Requiem For An Offseason

The Big Three, revisited
Yanks still looking at pitching options?

As soon as the ink was dried on Freddy Garcia’s minor league contract, it effectively signaled the end of the Yankees’ offseason. Oh sure, there might be a Justin Maxwell mixed in between now and the start of Spring Training, but for the most part all the major business is finished. Garcia steps in as the front-runner for the fifth starter’s job, the bench has been solidified, and the bullpen has been upgraded considerably. Yet despite all of that, it’s hard to consider this offseason a success for the Yankees.

Yep. (AP Photo)

It was clear coming into the winter that starting pitching was priority number one, two, and three, and it was certainly no secret that the Yankees wanted Cliff Lee to solve their rotation woes. They made a valiant effort to sign him, but it was a major, major blow when Lee shocked the world by returning to Philadelphia. The alternatives on the free agent market were not appealing, and they were made even worse when Hiroki Kuroda and Jake Westbrook quickly re-signed with the Dodgers and Cardinals, respectively. Unless Brian Cashman & Co. were willing to part with top prospects for a band-aid or roll the dice with Zack Greinke, there was little help on the trade market. Their hands were tied but let’s be frank, it’s their own fault for being in a position where they were so desperate for Lee in the first place.

Once Lee was off the board, the Yankees finally sprung into action. They signed Russell Martin less than a week later, shoring up the defense behind the plate and giving Jesus Montero that much more time in Triple-A should he need it. There are very few complaints about spending $4M on a starting catcher on the right side of 30 and just two years removed from his last All-Star Game berth, but there are some complaints to be made about spending that much on a lefty specialist. That’s the annual salary the Yankees awarded Pedro Feliciano over the next two seasons in the middle of December.

Don’t get me wrong, Feliciano’s a fine reliever, a workhorse guy that could legitimately appear in 90 games if needed, but he’s still nothing more than a lefty specialist. With Damaso Marte – another lefty reliever slated to earn $4M in 2011 – expected to be on the shelf basically all season because of shoulder surgery, the Yankees felt the need to get a guy like Feliciano. The market for relievers went bonkers this year, so unfortunately two years and $8M guaranteed is the going rate for guys like Feliciano these days. If any team can afford it, it’s the Yankees.

That wasn’t the end of the bullpen spending though. Ownership jumped in after the calendar turned to 2011 and signed Rafael Soriano to serve as Mariano Rivera‘s primary setup man against Cashman’s recommendation. The damage: three years, $35M, and the team’s first round pick in a loaded draft class. Although Soriano is an obvious upgrade, the team assumed all the risk by giving the player the option of opting out of the deal after the first or second year, a contract so absurdly stupid that’s it’s still kind of hard to believe. For a total of $16M or so, Feliciano and Soriano represent maybe a two-win upgrade for the 2011 Yankees, and that’s if everything breaks right. More than likely it’ll be one win, maybe a win-and-a-half. Every little bit counts, but there are other the ways the team could have improved that much while using fewer resources.

(AP Photo/Jim Mone)

The rest of the moves were marginal upgrades at best. Andruw Jones is a damn fine fourth outfielder, and the various waiver claims (Maxwell and Brian Schlitter), Rule 5 Draft picks (Robert Fish and Daniel Turpen), and minor league signings (Luis Vizcaino, Warner Madrigal, Mark Prior, Andy Sisco, etc.) are fine for building depth. The Yankees still did nothing to upgrade their rotation however, still trying to rebound from Lee’s rejection.

Resigned to shopping off the clearance rack, the Yanks signed Bartolo Colon to a minor league deal in the middle of January even though it’s been five full years since he threw even 100 innings in a season or posted an xFIP below four-and-a-half. It’s a minor league deal though, no risk. A few weeks later they added Freddy Garcia, who at least made it to the mound for 150 innings last year and was above replacement level. That he is now the front-runner for the fifth starter’s job is an indictment of the offseason and current rotation.

Of course, the wild card in all of this is Andy Pettitte. He told the Yankees not to wait around for him at the outset of the offseason and he’s stuck to his word, having yet to formally announced his retirement or return as far as we know. Cashman says the team has been operating as if Andy won’t be coming back but I think we all know they’re holding out hope that he will. Either way, he’s still a 38-year old that battled elbow, groin, back, and hamstring issues last season. If you’re counting on him to save the rotation, something is very wrong.

If I had to grade the offseason right now, I’d probably give it a D. Maybe a C-, but just maybe. The Martin and Jones signings were sound, but the Soriano contract is absurd and I can’t get too exciting about Feliciano. He’s just a LOOGY. The Yankees haven’t addressed their rotation, basically at all, though I’m glad they didn’t do anything stupid and reactionary like trade Jesus Montero for Edwin Jackson or Carlos Zambrano, that would have been a disaster. Cashman gets credit for a patience, ownership not so much, but the bottom line is that the team as it stands is weaker than last year’s because of the starting staff.

Grade the offseason.
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The Big Three, revisited
Yanks still looking at pitching options?
  • Griffey’s Grotesquely Swollen Jaw

    D simply for the Martin/Jones signings

    very poor offseason for the yankees. put all the eggs in one Cliff Lee sized basket and it backfired. and I get the impression that they were always holding out hope for Andy and not operating like he was retiring as they were saying.

    • Slugger27

      Huh? I got the opposite impression… nothing that they’ve said or done implies they weren’t operating as if andy wasn’t comin back. They only really mention him when they’re asked about him, and they’ve signed colon, garcia, and are talking to millwood

    • Sayid J.

      I thought the Jones and Martin signings were two very solid, if not better, moves. I can’t really blame them for going all in on Lee. Nobody saw the Phillies coming. NOBODY. If it weren’t for that surprise move, the Yankees would have had him.

      • first name only male (formerly Mike R. – Retire 21)

        I think he meant that the offseason would have been an F if not for the Martin & Jones signings.

        • Griffey’s Grotesquely Swollen Jaw

          right. should have clarified that.

      • Poopy Pants

        They did go all in on Lee. They were fully willing to screw the team’s flexibility for years in a panic move. Lucky for them, he chose another team.

    • Ted Nelson

      What else did you want them to do after Lee didn’t sign, though?

      • The Big City of Dreams

        Have an actual back up plan? lol :D

        • JAG

          Like what, though? There was just no one available. Lee was the only free agent option even close to that level, and all the higher up ones signed quickly elsewhere (Kuroda, Lilly) or simply weren’t worth overpaying to the extent necessary (Pavano). Nobody was really available by trade either, so even planning on going after Werth/Crawford and trading out of OF depth wouldn’t have worked unless Greinke could have been had for the likes of Gardner and pitching prospects.

          I’m not really happy that the team couldn’t upgrade, but I can’t really fault them b/c they did what made sense and they didn’t really have other options. I would have liked seeing Francis sign, but I’m not really going to grade them down for not doing that.

