Thoughts following ALCS Game Four

Swept: Tigers bounce Yankees from ALCS in four games
Somewhere over the rainbow
(Leon Halip/Getty)

The season has been over for a little more than 12 hours now, but it hasn’t completely sunk in yet. It usually takes a day or two until I realize that the routine has been broken, that there is no Yankees game to watch that night. It’s always a bummer of a moment but it happens every year, good or bad.

1. One player does not make a baseball team, but how different where the Yankees without Derek Jeter for the final three games of the ALCS? They weren’t hitting at all even when he was in the lineup, but something just didn’t feel right without him in the lineup, especially in the postseason. I can’t really explain it. The Cap’n has been part of the team basically since I came into baseball consciousness — I remember reading the paper while eating a bowl of cereal before school one morning and finding out that Tony Fernandez got hurt in 1996 — and things just didn’t seem right with him on the shelf in October. Very few players transcend the game like that.

2. I think there’s at least a small chance that Joe Girardi won’t return next season, but it would really surprise me. The position players seemed wholly unprepared in the postseason for the second straight year, plus his work didn’t exactly stand out in the regular season either (the incident with Joel Sherman, the fan in Chicago, etc.). I suppose there could be some level of distrust in the clubhouse following all this Alex Rodriguez stuff, but who knows. I think he (and all of his coaches) will be back next year, but I’m not 100% confident like I have been the last few years.

3. The natural reaction following a postseason exit is to blow the whole damn thing up, but as usual that shouldn’t be the case with the Yankees. They will need to replace Hiroki Kuroda and Andy Pettitte (hopefully they re-sign both, that would be ideal) and fill out the bench/bullpen with miscellaneous pieces, but I don’t think the offense needs a total overhaul. They should add another contact-type hitter (preferably two) and maybe focus a little more on the running game, but that’s really it. They do have to be cognizant of the fact that Jeter is unlikely to repeat what he did this year and that Mark Teixeira is likely to decline even further, however. Retool, not rebuild.

4. So, with that in mind, here are the players who could potentially not return to the team next year (in no particular order): Russell Martin, Nick Swisher, Raul Ibanez, Eric Chavez, Andruw Jones, Jayson Nix, Ichiro Suzuki, Mariano Rivera, Chris Stewart, Casey McGehee, Freddy Garcia, Rafael Soriano, Clay Rapada, Derek Lowe, A-Rod, Kuroda, and Pettitte. Rapada, Nix, and Stewart are under team control and would have to be non-tendered, though I doubt that happens. Of all the major free agents, I believe Martin and Rivera are the most likely to return. It will take a minor miracle to move Alex. Could be a busy offseason with a lot of turnover, and that’s not necessarily a good thing.

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Swept: Tigers bounce Yankees from ALCS in four games
Somewhere over the rainbow
  • Darren

    Did you just lump Mariano Rivera in with Casey McGahehehehe, Andrew Jones and Chris Stewart? With players that the Yankees could “let go”?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      “Let go” wasn’t the best way to put it, but it’s not crazy to think Rivera won’t be back next year.

      • Slugger27

        it’s not crazy to think Rivera won’t be back next year

        1. yes it is
        2. on the miracle chance he’s not, it’s because he chose not to, not cuz the yankees chose not to have him

        • Darren

          Unless there’s some totally unforeseen issue with his knee, Mo’s coming back. I think that’s more of a sure bet than anything else on the team. I’d sooner expect them to force Jeter to retire than Mo.

          • Slugger27

            no i agree, i think mike was more or less trying to save face.

            but theyre both coming back. 100%

            • MannyGeee (The Dream is ALIVE!)

              I think it was more of a “non-0%” chance that these players have played their last game in Pinstripes, which is in reality anyone who is not under contract currently.

              Mariano applies here, like it or not. That said, I think we all expect him to return.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          No. Shit happens. We’re just going to, understandably, be very bullish about this all.

      • http://www.twitter.com/_swarlesbarkley Drew

        Didn’t he says he was going to come back though?

  • RE Junior

    they should trade granderson for justin upton.I know I sound crazy but they should try a new approach-they need to be more about speed and less homer or nothing club.also re-sign ichiro.

