he can’t. Those who only choose who listen to the latter are simply picking the news items that fit the argument they are trying to make.

      There was the article, I believe by Mark Feinsand, posted several days ago which said that Montero was the rarest of chips. I agree that, if you give him up, you give him up for comparable product and nothing else. While it’s my opinion, and my opinion only, I didn’t consider Grienke to be that.

      My hope is that we se Jesus Montero in the Yankee lineup for years to come. There are many ways to skin a cat.

      • BklynJT

        100% agreed. Spoken beautifully for someone who pees on his hands.

      • Dan

        Point taken.

        When looking at our team, I just feel like young quality pitching is at more of a premium than a player who may or may not be a backstop. Of course we have some great prospects, a la Man Ban and Betances.

        I mean I’d love another Catcher like Posada mashing for the next 10 years, and Montero could do it… but right now I’m concerned, and none of our superstars are getting any younger. AROD may need that DH spot if Montero can’t go. Maybe we could convert Montero to 3B?

        So the #5 prospect in America shouldn’t be traded for nothing… I agree.

        Maybe if the Mariners are stinking it up at the deadline next year King Felix will be available. Trade Jesus for a King’s ransom. That sounds prophetic.

        and why the heck not take a chance on Webb? If he regains form (I’m thinking Carpenter, here), then we have a potential CY winner as a reclamation. He’s gotta be better than Freddy Garcia.

    • Anthony Murillo

      Montero is in the Yankees organization because he can hit. Period. I think once Jorge Posada retires, Montero becomes the full time DH and just mashes. There’s nothing wrong with that…

      Martin’s the full time catcher, Posada the DH, Cervelli the back up catcher, Montero at Triple A is most likely how the 2011 season will begin. I’m all for that.

      • RL

        There must be a reason the Yankees held onto Montero. Greinke would seem an appropriate return. Adding Nunez to the deal doesn’t seem to be that big a deal. With the mixed reports on his defense (some say he’s acceptable, others don’t), I’m guessing the Yankees believe he can stick at catcher. At least, that’s what I’m hoping this non-trade means ….

    • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com bexarama

      I do agree that Montero is a great prospect offensively, but how does he fit with this organization? He’s a trade chip because of his suspect defense. So if he’s not a catcher (gets run on at a ridiculous clip), then why is he in this organization?

      Even if he can’t catch, as far as we know he can still hit (with the caveat that he might not figure out ML pitching, but sure). He can DH, fake it at catcher, maybe. Even when Tex’s deal runs out he’s still only 27. I’m not like the “MONTERO WILL BE A MIDDLE OF THE ORDER BAT BY MID-MAY!!!!!” people, but even if he’s absolutely hopeless defensively, if he can hit there’s room for him on the team.

  • Reggie C.

    6.

    … but the positive comment of the day:
    The current stable of quality-to-premium pitching prospects should make the trading deadline one of the most exciting baseball days of the year. Guys like Noesi, Warren, and Marshall would make most top 10 prospects lists on most clubs. Continued improvement from them, especially Marshall, will make it easier to stomach the loss of a couple Killa-Bs, if it comes to pass.

  • Granderslam

    Via ESPN:

    “Having finished second, or maybe third, in the Cliff Lee sweepstakes, the Yankees are prepared to go into the 2011 season with a pitching rotation of CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Phil Hughes , with the remaining spots filled out by youngsters, many of whom have never pitched above the Triple-A level.”
    http://sports.espn.go.com/new-.....id=5938789

    I’m sorry…but this is a bit rough. I love that we have talent at the lower levels, but we need at least ONE more proven arm in the rotation. CC, Hughes, AJ, ____, ____. Two rookies going into the season is kind of a scary thought. It could work out great, but then again…it could be a complete and total failure. There has to be someone worth looking into via trade, even for a #4, #5 spot. Carmona? Dempster? Wandy? That’s why I voted 6. We need just a little more assurance going in.

    I have always been the biggest advocate for putting Joba in the ‘pen, but given our current situation, he is our best rotation option and I can’t believe that Yankees won’t even consider it.

    • Mike HC

      Not putting Joba in the starting rotation might hurt me even more than missing out on Lee.

      • The Big City of Dreams

        At this point if you’re the Yankees you have to at least consider him going into the rotation. Do you mean to tell me that they’re going to go with two kids who have never pitched above AAA over Chamberlain.

  • Beamish

    Still an 8.

    It will never be higher until they start dominating during the season, but I have trouble joining in the wailing, rending of clothes and gnashing of teeth over Lee and Grienke.