          • Ted Nelson

            Exactly. There’s no point in grading against the magical perfect off-season where you sign 5 All-Stars. After 2008 people think that’s the only way to have a good off-season. I’d rather grade based on the actual circumstances: what the team needed, its budget, who was available, factors the team actually has control over, the deals they did make, etc.

            I am also not as pessimistic about the rotation as almost everyone else.

            • radnom

              I’d rather grade based on the actual circumstances: what the team needed, its budget, who was available, factors the team actually has control over, the deals they did make, etc.

              Biggest need – starting pitcher.

              Who was available – Cliff Lee.

              If you want to say oh, they never had any chance it was out of their control I think thats being a presumptuous.

  • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

    “Their hands were tied but let’s be frank, it’s their own fault for being in a position where they were so desperate for Lee in the first place.”

    What were they supposed to be doing before Lee signed with Philadelphia?

    • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      PS: I think I grade the offseason a C, mostly based on the Joba nonsense. I think the chips fell this offseason and this is the cards the Yanks were dealt, I’m not sure what else they really could have done. Then again, this is coming from a guy who was very hesitant about the pursuit of Lee and was ok with the Yanks pursuing Pettitte (which still might happen, fingers-crossed) and having a low-profile offseason, considering the lack of appealing options on the market.

      • Moose Corner

        The seeds for this poor off-season were sown in the poor drafts/development of 2000-2005. The only counter to not getting Cliff Lee is to have enough options in house that you don’t have to put all your eggs in one basket. It seems to take 4-7 years to draft and develop a fully contributing starting pitcher so we are still in the window of making up for the lack of homegrown quality starters. The good news is that this period is coming to an end and for the forseeable future, the Yankees would appear to have multiple in-house options available as backup coming up each year. I’d like to think this is one of the main points Cashman made to management when he asked for full control in 2005. Not sure he understood then that the trend of teams locking in their young talented pitchers would mean that the free-agent market was not going to a reliable takent acquisition path, but it is certainly true today. A GM with many good options always looks lilke a “better” GM.

        • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

          “The seeds for this poor off-season were sown in the poor drafts/development of 2000-2005.”

          I agree this is really the knock – that, years ago, the Yanks didn’t properly acquire and develop prospects so that they would have more internal depth. I just find it hard to knock this offseason because of the failures of a decade ago.

    • toad


      The post seems to be saying they should have done something about the pitching, but then sort of admits that there was nothing good to do.

      • Jimmy McNulty

        They need to do something about the pitching, there wasn’t very many good options. However, the team put themselves in the situation of “sign Cliff Lee or bust.” That’s quite the shitty situation to be in.

    • Danimal

      Traded for Lee at the deadline?

      • JAG

        B/c then they’d be out Lee and Montero+? And that’s better how?

    • Slugger27

      I think it was alluding to the lack of impact pitching they’ve developed over the years. Outside of hughes and cmw, its been pretty bad. They traded IPK, mishandled joba, missed on igawa, etc.

      I could be way off, but I got the sense mike was talking more about how they’ve built their pitching in the past half decade or so, leaving them rather dependent on free agency… rather than this offseason specifically

      • toad

        That makes more sense.

    • Jimmy McNulty

      They were supposed to have actual back up plans to having to sign another 100M+ dollar pitcher, like I don’t know…have actual depth in the rotation, as opposed to CC, Hughes, and then shit? They mishandled Joba, failed to find a suitable trade candidate for a good starter, and wound up with Prior, Garica, and Colon as the injured guys when there was a large group of injured starters who were actually good within the past five years, as opposed to the three pieces of shit that they signed. All and all two less than impressive offseasons for the Yankees in a row. The common wisdom is that Cashman can acquire a starter at the deadline, I disagree, a few of the buy low guys out there might rebound and a few of the teams that suck on paper (like the Dodgers) may end up with a chance to compete. Or even worse, a few of their “depth back end starters” in the minors Nova, Phelps, Noesi, and Warren may end up having a bad year and go Z-Mac on them.

      • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        I think you can knock them for not properly acquiring and developing pitchers earlier in the decade, but I find it hard to knock their performance this offseason for that reason.

        It’s also your prerogative to knock them for not coming up with some other solution, but without knowing if any other such solution was even possible, I also find it hard to knock them for that.

        Look… I gave them a C, I’m not saying the offseason was a great success by any stretch of the imagination. I just don’t know what people expected them to be doing, especially before Lee chose Philadelphia. They chose to go after Lee and while that pursuit was ongoing their hands were kinda tied (and even the other options available during that time weren’t so appealing).

        I think, for lack of a better term, that this offseason just was what it was. There weren’t many great options out there for the Yanks, and the chips didn’t fall into place in an ideal way. It happens.

  • beantownbosoxh8er

    I give it a B ,just because there was no “knee jerk” reactions , and we still have all the pieces for when something better comes along or the pieces themselves become ready to contribute.

    • Mike Pop

      The Soriano deal was pretty much a knee jerk.

  • Steve H

    I give it a B. Once Lee was out, there was only so much that could reasonably be done, and as you said, Montero wasn’t traded for a #4 starter. I would have liked to have known more about their interest in Greinke and what they offered, but no one else available was great enough to make a big push for. Martin and Jones are solid guys who have a place on this team. The bullpen arms are obviously expensive, but if they can get to October, we won’t care as much what Soriano and Feliciano are making (provided healthy…) with a dominating bullpen and a shortened rotation, that will likely be upgraded by the time August rolls around.

  • AndrewYF

    The Martin/Jones signings and the not panicking and trading the entire farm system for Zach Greinke gives the offseason a C for me, which means the Yankees at best treaded water.

  • Rey22

    It was a C due to the lack of improvement, but the Soriano mess took me down to a D. Just a poor offseason overall.

    Granted, that said, I still think we have a really good chance this year with a summer move or two.

    • Steve H

      I think they have improved in many places, just on the edges, not necessarily big names. They are a lot deeper, they’re bullpen (even if expensive) will be great. As far as the rotation goes, they definitely need someone improvements, but, they won 95 games last year despite getting 71 combined starts out of AJ, Vazquez, Moseley and Mitre. AJ is bound to improve, and the guys taking the other starts can’t be much worse than those other guys.

      • Rey22

        Right, sorry. Meant more along the lines of considerate improvement, like the rotation (biggest area of need). I think the Jones and Martin signings were solid, but my train of thought is that those won’t be factors that will make or break the season, unlike a solid starter in the rotation (Granted, I agree, there really isn’t much out there.)

        Like I said, if I had to rate the offseason, I wouldn’t call it much of a success in terms of significant improvement, but I still have confidence in our chances this year going forward, and I’m happy we didn’t do any crazy moves for the sake of making one.

        • Steve H

          Definitely agree with you.