    • JohnC

      Why would the Dbacks do that? Takes two to make a deal, and the DBacks aren;t that dumb

      • RE Junior

        I forgot to add,it would be my dream trade :)

        • Slugger27

          mine is nix for felix

          • RE Junior

            well-mines a little bit more realistic.no offense(no pun intended)

            • Sweet Dick Willie

              No, no it isn’t.

              Just because the talent gap isn’t quite as wide doesn’t make it any more realistic.

            • Slugger27

              mine was obviously sarcastic, but to tell you the truth, i think mines more realsitic. as in, mine has a .000001% chance of happening while yours has a zero without the fractional percent.

              seattle would be more likely to just completely salary dump than arizona would be to take on more salary to get worse both long term and short term.

              • MannyGeee (The Dream is ALIVE!)

                well put.

          • Robinson Tilapia

            Mine is Ryan Pope and Jose Gil for Felix AND Montero.

    • jjyank

      I want Justin Upton too, but no way that happens.

  • http://www.twitter.com/_swarlesbarkley Drew

    Out of all the free agents, I think Rivera, Russell and Rapada return. Don’t think Alex goes. There is just too much money left on the deal. We can talk in 2 or 3 years about that.

    • CountryClub

      He’ll be impossible to trade in 2 or 3 years. The older he gets, the harder it’ll be because of his annual salary.

      • All Praise Be To Mo

        Actually it will get easier, his annual salary drops and there will be less total years left. What’s easier to move 5 year $114 or 2 years $40?

        • CountryClub

          Except he’ll have no on the field value in those last 2 years. Nobody is going to pay 20 mil per yr for a bench player. If the Yanks want to get out of that deal, they have to trade him when he still has some value to the team trading for him. And, of course, they’re going to have to eat a huge chunk of it.

          • Cris Pengiucci

            No one will pay 20M/yr for him, that is true. The Yankees will still need to eat some of his contract, probably a large percentage. But he may still be worth $5m/yr and the Yankees may only need to eat 30M of the remaining 40M then, as opposed to having to eat $75 – 90M of the contract now (and who knows what that number really is? Only someone willing to take him on. The market is what someone is willing to pay, nothing more or less.).

          • toad

            Exactly right. The annual pay notwithstanding, any value he delivers will come in the next 2-3 yrs. The last two are practically going to be a pension. Nobody’s going to pick them up.

      • JLC 776

        Unless A-Rod finds some way to re-brand himself as a crafty contact hitter (highly, highly unlikely), it’s tough to see him having much impact in two or three years. I have these images of aging veterans of years past that wonder from team to team, DH’ing and PH’ing to the delight of fans with fond memories of their past performance but never really coming through.

        Only A-Rod will be stuck in pinstripes for years…

        • MannyGeee

          outside of the past month (I will spare the injury excuse/narrative), A-Rod was definitely on the right path to becoming that crafty contact hitter you mention. He was hitting well, if not for typical A-Rod power, all spring and summer.

          Still not worth $30M AAV, but still

          • gc

            Why totally dismiss the lingering effects of a broken hand injury? I’m not saying it was the only reason he stopped hitting, but I also don’t see how it could be a ZERO factor as well.

          • JLC 776

            He was hitting a solid .270 over the last couple of years, which I’m okay with. Maybe you’re right and he holds on to that kind of steady performance – I’d consider that a win.

  • tbord

    They better get their starters in order or no matter who they stick in the lineup it will never matter.

  • RBC

    Here’s my only problem with Axisa’s article: How many more years are the Yankees going to “retool”? Every other team has gone through a rebuild period. Yes it sucks, but the long term benefits are worth it. Can we really get “better” by continually investing in players over 30 years old?

    • thenamestsam

      Can you provide any evidence that the long-term benefits are worth it? By retooling every year instead of rebuilding the Yankees have been able to make the playoffs nearly every season. 17 out of the last 18 now. So “rebuilding” and sacrificing the playoffs for even a couple years would obviously be worse from that perspective.

      The only way the benefits could be worth it is if it made them significantly more likely to win in the playoffs (and the change would have to be significant since they’d be sacrificing multiple playoff berths to get there). I just don’t see why that would be the case.

      Teams rebuild because they have to, because they’re so far from competing that trying to add one or two pieces won’t even get them close to where they need to be. No other franchise in sports would look at a team that was best in the league in the regular season, lost in the playoffs one step short of championship series, and say “Tear it down. We need to rebuild.” It’s insanity.