    I am still shocked at people who seem to think the Yankee rotation is crap without 5 Aces. CC is an Ace, Hughes is not a joke or a flash, Burnett is wonky but he can be excellent. I think Andy will come back and even with Nova as the No. 5 starter I am not panicking (so many other teams don’t even have a Nova as their #3). While pitching wins Championships the Yankees also have an Offense that can hurt any pitcher.

    The franchise is not about the collapse for want of Cliff Lee or Grienke.

  • Mike HC

    8 for me. We are still really good, but there are a number of teams equally as good or slightly better. Still in the group of the top teams, but not a clear favorite over any of them.

  • jsbrendog (returns)

    for everyone panicking i have one thing to say and it comes in two parts:

    aaron small
    shawn chacon

    • Mike HC

      It is better to be lucky than good.

    • Clay Bellinger

      Since were talking 2005 rotation, you could throw a couple more names out there…Karstens, Rasner, haha.

  • Jimmy McNulty

    Five.

    As always, first with the negatives:

    The Yankees’ success in the past decade and a half has been predicated on “getting their guy” except in some rare instances, and the past that they’ve had with Jeter/Rivera/Pettitte/Posada. Not that they can’t grow their own talent, just that a lot of their success has come from being able to “get their guy.” This is a worrisome strategy in two parts: one, you won’t always get your guy; two, in many cases the Yankees have put themselves in there is no back up plan. Once Cliff Lee decided to go to Philly, and the Yankees seemingly left without a even a half way decent back up plan there were a lot of options for pitchers that would not only cost money somewhat soon, but top flight young talent.

    Wisely, the Yankees didn’t bite and they decided to whether the storm and only make a move on terms that are beneficial to them. Of course, the down side to this is that there is a very real chance that Sergio Mitre is the fifth starter. Which leads me bak to my biggest concern of the Yankees’ inability to develop their own pitching. Sure Phil Hughes was solid last year, but he was pretty averageish in his first full season with a huge fly ball weakness. The Joba Chamberlain debacle is proving ever so costly right now. I recall when the cw on Joba was “ALL YOUNG PITCHERS STRUGGLE DON’T TRADE HIM!!!!!” now it’s “Well the Yankees must have seen something we didn’t” and that’s an extremely depressing turn of events. Now the team needs another starter, unless he is, pardon my oversimplification, the next Mariano Rivera; then the Yankees would be much better off riding him out as a starter and hoping for the best. The Yankees have gone through several pitching prospects with various ceilings but all were expected to be at least major leaguers if they could stay healthy: Alan Horne, Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain, Ian Kennedy, Chris Garcia, David McCutchen, and many others. Sure quite a few pitching prospects in general don’t work out, but it’s hard to imagine a time where it’s bitten harder than it has now.

    This year, the Yankees did not get their guy. He bolted for Philly, and while I admire Brian Cashman for sticking to his guns. The 2011 team is in some pretty sorry shape. The Red Sox acquired a top three first basemen, and the best outfielder on the market. A lot of people made a fuss over the fact that The Red Sox gave up an adequate package, but I strongly disagree. Sure they’re on the hook for 300M+, but they’ve been lucky to avoid long term contracts to players on the wrong side of 30.

    The team, as it is currently constructed, has lots of question marks. The rotation is quite awful, and I know a lot of Yankee fans remember the mid decade teams that featured even shittier pitching staffs yet somehow made it into October, and think “Wow! At least this staff is better than those!” Well, this pitching staff is better than the 2004-2008 pitching staff; however the offense is quite a bit worse. Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, and Jorge Posada are no longer in their primes. A lot is made of the Yankee offense’s ability to score runs on any pitcher (except Cliff Lee, apparently) but the Yankee offense is also in a position to count on rebounds and extended production from a 36 year old middle infielder, a 35 year old former steroid using third basemen with a bad hip, a centerfielder who always had the ever so exposed Achilles Heel of left handed pitching, and a left fielder who even the most optimistic of supporters said “if every thing goes right he’ll be a Juan Pierre that walks” when he was in the minor leagues.

    Positives (this is a big one too):

    Brian Cashman didn’t panic and make a trade where he’d have to overpay for a pitcher lesser than Cliff Lee. He stuck to his guns, and kept all of his top flight young talent. Sure he overpaid for a LOOGY, but if that’s all he overpaid for I’ll be just fine. It looks like he’s finally realizing the benefits of picking up wins on the margins with the likes of Russel Martin; and I hope he continues this by bringing back Jerry Hairston Jr. and bringing in Scott Hairston. I’m disappointed that he whiffed on Jenks (and please don’t give me the “IF PAPELBON GOES DOWN!!!” crap. If Papelbon goes down they’ll give Bard the job) he hasn’t gone for the costly moves and it looks like he’ll bide his time well into the 2011 season before he does something . It sucks, but I really think that he’s making the right moves going forward.