    • Frank

      How does getting Soriano take you from a C to a D? Yes, they over paid for him, but he certainly makes the BP much stronger and shortens the game. In my view that’s a good thing.

      • Rey22

        True, but you can’t look at it strictly that way. If we can disregard the contacts we give players for improvements, we could have signed several more players and the team would undoubtedly improve. You sign Scott Downs and Soriano and your bullpen is deeper and much better. Who wouldn’t want Vladimir as a RH bat off the bench? I’m sure Orlando Hudson would be a better utility player off the bench, over Ramiro and Eduardo. It’s the overall cost relative to the improvement that bothers me.

        • Ted Nelson

          But the Soriano signing didn’t start a trend of overspending on everyone. It was an isolated incident for an elite player. In fact, I would say that overall the Yankees got good value this offseason: a starting C for $4 mill, the best fit at 4th OF for $2 mill, and guy who would have tied for the 3rd best WAR in their rotation last season on a minor league deal… Feliciano and Soriano were expensive, but the money they’ve paid Mo and their insistence on leaving Joba in the pen signals to me they place a higher value on the bullpen than some others do.

          A closer is also not comparable to a pinch hitter or utility IF. Especially on a team that intends to be in the playoffs. I would argue that the bullpen becomes that much more important in the playoffs.

  • jay destro

    a Solid C, not much else to really brag about. Once the Lee thing happened it took away the A grade by default.

  • Andrew

    I can’t grade the offseason as negatively as this post because the team didn’t lose major parts of what was a very strong team in 2010. Yes Pettitte has not announced anything one way or another but I think he ultimately comes back. Even without Pettitte, the roster improved in a few key places and hedged against issues that could pop up and hamper the team. Posada is no longer depended on to take a beating behind the plate, and even if he can’t stay healthy as a DH or his production slips badly, the team still has Jones who could plug in as DH as well as Montero waiting in the wings without the added pressure of being penciled into the lineup from day one. And the bullpen is as deep as it’s ever been.

    The rotation is obviously a concern, but it was said all throughout the 2010 season and during the early offseason that there is a huge drop in quality of available starters behind Lee. I find it a bit too hindsight-y to now say the Yankees blew it by not being prepared to lose out on Lee, when it was discussed ad nauseam prior to his signing that there was nobody else out there that really jumped out as a good target. Missing on him is a huge downer but the alternatives were not exactly abundant, as I think they would have been asked to pay an exorbitant price for Greinke, as well as for a starter like Marcum even.

    I go C+ because they improved defensively and added alot of depth, just no impact big namers. The lineup, bullpen and front of the rotation is good enough to be towards the top of the standings early in the year, and then hopefully either an internal pitcher emerges that can help, or a trade crops up that brings a front line type arm to the Bronx. To me this is a slightly positive offseason that was one starter away from being extremely positive.

  • Ross in Jersey

    I’m going to go with a B. I think the fans should take partial blame for how negatively the offseason is being viewed. We all saw Cliff Lee dominate, we all (myself especially) repeatedly joked about just handing Cliff a blank check as he once again dominated in the playoffs. But was he really a necessity? Are we doomed to lose 85+ games because Lee went to Philly? Nah.

    I think we as fans have almost taken for granted how much talent is on the Yankees. They have one of the best, if not the best, outfields in baseball (both offensively and defensively) and the talent on the infield speaks for itself. Does anyone even remember that CC is on the team? And that he’s like, a total beast?

    Yeah, another starter would be nice, but the team as constructed is more than solid, and the offseason filled in the holes well.

    I would have liked the Yankees to make a trade for a starter, because the value of the farm system is at an all-time high and may naturally take a step back in 2011. But on the other hand, there was the impression the Yankees would be trading out of desperation and might have hurt the ability to get a fair deal done. So while I knock the grade down a bit, I think a B is fair.

    To sum it up, the Yankees did what they could. The team, as constructed, is very strong. With a mid-season trade they can jump right to being a World Series favorite.

  • David

    I’s give a B.

    Bullpen – significantly better.
    Defense – significantly better.
    Depth – better.
    Offense – should be better not much for what was done in the offseason, but through bounceback seasons.
    Starting pitching – need Andy to come back, no question about that. You can question that they didn’t do something major to improve it, but maybe nothing was there that could have been done via a reasonable deal.
    Farm system – stayed intact. Didn’t panic and gut it in exchange for what wouldn’t have been a real improvement.

    • SamVa


      Level headed response..

      Well done sir

    • Jess

      Agreed. A lot better than the whiny writer here.

    • Jimmy McNulty

      Bullpen – Significantly better, but they spent 35 million dollars and a draft pick on a guy that will give them 230 innings during his tenure, at most. I’d say that’s like trading Montero, Banuelos, and Sanchez for Greinke…sure the rotation would be better, but at what cost?

      Defense – The Jones and Martin signs are the saving graces of the offseason.

      Offense – Posada, Jeter, and A-Rod are all older and still injury prone playing positions they have no business playing at this age (except Posada). Gardner probably won’t have that .320/.400/.420 first few months again, and Cano will likely have a worse season (to be fair he can still be the best 2nd basemen in baseball and have a worse season than his 2010).

      Starting pitching – Well there wasn’t very many reasonable options available, but it’s still pretty bad over all. There’s plenty of bad teams that should look to cut salary that have expensive-ish players on the roster, and may be looking to deal. Cashman’s talents are finding solutions when seemingly none exist. 2008-2009 offseason was a work of art, lately the team’s been whiffing at pitches in the dirt.

      Farm – Yeah, I’m glad it’s intact too…but the fact that they didn’t do anything stupid isn’t grounds for a good grade.

  • Frank

    Overall, a C for me. While it would have been nice to get Lee, I wasn’t in favor of the 6-7 year offer they reportedly had on the table. My only preference would have been signing Millwood over Colon. I have no problem with this being a transition year, if in fact that turns out to be the case. I’m anxious to see how this crop of young pitchers pan out.

    • Ted Nelson

      Colon’s on a minor league deal, though, so it’s not really Colon over Millwood. They could/can still sign Millwood, and the risk of the two deals wouldn’t necessarily be comparable so it’s not really apples to apples. Since Millwood is a Boras client, I’m going to guess it’s his own choice/fault that he’s not signed.

  • Beantown Bombers Fan

    A solid B. Resigned Jeter & Mo. The money/ years for Jeter were debatable, but he’s back. Mo sticks around for 2 more years. Cashman built a fantastic bullpen with Soriano & Feliciano. Again, the contracts are not great for the team, but it puts them in a better position to win THIS YEAR. I think the Martin and Jones deals were great, for low money & risk. Martin isn’t that expensive when you look at what other catchers got this off season and has the potential to be a steal if (big IF) he reverts back to his earlier form. Jones is a great 4th OFer, a good bat off the bench and could be servicable in the field if necessary, unlike Thames.
    I agree with the posters above that once Lee went to Philly, there wasn’t much that was gonna make this grade an A. Rather then make a panic move, Cash & Co. decided to throw Colon, Garcia, et al to the wall and see what happens. This team is still going to the playoffs as is, and they will make the necessary adjustments during the season. It’s not all doom and gloom, but we Yankees fans are spoiled by a near yearly blockbuster signing. It didn’t happen this year, but I am glad they didn’t rush into a panic move ala the 1980’s.