      • Slugger27

        the late 90s spoiled everyone. they werent really any better than the team this year, as least compared to the rest of the league, but ppl will infinitely chase that dream. they now have a taste of it.

        • CountryClub

          The 98 team was one of the 5 best teams of all time. And THAT’s the team that most people think about when they think of that era.

          • thenamestsam

            They were obviously unreal in 1998. Just a magical year where everything went perfectly. But I agree wholeheartedly with Slugger27 that a whole generation of Yankees fans who grew up on those late 90s teams has convinced themselves that there is a magical postseason winning formula, and that if you’re making the playoffs but not winning EVERY year it’s because you’re missing that secret ingredient. So they think it makes sense to tear down the best team in the league in search of that elusive magic formula that was probably 80-90% dumb luck in the first place.

            • jjyank

              Right. The reason those years were so special is because it just doesn’t happen. It is extremely rare, and it’s so rare because there is no formula.

              • JLC 776

                Baseball is built on so much randomness that ‘magical’ really is the best way to describe those years. But you are 100% correct, there’s no magic formula (or everyone would just copy it), so what you get is decent parity and frankly that’s great for the sport.

                I miss the dynasty, but I’m a bigger fan of the sport in general nowadays.

                • Lew

                  The comment about baseball being random sure rings true. Its hard to find a reason for what just happened to the Yankees that doesn’t include a fair bit of random. And having more and more teams in the playoffs increases that random factor. Its beginning to feel like the 162 game slog just to get a 1/10 shot at the title hardly seem worth it. Why not cut back to 154 (heck, 120) so the players (and fans) are a little less exhausted in October? I know…money…

      • sevrox

        Thank you.

    • jjyank

      Most of the teams that do that though are small market teams with lesser expectations, and are too far away from contention to just “retool”.

      There are the new Red Sox of course, but it took 3 years of failed “retooling” efforts in a row to spark a full rebuild. The Yankees had the best record in the AL, and make the playoffs with remarkable consistancy. So far, the strategy is working.

      • Cris Pengiucci

        Additionally, the ownership is no doubt looking at the cost/benefit associated with retooling and getting back to the playoffs every year (even if they don’t win the WS) as opposed to the potential cost savings associated with rebuilding and then missing the playoffs (and losing revenue). This is a business to them. It’s entertainment to us.

    • LK

      The reason why they retool is because it works. In the last 18 years, the Yankees have 17 playoff appearances, 10 ALCS appearances, 7 World Series appearances, and 5 championships. In other words, they make the playoffs virtually 100% of the time and have more wins than losses in each round of the playoffs. They’ll stop doing it when it stops being wildly successful. They don’t need to get better. They need to stay the same (which is huge challenge itself), and yes, signing 30-year-olds absolutely can help them do precisely that.

      • I am not the droids you’re looking for…(I believe that children are our future)

        Well, you could look at that 17-18 year period as the result of a period of rebuilding period, ie the years George was exiled and Stick ran the show. They drafted, developed, and held several key pieces during that rebuilding period, and those pieces are STILL playing key roles on the team…

  • Bob Buttons

    As much as I want Ibanez back, if the choice was him or Ichiro, I’d pick Ichiro. And also we could really use a 2011-Jones type (and definitely not 2012)

    Preliminary rotation:
    CC
    Hiro
    Andy
    Hughes
    Phelps/Nova/Warren (with Banuelos possibly being an option in the summer)

    • http://twitter.com/#!/Clay_Bellinger Clay Bellinger

      Pineda?

      • jjyank

        From my understanding, he won’t be ready until May-ish. I could be misremembering though. I’m cool with that rotation for opening day.

        • CountryClub

          Dr’s say he will be ready to go without restriction in spring training. But Cashman said he will build his rotation under the assumption that Pineda will not be ready. And if he is, it’ll just be a huge bonus.

          • jjyank

            Gotcha. Seems like the smart play, you wanna see him in action before you hand him a rotation spot.

          • Robinson Tilapia

            Pineda’s got to earn it at this point. He is not high up on my depth chart until he shows he can.

            • http://twitter.com/#!/Clay_Bellinger Clay Bellinger

              Of course, but if we’re including Banuelo’s, Pineda has to be menioned as well.

      • All Praise Be To Mo

        Can’t count on him at all, anything we get from him is a bonus.

        • http://twitter.com/#!/Clay_Bellinger Clay Bellinger

          I agree, but if we’re looking as deep as Banuelos and Warren, Pineda is in the mix.