  • Jorge

    “C+” – The team gains points on not overreacting following the non-signing of Lee, plus what is honestly the best way I think of trying to field a rotation until greener pastures emerge, but loses points for not being able to handle some extra money in their pocket and throwing it places it didn’t need to be thrown (not that Soriano is going to handcuff the team for years).

  • Brandon W

    but the Soriano contract is absurd creative and innovative. It was a tremendous effort by management to get a deal done.


    I give the offseason a D. I hate the Soriano contract and the Joba nonsense, but the real killer is the state of the rotation. Unless one of the scrap heap pitchers ends up being decent or Andy comes back, pitching is going to be a little scary.

    • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      What? Am I missing something? I didn’t get the impression the MSM called the Soriano contract “creative and innovative” and a “tremendous effort by management to get a deal done.”

      • Slugger27

        heyman called it creative when he was first reporting it on twitter. At least the opt out part of it. As for “innovative” or the rest of his comment, yeah, I don’t remember that either

        • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

          Yeah but it was more like “the Yanks are getting creative in their negotiations with Soriano,” right? I think that’s different than what Brandon W implied. It’s not like the MSM reaction was: “Creative! Innovative! Huzzah!” I got the impression that was the joke he was making, and I just don’t think it’s true. The MSM story on that contract was that the Yanks overpaid and that it exposed a rift in the Yankees’ front office, the Yanks certainly weren’t lauded for their creativity and savvy.

          • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

            Not to mention, we’re going to paint the whole MSM as having a certain opinion because Jon Heyman tweeted something about a negotiation between a free agent and a player?

            Whatever, clearly not a big deal. Just thought it was a weird joke.

            • Brandon W

              Sorry, maybe I was thinking of a different contract, or my memory of it was blown out of proportion. I thought I remembered a couple of recent player-friendly contracts being described that way, though maybe it was more in a joking manner and I took it out of context. My bad.

              • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                No worries… Not worthy of a long discussion, I know it was just a joke. My bad, too.

            • Slugger27

              Ya, the reaction from MSM and most everyone else didn’t paint a rosy picture towards the yanks hierarchy. Agreed on all fronts

  • RKO36

    I’d say C+. It wasn’t really good, it wasn’t bad.

    On one hand Cash added Andruw Jones, Russel Martin, Feliciano, and Soriano. All of them could help the team.

    Andruw Jones came at a real cheap price and will likely serve in a backup/platoon role DH role (maybe with some days in the corner outfield, which at this point in his career is all he can really do. He can hit some homeruns. You usually don’t have bench/platoon guys doing that.

    Russel Martin has the potential to have a nice year if he can stay healthy. With him in the starting role there is no reason to rush up Montero. You shouldn’t expect John Bench, but at least he’s not going to hurt the team. Even if he doesn’t play as well as he has in the past he’ll still be better than Cervelli.

    As for Feliciano it’s always nice to have a quality lefty specialist. It comes at a high price of $4 million a year, but you could do worse.

    Like the Soriano deal. He’s a real quality reliever, but not at this pricetag. He’ll definitely solidify the set-up role, but Joba/Robertson wasn’t exactly bad. I think re-signing Kerry Wood would have been the better option. You don’t have to give up a draft pick and don’t have to spend nearly as much. What’s done is done and he’ll help the team.

    The real problem is that Cashman did nothing to improve the rotation. Most thought Lee would end up on the Yankees, but you still need to have a plan B if he goes elsewhere. And plan B shouldn’t be Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia. They’re on minor league deals, but I’d wager they end up in the rotation at some point. I understand there wasn’t much on the market, but you can do better than that. You have to get creative. I suppose you can’t do worse than Vazquez, but nothing was really improved.

    Again, there wasn’t much on the free agency market once Lee was gone, but Freddy Garcia and Bartolo Colon doesn’t help anything. Given who was available the off-season gets a C+. Not good and not bad.

    • Bulasteve

      Kerry Wood wanted to play for the Cubs and took less money to go there. He was not a realistic option.

  • Greg

    If Andy returns, I give the offseason a B. If he doesn’t, it’s a D. Pettitte holds the key to whether this was a solid offseason with some nice improvements in several areas without downgrading anywhere or giving anything up, or an abject disaster that results in an incredibly short rotation.

  • Slugger27

    I wonder if feliciano is getting underrated. Last year, the mets had him face more righties than lefties. Given girardis tendencies, we know that wont happen again. Assuming he’s used mostly against lefties, I think its reasonable to expect better than his 3.75 career FIP

    • Griffey’s Grotesquely Swollen Jaw

      I wouldn’t say that he’s underrated. he is what he is and he’s just a LOOGY that’s being paid very well. even if he doesn’t face righties, then he’s still being overvalued/overpaid for the work that he’s doing against lefties. $8 mil for a guy who only face a small percentage of batters. it’s a suspect deal

  • The Big City of Dreams

    “Their hands were tied but let’s be frank, it’s their own fault for being in a position where they were so desperate for Lee in the first place.”

    There is definitely some truth to that.

  • Virginia Yank

    I rated it a “C”, as they did just adequately considering the circumstances. The market didn’t offer much in line with their needs, but what it did in terms of starting pitching, they were too slow to move (waiting for Lee). Out of context of the market, I’d probably grade them a D this year.

  • bonestock94

    D. We ate shit on Lee and at this point are signing crap over the hill pitchers for our #4 and #5 slots. Not that there are better options. They gave up a 1st round pick and overpaid for Soriano. They overpaid for Jeter, but that was inevitable. I like the Martin and Jones signings. I’m ok with Feliciano, though I tend to lean towards overpay.

    Basically, if Lee doesn’t turn down millions to play in Philly this is an A.

  • Big Apple

    I’m going out on a limb and giving it an A and here is why…

    1. The two biggest names that the Yanks haven’t landed are/were completely out of the teams control. Lee was NEVER going to sign and Pettite’s decision to retire is his own. Not signing Lee is a relief because the back end of that contract will probably be a disaster.

    2. Jeter and Mo were both brought back with decent deals. I think the Jeter negotiatons got nasty b/c the press wouldn’t leave it alone. But I was surprised at that deal. I was sure it would be for mor $$ and for a longer term. And Mo was worth it as well.

    3. Soriano improves the team. Its a steep price, but it ain’t my goddamned money so who cares. And it may boil down to a one year deal with draft picks coming back. And if it does work out for a longer deal then Mo’s replacement may already be on the team.

    4. The jones/martin/feliciano/maxwell deals all improve the team.

    5. No prospects given up/no knee jerk reactions. The farm system is well stocked and the top players are not being rushed.

    6. Other teams spent a lot – with the Sox deal for crawford and the proposed extension for Agonz, its going to be pretty difficult for them to complain about salaries…same with other off season deals.

    With each passing day, the chances for Pettite’s return increase. If he hasn’t said no by now, I think he’ll be back. And if he returns, things get a lot better very quickly.

    I’ve been shocked at the negative reactions this off season. So many complaints but no proposed solutions…

    • Frank

      Well thought out response. Agree with you 100%.

    • Ted Nelson

      I think that’s a good perspective on things.

      • Bulasteve

        I too agree.

  • Tank the Frank

    I think not trading for Greinke was the biggest blunder of the offseason. If Lee wants to play somewhere else, there’s not much that can be done to stop him. But it seems like the Yankees didn’t even consider Greinke to be an option because of his SAD. When did Greinke take time off baseball to deal with SAD? 2006? 2007? Either way, he’s at least three seasons removed from that period and has won a CY YOUNG AWARD since dealing with – and most probably – overcomimg his issues.

    Simply put, the Yankees didn’t try and trade for an elite pitcher in the American League because they had doubts about whether he could pitch in New York. Not because of an injury history, declining velocity, age, control issues, etc. The “Player X can’t handle the pressure in New York” narrative is fine for the fans and the media, but when the front office begins to align itself with that thinking, that worries me.

    • Big Apple

      Never underestimate the risk of signing a guy because “he may not be able to pitch in NY.” History is littered with guys that couldn’t play in the Bronx…no need to go against that.


      Ed Whitson

      • whozat

        If history is littered with these people, why is Ed Whitson the name I hear every time?

        • Big Apple

          probably because its one of the more entertaining episodes…

        • Mike Axisa

          Whitson wasn’t even that good before he got to NY.

          Four years before NY: 99 ERA+, mostly in the NL

          Time in NY: 75 ERA+

          After NY: 100 ERA+, all in the NL.

          • Big Apple

            Whitson was just another guy who the yanks signed after one promising year. That list is also long…

        • Slugger27

          i hear kenny rogers a lot

      • Ted Nelson

        Is this a serious or sarcastic remark?

        I can’t think of hardly any examples. Mostly guys who got hurt (and/or old) and people blamed their health on NY. I mean guys have poor seasons in Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, San Diego, etc. and no one says there’s a phenomenon by which players can’t play well in those cities…

        • Big Apple

          probably both…there are a lot of guys that the yanks have signed, both players and pitchers, that don’t meet expectations and leave NY as disappointments. perhaps its more fan perception than anything else. The allure of the free agent and the big deal most likely raise expectations which are most likely unattainable.

          • Ted Nelson

            “there are a lot of guys that the yanks have signed, both players and pitchers, that don’t meet expectations and leave NY as disappointments.”

            But again, we can say the same thing about any team.

            “perhaps its more fan perception than anything else.”


            “The allure of the free agent and the big deal most likely raise expectations which are most likely unattainable.”

            This is probably a big part of it. When the Yankees sign someone for a zillion dollars and he flops… people notice more than when Cleveland gives someone a million dollars and he flops. I mean Kerry Wood is a reverse example who stunk for 1.5 seasons in Cleveland and absolutely killed for the Yanks.

            • Big Apple

              I think this was Javy’s problem last year. I thought then..and still do today, that it was a great idea to bring him back as a FOURTH STARTER. It was a one year deal and he had pitched nearly 200 innings for 10 years. Even with an ERA of 4.5 the yanks could still win most of the games he pitched. He could eat innings at the end of that rotation, save the pen and take some pressure off Hughes and Joba.

              But all fans could remember was his bad performance in the 2004 playoffs and how he isn’t an ace. The media was all over it from day one and I’m sure this didn’t help Javy.

    • It’sATarp

      I said this too when the trade was made. That mentality by the yankees office pissed me off more than losing out on Lee. And i’m willing to bet money that Grienke in the next 5 years will provide more value than Lee or most the prospects we might have to give up.

      • Big Apple

        I wonder if Vasquez’s performance last year made them more cautious with a guy like Grienke.

        • It’sATarp

          that would be completely stupid…Javy didn’t suffer from a mental problem he just didn’t have the arm and ability. Grienke isn’t a mid 30’s pitcher throwing 88…he’s a cy young winner in his prime with the nastiest slider in the game.

          • Big Apple

            One of Javy’s biggest issues is that Girardi didn’t like him. While he lost velocity, he didn’t have a vote of confidence from his manager and i’m sure that caused some mental issues.

          • Big Apple

            perhaps they asked for too much.

        • Ted Nelson

          The Yankees wouldn’t have considered bringing Pavano back if they bought into this fallacy, would they have?

          KC was reportedly asking for Montero AND Banuelos for Soria… can you imagine what they were asking for to get Greinke. They just blew it and took a package from one of the worst systems in baseball with a SS whose not much better than Eduardo Nunez as the headliner, along with a guy who is one strike away from being banned for life. That’s why KC hasn’t been a winner since… I don’t know… 1985 and why I’m very skeptical about their top farm system leading to much ML success for them.

          • Big Apple

            but maybe they felt that Pavano’s issues were more physical than mental. its hard to assess his pitching ability during his NY contract b/c he was hurt 95% of the time.

            Grienke gets a lot of hype…the dude has had one great season and two ok seasons…and a few crap seasons. AND, he has documented psycological issues. They aleady have AJ as the token head case…no need to add another to that rotation.

            • Tank the Frank

              Those “crap” seasons were his first two seasons in the big leagues at age 20 and 21 where he posted a FIP of 4.70 and 4.49. In those “ok” seasons, sandwiched around a phenominal season, he posted a FIP of 3.74, 3.56, and 3.34.

              He’s 27-years-old. I think he’s completely underrated.

              • Big Apple

                who knows…he’s got talent, that’s for sure. but for some reason the yanks balked. perhaps it was the anxiety, the royals asking for too much…we may never know…

            • Ted Nelson

              I don’t see any value in jumping to all these conclusions with no evidence.

              Javy’s loss in velocity is more likely to be physical than mental. This is a guy who did fine in the Chicago market. It’s pure speculation to say it’s mental.

              Greinke is a good pitcher and there’s no reason to make him out to be a head case. He has an issue, and he’s dealt with it just fine to date from a baseball perspective.

              AJ is not a head case, he’s just a somewhat inconsistent pitcher (very inconsistent in 2010, but consistently solid for 6 seasons before that) with some tattoos.

    • Ted Nelson

      “Simply put, the Yankees didn’t try and trade for an elite pitcher in the American League because they had doubts about whether he could pitch in New York.”