          • Bob Buttons

            Banuelos was a bit of a stretch since I’m daydreaming about a Joba-ish recovery, but I’d say at this moment I trust Warren more than I trust Pineda.

      • JLC 776

        I’ll be amazed if Pineda ends up contributing to this team in the near future, but I really hope to be surprised.

        I’m more worried about his attitude (showing up overweight at spring training and the DUI), but I guess I shouldn’t overreact – kids make mistakes and bounce back. I really hope he does too, but he’s starting with a strike against already.

        • MannyGeee

          this. we forget that he’s very VERY young still (23 YO), and handed a stack of money he likely didn’t grow up with (I know nothing of his upbringing, but I am venturing a guess that he was well off).

          we all did dumb stuff at 23, lets hope he’s wiser from it.

  • gehrig27

    I totally agree with the previous comment, from RBC…

  • RE Junior

    another one of my dream trades is Carlos Santana.don’t know how though.I like his power for a catcher.

    • Cris Pengiucci

      I don’t understand how a latin guitarist can really help the team. :-)

      • Buhner’s barber

        Bernie Williams was a latin guitarist and look what he did for us, if we add a grammy winner like Carlos Santana… book it, we’ll have a dynasty all over again.

      • P.J.

        I don’t know, the last Latin guitarist we had did pretty well for us…

  • Eddard

    1. Nobody stepped up to fill that leadership role. ARod sat and did nothing on the bench. Cano only led in strikeouts. The Captain is the New York Yankees. I think Jeter will be the first player ever inducted into the HOF with 100% of the vote.

    2. Girardi will be back and given one more season to get to the WS. If he doesn’t get there next year he’s gone. Kevin Long is gone and won’t be back next season. His hitters made no adjustments.

    3. They need to beg Hiroki, Andy and Mo to return for one more year. They do need more contact hitters. Ichiro was their most consistent hitter in the postseason so he should be re-signed. Nunie should be given a bigger role. Gardner should be the everyday CF.

    4. Most of these players are garbage and shouldn’t have been here anyway. Martin is boom or bust and represents everything that is wrong with the offensive approach. I wouldn’t bring him back. I wouldn’t bring Swisher back. And I would explore trades for Granderson and ARod.

    • Slugger27

      cano hardly ever struck out. what series were you watching? and nobody will be 100% voted in, definitely not derek jeter.

      • 0 for infinity and beyond

        Hardly ran down the line on his ground outs.

        • MannyGeee

          not hustling to 1st on a ground out = strike out…. When did you move to Eddard World?

          • 0 for infinity and beyond

            I’d rather see a strike out honestly. Way better than that slumped over, pouting trout he likes to do when the pitcher has the audacity to fool him on a pitch.

        • Slugger27

          but thats not what he said……

    • El Maestro

      I think the only way Long is gone, is if Girardi is gone as well. The Yankees were the 2nd best offensive in the game in a span of 162 games. Blaming Long for a collective slump of 10 days is just not right.

      • Long Gone

        There is a lot more than a playoff slump to judge Kevin Long’s job status, this team had prolonged offensive slumps at different parts of the season and the overall approach hasn’t worked. Hitting homeruns is great, but guys like Tex, Swisher, Granderson, Martin who usually are high OBP guys have struggled to put the ball in play and get walks, while seeing their K rates go up. I do think the HR aspect of the team was far less an issue than their inability to put together good AB’s get walks and not strikeout. K Long has to be held responsbile for the overall decline of the offensive numbers even though the offense over the course of 162 games performed well.

        That doesn’t mean you kick him to the curb, but the high K rates and lack of OBP has been an issue for several years now and sometimes a new voice will help these guys get back on track.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

          …but the high K rates and lack of OBP has been an issue for several years now…

          The Yankees had the second highest OBP and ninth lowest strikeout rate in baseball this year.

          • Long Gone

            I understand that, my concern is the numbers in these areas are declining based on the Yanks past successes in this area. They may finish 2nd every year in team OBP but if that number is declining from year to year that is a concern of mine as it relates to Kevin Long. Guys like Granderson, Swisher, AROD, Tex etc dropped in that area and saw their K’s go up, over a third of their everyday lineup.

            • DF

              Scoring is down throughout baseball. It’s not a surprise that the Yankees are experiencing the same phenomenon. So long as they stay in the same relative place, the raw numbers don’t really matter

    • Sweet Dick Willie

      I think Jeter will be the first player ever inducted into the HOF with 100% of the vote.

      You are more delusional than I thought, if that is even possible.

      Most of these players are garbage

      Then please explain how they won 95 games and beat a tough Baltimore team in the ALDS.

      The drugs in Eddard World must be amazing.

      • Slugger27

        The drugs in Eddard World must be amazing.

        $50 a G, and you arent allowed to look directly at the guy during the exchange.

        • jjyank

          It’s clear that Eddard buys in bulk, wholesale prices. I’m sure he gets a deal.

          • Robinson Tilapia

            You all think Eddard’s buying good shit. Hilarious. We’re talking Elmer’s Glue up the nose shit here.

            • jjyank

              I’m sure each member of Eddard World engages in different activities.

              • Robinson Tilapia

                I thought EddardWorld consisted of Eddard and Eddard talking into his pants, complete with squeaky “sure, boss!” voice.

  • Robert

    Love Gardner but fact of the matter he is always hurt,So I would not count on him at all.Sign Michael Bourn or Melky and see if Gardy stays healthy in 2013.
    You know there is talent in the minors Zmont,Slade,Austin,Williams,Flores and Mesa all of which are older than Manny Machato!!!

    • DJ4K&Monterowasdinero

      I love Gardy too but he should be benched/fined if he ever slides into 1B again.

      And Girardi should be fired just for allowing it.

      Nobody is taught to slide into 1B from little league on up. Why is this tolerated?

      • 0 for infinity and beyond

        BECUASE IT’S GRITTY DAMMIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

    • All Praise Be To Mo

      He got hurt on a fluke play on a sliding catch in the outfield.

      • vin

        Yeah, but he ALWAYS gets hurt on fluke plays on a sliding catch in the outfield.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Manny Machete would be a bad-ass name for a baseball player.

      • MannyMachete(Geee)

        And my new moniker is born.

        Again, Tilapia, you are a gentleman and a scholar and I thank you

  • http://twitter.com/#!/Clay_Bellinger Clay Bellinger

    Good post. I couldn’t agree more with points 1 and 3. I was 11 when Jeter took over at SS, and it really did feel different without him being there in such huge games. I recall the ’95 Seattle ALDS, but it was so long ago. It just felt like something was missing these last three games.

    I hate when anyone wants to blow up such a good team. Although, some turnover is inevitable, I’d rather not see wholesale changes – and I doubt that we will. The team still won more games than anyone else in the world’s best basebll league, the AL. Yeah, the ending was ugly and even embarassing, but the postseason makes up just 5% of the games they played this year. Much too small a sample size to base irrational decisions on.

  • mick taylor

    i find it ironic that a lot of people is saying the yanks lost because they are old. but if you look at the players who overperformed during the regular season and playoffs it would be the old guys jeter, ibanez, petite kuroda . everyone else underperformed except soriano. cano, granderson , tex, arod, martin, swisher, nova, garcia, jones, joba, robertson, logan all underperformed. mabe hughes gave you what you expected. i would let martin, swisher, soriano, garcia, jones, go. i would trade granderson if i could get a good player, or justlet him play out his contract. i would see if i could trade cano for a comparable talent. and i would sign josh hamilton, with a clause in his contract that if he falls off the wagon, his contract is void. hamilton is the best hitter in the american league. if granderson hits 40 home runs he would hit 60 home runs playing in new york. he would terrorize teams like cabrera. the yanks have not had a hitter like that in years

    • 0 for infinity and beyond

      Yankees lost because they sucked big hairy donkey ass instead of hitting

  • Mike Myers

    Arod isnt going anywhere. However after next year I could see it as more of a posibility. The Last 4 years cost (25,21,20,20) total 86Mil.

    There are a lot of bad contracts out there. I could see the yankees eating half (40Mil ish), taking on some baddies with bloated contracts and saving on the rich man tax.

    86 is a lot more tradeable than 114. Also, if Arod finishes next year healthy or hitting well people will be more willing to sign him. GMs have short term memories.

    • OldYanksFan

      Good. Then we can watch ARod pass Babe Ruth in HRs… wearing what… a Miami uniform?