      Or because this was the same team asking for Monetero AND Banuelos for Soria. Montero AND Banuelos for a reliever. Imagine what they were asking the Yankees to give up for a recent Cy Young winner. That the Royals for a lousy return on Greinke is their own fault, and doesn’t necessarily imply they would have taken what we consider to be a better package from the Yankees. They might see something in Escobar, but his performance screams rich-man’s Eduardo Nunez. The Royals are also stacked with LHP prospects and have a good C prospect in Wil Myers, so they might not have really valued what the Yankees could offer. The Yankees top 3 position prospects are Cs.

      • Tank the Frank

        I don’t necessarily buy into the idea that the Yankees and Royals didn’t match up for a trade. There’s nothing wrong with stacking prospects. A good GM (and Dayton Moore probably isn’t one but anyway…) can load his farm with prospects and use his talent evaluators to discern which player at which position may be the best fit for the team and flip other top prospects for veteran trade pieces to build a contender.

        Either way, I probably would’ve traded Montero AND Banuelos to get Greinke. I never read that that’s what was being asked for Soria. My main point was that from everything I read, the Yankees didn’t even consider Greinke because of his anxiety issues, regardless of what the price may or may not have been.

        I think maybe if I had read that the Yankees had at least kicked the tires on Greinke, I would feel better about it.

    • AndrewYF

      “Simply put, the Yankees didn’t try and trade for an elite pitcher in the American League because they had doubts about whether he could pitch in New York.”

      Ah, the return of the boversimplification.

  • Ted Nelson


    I think a lot of improvement will come internally in 2011.

    Offensively: Even if Cano, Swisher, and Gardner lose, say, an average of 1 WAR each, Tex, Jeter, and A-Rod might easily pick up a WAR each coming off career worst seasons. So, looks good and no one is really worried about offense anyway.

    Defensively: Position players should hold pretty equal, maybe Martin offers an improvement if he’s the primary C.

    Pitching is obviously where people are worried.

    CC had his worst WAR since 2005. Burnett his worst since 2004 and worse ever in a season where he started over 13 games. Hughes was solid, and I have no idea if he’ll take a step forward, back, or sideways this season. Andy was lights out for a while, but his 2.3 WAR was the 2nd worst of his career (only 2004 was worse and he made 15 starts that season). Javy was just awful: -0.2 WAR. Gaudin, Moseley, and Mitre combined for -1.1 WAR. Nova had a solid 0.5 WAR in 7 starts. (Garcia, in Chicago, matched Burnett’s 1.3 WAR.)

    If CC and Burnett bounce back, Hughes treads water, Nova manages Burnet’s 1.3 WAR from 2010 (again, he had 0.5 in 42 innings so in 150 he could easily match 2010 Burnett), and the #5 (6, etc.) spot just doesn’t hurt the team (-1.3 last season…) we’re looking at a better rotation in 2011 than 2010, without Andy coming back and without any additions. Could be considerably better, in fact.

    Bullpen should be as good or better. Even if a couple guys get hurt or stink they’ve got great depth.

  • romo4885

    lets see. the bullpen is now the best in the game with the additions of sori and feliciano. the lineup remains the best in the game 1-9. there bench is already better than last year and there rotation contains a stud in cc, a future ace in hughes, a quality pitcher in aj coming of his first bad season and more than likely theyll have pettite or another quality starter they aquire this spring. oh yeah and im pretty sure nova or freddy will be fine as a #5 starter. get a clue mike axisa and go join your bed buddie lombardi.

    • It’sATarp

      Mike makes good points tho…Having a good pen means nothing when you don’t have a good rotation. Right now our rotation is 3rd/4th best…in the Al east…

      • romo4885

        guy where have u been the last decade. we have not had a really good rotation 1-5 in a while yet we still continue year after year to win between 90-95 games because of our offense and our pen.

        • It’sATarp

          We also didn’t have to deal with a AL east this crowded with talent and competition in the past decade. Usually it was just the Yankees vs Sox or Orioles depending on when. Now we have to compete with a improved Sox team, a still relevant Rays team, a up and coming Jays team and a Orioles team with potential as we saw late last season…so sue me if i’m not pissing out optimism

          • romo4885

            every year we here how the blue jays are coming and the orioles have some talent blah blah blah…. there a reason weve only missed the playoffs once in the last 15 years and it took a huge # of injuries to key guys to drail 2008.

  • mike hc

    Nice write up. I go with a C. They surely didn’t excel this off season, or even make any type of sneaky good deal. We signed a bunch of budget guys to fill the holes and overpaid for a reliever. We passed to see another day but still need to improve or get lucky.

  • Russell NY

    If Lee gets injured, half the Red Sox test PED positive (including AGonz), Andy comes back, and Jesus brings some Greinkeesque talent, all smiles.

  • Randy

    I’m fine with this offseason. There was one big fish that fit the yankees need and they didn’t get him. It happens. I’m happy that they didn’t engage in a game of back and forth with boston for no reason. The Soriano contract doesn’t really bother me either. If he has a great year and opts out big deal. Thank you for helping us win some games and good luck in the market again. If he exercises the option just hope that he has a bounce back year. We have to remember that the yankees have a very very good team in place already and I think addressed some other areas which will only make them better. It is nice to see them start the year with a better bench than previous opening days. Plus who knows who they will get in july. Some people are too caught up in the winter moves. Nobody won anything in the winter, not even philly and boston.

  • romo4885

    still bitchin about the sori deal shhut up already. my guess is hes lights out like hes been his entire career. if he opts out ok we get our money back and a pick and if he doesn’t we get to keep the best set up man in the game and future closer. ill take that.

  • John

    I didn’t like the offseason since the Yankees are the biggest spenders in baseball and consequently their off-seasons should improve or at least maintain the level of talent from one year to the next. Nonetheless, being deemed the ‘underdog’ for the AL East crown behind the Red Sox by the MSM sort of make the season more exciting in a way.

  • romo4885

    A+ bullpen + A+ lineup + C rotation still = 90+ wins in the al east.lets also not forget that at some point whether it be in the nest few weeks or mid season we will add to the rotation. all these doom and gloom yankee fans wake up and get with the program.

  • Andy

    If Pettitte comes back, and he very well could, how is the rotation any worse than it was last year, when the Yanks were within two wins of the World Series? With Pettitte, it is exactly the same personnel except you are replacing Vasquez with some combination of Colon, Garica or a young kid. Since Vasquez was straight up terrible, there is reason to believe this years rotation will be better, especially given all the talent in the upper minors and the likelihood that Burnett won’t be as horrible as he was last year. Moreover, the Yankees at some point HAVE to infuse some youth into their rotation, and signing Lee would have prevent that. Now, if a couple of these young guys progress, there will actually be a spot for them in the rotation.