      The Yankees gave ARod that crazy contract to ENCOURAGE him to have a LONG, productive career. OK… he hurt his hip, his power has fallen off, and passing Bonds is out of the question. He just ain’t gonna be as productive as the Yankees hoped.

      But ARod will continue to pass many iconic players on the ‘Lists’.
      Willie Mays comes next year in HRs. 3,000 Hits comes next year. ABs, RS, RBI and other Lists will have ARod in their top 10. That’s history. That’s Yankee tradition.

      Look, because of his poor D, even with a great bat, Jeter posted a 2.1 bWAR. So we’re paying him almost twice what he’s worth. So what. The next 2 years will be worse. But that’s the cost of keeping an iconic player for his entire career.

      Would you rather be the Red Sox, who dump their most popular and iconic players at the slightest glint of decline?

      The Yanks could have gotten ARod for less, but chose to throw money at him. NOT NOT NOT ARod’s fault. Now he’s a sunk cost. NOT ARod’s fault. If we trade him, we probably lose even more. NOT ARod’s fault. So as long as his production is at least a hair better then average (like Jeter was this year), why not keep ARod and enjoy watching the records fall?

      And ARod, as rich as he is, is not coasting. Anybody want to bet money that he works like a dog this offseason, and contines to strive to be better? Is it crazy to think he will have an .825 OPS and 24 HRs next year? I mean, he broke his hand, missed 25% of the season, and still posted a 2 WAR. He is not hurting the team, and I’m betting next year he is at least a 3 WAR player.

      His contract is bad, but it’s dumb to go from bad to worse.
      Maybe he goes to Miami for his last 2 years, when his value will be filling seats in the stadium. But for now, he’s still a good 3rd baseball, and is threatening to be productive.

      The Yankees are worth over a Billion. They will absorb ARod’s overpay and live another day. We might as well get the benefit of watch one of the Top 10 Overall Players in BASEBALL HISTORY play out his career.

      And ya know what?
      It’s still exciting to watch him come to the plate when the game is on the line.

      • Usty

        Very rational and well said.

      • toad

        Without a significant power resurgence he’s only 50-50 or so to pass Ruth, IMO.

  • Dick Whitman

    Jonny Gomes to replace Andruw Jones

    • Robinson Tilapia

      I’d be game. I’ve been waiting for him to truly bust out since he was with Tampa back in what I think was 1982.

  • Hall and Nokes

    Nonsense. Mo will return next year and will save a major league record 161 games (he’ll manage us to victory in the season finale).

    • vin

      That’s too many close games for my liking.

      • MannyMachete(Geee)

        150 of those saves will be of the “4-Inning, D-Lowe” variety

  • 0 for infinity and beyond

    Arod needs to make this up to the Yankee fans and the only way to do that is a guest post on this site where he posts nude pics of the girls he picked up while on the bench.

  • smurfy

    The loss of Jeter’s leadership was stunning. I’ve only realized over the last few seasons that he leads with a stern hand. He wasn’t warm with Cano, probably due to their different styles of play, and Arod’s affection helped Cano to blossom. But while Robinson shows his independence, he still needs validation, and Arod being benched/sucking didn’t encourage him. These guys are human, and when the relationships are out of synch, they cannot rally.

    It was only a week ago or so that I saw Derek give Robbie an affectionate head rub as they ran off the field. Derek ought to pay a visit to Robinson’s winter playground this offseason.

    • Eddard

      Stats cannot measure leadership but that doesn’t mean it’s not important. When the Captain went down it might as well have been over. Nobody wanted to step up to fill that leadership role. And that really should have been ARod and Robbie Cano. One of them was benched and the other went 0-27. The Captain would have been getting on base, getting clutch hits and running full out on grounders despite having a broken ankle. That’s leadership.

      • Long Gone

        Where was Derek’s leadership from 2002-2008? Problems in the locker room were rampant and playoff failure became the norm. I think we are overstating the importance of leadership by bringing up examples of what ticks off us as fans. The bottom line if you can’t hit the baseball you can’t win. Jeter didn’t lead the Yanks to a game 1 win, so let’s not make Jeter to be some God of Leadership.

        • smurfy

          You’re right, he’s shown flaws, too, but these guys have mellowed. Evidence is the way Chavez, Jones, Ibanez and Ichiro joined in.

          I’m only pointing toward the need for circumspection in building the team, trying to facilitate a “club.”