    Additionally, while I hated the Soriano deal and wasn’t thrilled with the Feliciano deal, they make the bullpen better on paper. And trading Thames for Jones is an upgrade, as is Maxwell, etc. for Winn. Martin was a great addition, which essentially upgrades catcher and DH, with Jorge replacing Nick Johnson (remember him?).

    Plus, I really like their smaller moves involving younger guys. The picked up a couple of solid international signings, I liked their Rule 5 draft pick, and the minor league deals to Sisko and Anderson are great low risk, mid-to-high reward. Capping it off, they added a draft pick for Vasquez which helps ease the pain from the Soriano signing, traded Mirhanda’s dead weight for a prospect, and essentially bought an underrated power hitting prospect coming off a bad year from the Braves.

    I know I am in the minority, but I liked the Yanks offseason…

    • Big Apple

      Pettite…is that you? If so..come back for one more year!

      Don’t forget that AJ was God-awful last year and he has to improve this year. he couldn’t pitch any worse…i hope!

      I think one of the best off season moves was getting a new pitching coach. This guy likes to attack the strikzone and I think that will help the yanks staff.

  • Brian

    I keep seeing this ridiculous assumption: “AJ is bound to improve.”

    Really? Is he really ‘bound’ to improve? He’s a year older. Everyone assumes Rothschild is going to fix him.

    I actually tend to believe the opposite – maybe he’s bound to be worse. He was an awful signing from the get go. We all knew how much of a head case he was. He has had ONE dominant start (WS game 2) but that certainly does not validate a 5 year 82 million dollar contract.

  • Brian

    The Yankees starting rotation is reminiscent of 2008. We had Pettitte and Wang and pray for rain – that was it.

    2011 = CC and Hughes and pray for rain.

    I’m sorry but I doubt these ‘all stars’ from a decade ago that Cash keeps scraping up are not going to all of the sudden regain that form from ten years ago.


    or position players for that matter

    Andruw Jones
    Russell Martin (one good year 06)

    Cashman looks more and more like Theo of 2008-2009 offseason picking up has-beens
    (Smoltz, Brad Penny etc)

    • Big Apple

      Hopefully Pettite will return to ease our anxieties about the rotation.

      Prior/Colon/Garcia – the expectations for these guys are lower than whale shit so don’t worry about it that much.

      Jones/Martin – like it or not these guys improve the team. Jones provides more flexibility than Thames and Martin is much better than Posdaa/Cervelli and he takes a lot of pressure off Jesus. Martin has slipped a bit but he is also still young. Its not like they signed Irod.

    • romo4885

      your not very bright. prior is a bullpen guy. colon and garcia are competing for the #5 spot who cares! andruw jones is a 4th outfielder and a quality one. russell martin is one of the best dfensive catchers out there. think before speaking most of these are no risk signings.

    • bexarama

      The Yankees starting rotation is reminiscent of 2008. We had Pettitte and Wang and pray for rain – that was it.

      You seem to be forgetting someone……. who won 20 games…….. and was really good………….. and then left……………

      The problem with 2008 wasn’t the starting rotation, unless you mean Hughes and Kennedy who were ineffective and at least partially kinda dinged up. If they were all healthy, Moose/Andy/Joba/Wang was pretty dang good. It was that the starting rotation got hurt so guys like Ponson became like, #3 starters instead of #5. And Andy was so hurt he couldn’t throw breaking balls, but he stayed in the rotation (which is either really stupid or admirable, depending on your POV).

      Also, I seriously doubt Cashman expects any of those guys who were great a while back to still be great. They’re depth moves, or bench guys. Worst case, one of them’s in the rotation as a fifth starter – and if it comes to that, it’ll probably be Garcia, who I don’t really like but who showed he wasn’t totally done in 2010. Meh.

    • Ted Nelson

      “The Yankees starting rotation is reminiscent of 2008. We had Pettitte and Wang and pray for rain – that was it.”

      It’s possible, but I think it’s very pessimistic. People are taking a negative view of everyone: Burnett can’t possibly be any better than last season, but Garcia can’t possibly be as good as last season. Nova can’t be any good because he’s unproven. The sky is falling.

      When you actually look at how the rotation on a 95 win 2010 team performed, this rotation looks fine in comparison.

      CC had his worst season since 2005. Burnett had his worst healthy season ever, and he’s been healthy since 2004. Andy also had his worst season besides 2004, since those are the only years he’s missed much time with injury. Javy… well he was below replacement level. They didn’t trade for a starter and the only reinforcement they brought up who was above replacement was Nova (Moseley and Gaudin were a combined -1.1 WAR, meaning Nova, Mitre, Moseley, and Gaudin were a combined -0.6 WAR).

      So, Hughes and Nova were the only guys to meet or exceed expectations. Certainly it’s possible, but isn’t it really pessimistic to go into a season expecting everyone to fail to even meet expectations and no one to exceed expectations? To expect no trade acquisition or prospect to provide above replacement level pitching?

  • romo4885

    player A career era 3.99 1.32whip 110 wins 8.2/so player b career era 3.96 1.24whip 112 wins 8.5/so. both coming off horrible years and looking to rebound. guess who they are?

  • bexarama

    I give it a C. And it’s not really the Yankees’ fault, if Cliff Lee came they’d be an A. The rotation still looks kinda scary, but I’m not really sure what else they could’ve done for an “ace” outside of trading Montero and a Killer B or two for Greinke. I’m not crazy about the Soriano signing at all, but that’s one hell of a bullpen, and the bench looks very solid going into 2011 (though I think of bench guys like bullpen guys, you’re going to bust on some that were fine moves at the time – Winn – and get unexpectedly great performance out of some who you never expected – Thames.).

    Andy comes back, it’ll be a B-/B.

  • romo4885

    player A aj burnett player b josh beckett

    • Big Apple

      i have spent a lot of time looking at beckett and burnett and i’ve determined that they are separated at birth. Their stats..across the board…are nearly identical. where they differ is perception.

      • romo4885

        the major difference is postseason but thats it. shows how perception is not always reality

        • Big Apple

          and beckett hasn’t been very good in his most recent post seasons.

  • romo4885

    all i know is 4 all u morons that say aj sucks because of 1 bad year then josh beckett must really suck cause hes been trending down for 2 years now. daisuke yeah hes a model of consistency. lol lester and buckholtz and pray beckett rebounds, lackey improves and daisuke doesn’t suck.

  • Ted Nelson

    “For a total of $16M or so, Feliciano and Soriano represent maybe a two-win upgrade for the 2011 Yankees, and that’s if everything breaks right. More than likely it’ll be one win, maybe a win-and-a-half.”

    The past two seasons Soriano and Feliciano have combined for 2.6 and 2.4 WAR. Yet you claim best possible case is 2. It’s not even a big deal and your argument still works with 2.5 as a best case, so I don’t see why you need to overstate a case that’s easy enough to make.

    You also conveniently make up a $16 mill number when it’s really $14-15.5 mill. Again, marginal difference so why embellish?

    And, of course, you still bemoan the draft pick without mentioning the odds of a late 1st making the big or the odds of the Yankees recouping one or two picks when Soriano leaves.

    “A few weeks later they added Freddy Garcia, who at least made it to the mound for 150 innings last year and was above replacement level. That he is now the front-runner for the fifth starter’s job is an indictment of the offseason and current rotation.”
    “The Yankees haven’t addressed their rotation, basically at all”

    Garcia was as good as AJ Burnett last season in terms of FIP or WAR, and he actually had a 1.6 WAR in 2009 too despite only pitching in 56 innings. And they got him on a minor league deal. Lee signs and the Yankees then sign Garcia to a minor league deal to compete with Nova for the 5th job and I bet all anyone can talk about is what an amazing value it was.

    CC had his worst season since 2005 (his average WAR 2006-9 was 6.6, or 1.5 over 2010). Burnett basically had a career worst seasons in 2010 (his average WARs 2004-9 was 3.8, 2.5 better than 2010). So did Pettitte (which says a lot about his consistency and durability). Hughes came through, but he wasn’t flukishly dominant. Just solid, very much repeatable in theory. Nova was on pace for a 1.8 WAR season in 150 innings. Garcia (or whoever) doesn’t have to do much to be better than 2010 Javy. I this that the rotation problem is overstated and based more on media hype, name recognition, and pessimism than the facts. Going into the season I think there’s a good chance this group outperforms the 2010 rotation.

    • toad

      Well said.

  • Jimmy McNulty

    Well written piece.

  • Jess

    Enough with the loaded draft and whining about the draft pick and Soriano! He is what the 31st pick has been for the past 45 years.

    One great player. Greg Maddux. The second best player chosen was Jarrod freaking Washburn. Since 2001 only 1 player drafted 31st has even made the majors. Only 15 of the 45 players chosen in this spot has ever made the majors.

    Every time I see Soriano pitch a scoreless inning, I am going to think of you Mike.

    • Mike Axisa

      Who cares about the history of the 31st pick? The draft is different now than it was five, ten, thirty years ago. What happened in the past is irrelevant.

      Why not look at the history of the 32nd, or 33rd, or 50th or 1,000th pick too. Those players are available to be drafted at 31 as well.

  • Bronx Bobby

    Let’s be realistic here. The Yankees made their moves 2 years go in order to NOT be in this position. Unfortunately, Burnett turned into a pumpkin. Imagine A.J. actually improving from his free agent season through last year. If he were even close to the pitcher we signed, we’d be in great shape today. I’m with Brian Cashman going forward, but only because we have little choice at this point. All these highly ranked prospects [mostly pitchers and catchers] will be the key going forward. Some will be chips for a top of the order pitcher [can you say Chris Carpenter?]and some will break in just like Jeter, Williams, Posada, Rivera and Pettite did back in the mid-90’s. The biggest mistake was to give A-Rod all the money to come back after he walked away. Take note….Cano just signed with Boras today. He’s gone after 2013 if they Yanks are smart. No matter how good he continues to become, he won’t be worth the money Boras wants for him…especially at the back end of an 8 year contract. Gardner and Granderson are foundational in the outfield. After next year, Swisher is gone for a BIG piece. Soriano becomes the closer after this year [unless Rivera’s arm finally shows its age by the All-Star break], Montero moves in behind the plate next season full-time, DH is a merry-go-round for A-Rod, Jeter and anyone else who needs a rest [Posada retires] and the Yanks go after the next “great white shark” for the rotation as soon as he shows himself. Wild Card this year…a World Series win in 2013 during Jeter’s swan song season. Enough said?

  • jfan2

    Can people still stop referring to how much $$ the Yankees spend/blew on free agents? Money is not a determining factor for this organization. They can overpay on anyone and still be a successfully run business. Draft picks and trades are another thing entirely. The critique on the Soriano deal should be giving up a first round draft pick not the overpaid contract. the Yankees play/pay on a different level than every other team who cares if they overpay they can afford to. Get over it already!

  • Bronx Bobby

    They can overpay…but they won’t. Watch and learn. The kids are coming….especially pitchers. Otherwise, Cashman is gone.

  • austin

    i would have given it a an A if not for the signing of soriano and feliciano. Not getting lee was great because we didn’t get another big contract. Keeping our prospects is another reason for an A. But those contracts were ridiculous and made the offseason shitty if you were going to make poor decisions with money it should have been to a top player not an eighth inning guy who is injury prone and had only two goods seasons at 31 years old. But with those decisions and the sox replacing who they lost i would have to give them a D then.

  • troy v

    i can’t look at the Yankees just from this offseason…but if we go back to when Matt Holliday hit free agency after the 09 season…i thought the Yanks were going to get him…he was very open to being a Yankee (unlike Wood and LEE)and the Yanks never went after him…instead they traded for Granderson…using Phil Coke Ian Kennedy and Austin Jackson to get him.Although Matt Holliday went for 120 million for 6 years plus an option for 17 mill…his price and overall value for future moves seems to be worth it…at least for now…i’m just a fan but i said to other fans that the Yanks should have picked up Holliday…many of them thought the Yanks would go after Crawford next offseason and Gardner would get traded in this offseason…but my reasoning was why not get Holliday because the Angels Tigers and Red Sox were suspected to be after Crawford…which would drive up the price even higher than Holliday…and i thought he was much better than Granderson-at least offensively…now fastforward to the trade deadline 2010…had not the Yanks used the prospects they had for Granderson in the previous offseason they could have used them to aquire Dan Haren or Roy Oswalt…both of whom i valued over Cliff Lee because the Yanks would be guaranteed multiple years for their trade…and i thought Lee was a lock for the Yanks if he reached free agency…i always thought they shouldn’t trade Montero for lee because he was only a rental…but it turned out the Yanks were rejected in all trade offers presumably because they didn’t have desirable prospects…now we fast forward to this offseason…and i said to some of my friends…the Yanks need to get Crawford and put one of the outfielders they had in a trade package for the best starter they could get because even if the Yanks got Lee because i didn’t believe he was enough with Sababthia Hughes Burnett and Pettitte…because Hughes tends to lean on just two pitches and doesn’t trust his change up…Burnett is just totally unreliable and pettitte’s age/injury was an issue…and now it turns out Pettitte has retired…which the Yanks should have anticipated…in addition to that i thought the Yankees should have gone year to year with Jeter who they overpaid for and they seriously overpaid for Soriano as well…all things considered i fear if they suffer a coulple bad breaks they could find themselves once again out of the playoffs…considering all the money the Yanks have to spend and the moves ownership and Cashman made i believe they get a D and if they don’t make the Playoffs they get an F…