  • JohnC

    Mike:

    Will you staking out the Yankee clubhouse today as players start to clean out their lockers?

  • Rich in NJ

    I don’t like Girardi, but this is primarily on Cashman’s willful blindness, not Girardi. OPS without a significant AVG component is empty.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      AVG is counted twice in OPS.

      • Rich in NJ

        I understand, so perhaps my post was poorly stated.

        My point is that Cashman cites OPS as the organizing principle for lineup construction, but imo, they need more contact hitters that can put the ball in play, and hit breaking balls on the outside part of the plate, rather having than so many hitters that swing from the heels, irrespective of the situation

        • Long Gone

          Isn’t hitting the main responsibility of the hitting coach? How does Cashman or Girardi come into this conversation when the Yankees employ a hitting coach?

          • Rich in NJ

            Does anyone really think that a hitting coach can change entrenched habits of veteran hitters?

            • Robinson Tilapia

              It takes two to tango. Agreed.

        • OldYanksFan

          So you can have a high OPS withOUT making contact and putting the ball in play? The problem is not high OPS.

          Miggy is a high OPS guy, but is happy to go the other way.
          Miggy is a high OPS guy, but is happy to make a slight adjustment with 2 strikes.

          I don’t think Teix, or Grandy, or Martin, or Cano should try and go the other way. But the need to STOP trying to pull pitches that want to go the other way. We have seen how fantasic Robbie has been when he goes with the pitch. We have also seen how bad Robbie is when he tries to pull, rolls over on balls, and gets the inevidable weak grounder to 2nd.

          This isn’t about high OPS vs low OPS guys. It about individual players making a slight adjustment with 2 strike and with RISP.

          • Rich in NJ

            Cashman is the one who cites OPS. The point is that he has allowed OPS (at least based on his public comments) to obscure the need for AVG hitters. If these hitters could make these “slight adjustments,” they would have done it already.

            Miggy is sui generis.

            Tex can only pull the ball batting LH because of his uppercut. He has said that he tried to go the other way, and it didn’t work.

            Granderson should be traded. As someone said, he is Adam Dunn without the walks.

            Martin is a much better hitter when he goes the other way (or at least up the middle), but you can see that he becomes pull happy and HR-conscious. That was typifies in Game 1 of the ALDS when all he had to do to put the Yankees ahead late in the game was to hit a single, and he was swinging from the heels.

            Cano’s problem this season was LHP:

            .239 .309 .337 .646

    • Eddard

      The Tigers have one of the worst defenses in baseball and we couldn’t even force the issue. Whenever they needed a big single or just a groundout or flyout they couldn’t get it. You had Martin swinging for the fences on a 2-0 count when a single would have won the ballgame. You had ARod, Swisher, Granderson and Cano setting records for futility in a postseason series.

      Ichiro, the best contact hitter in the history of baseball, was our most consistent hitter. Jeter was having a great postseason before he went down. Nunez and Gardner worked counts and gave us great ABs. The Tigers were getting runs last night by just putting the ball in play. Put it in play and good things will happen.

  • Andrew Brotherton

    I think we can safely assume Russ, Jones, Chavez, Ibanez, Chris Stewart, Casey McGehee, Freddy Garcia, Rafael Soriano, Clay Rapada, Derek Lowe are all gone. I would like to see us resign Swisher but I don’t think it is possible. I would love to see if we could bring the Arod trade to fruition, eat 10 to 12 per and trade him for Dominguez and the two competitive balance lottery picks they have. If Swisher won’t be back, and we can free ourselves from that extra 10 million with the Arod trade we should go after Michael Bourn. Great on-base guy. I would love to see try and explore the option of trading Granderson and I think we could probably do it and still get Upton if we could get a third team involved. I think the Pirates would be the third team, they get Granderson which would give them a dynamic power outfield, and they give us a few prospects to send along to Arizona for Upton. Ichiro I don’t think will be back but if he would be willing to accept a 1yr 6 to 8 million dollar deal I think it would be great to bring him back just in case Gardner gets hurt again next year. I would love to bring back Kuroda but I think he along with Pettite will retire. If things were to go the right way I could see our team as
    1. Michael Bourn-CF
    2. Derek Jeter-SS
    3. Jason Upton-RF
    4. Robinson Cano-2B
    5. Mark Texiara- 1B
    6. Eduardo Nunez- 3B
    7. Austin Romine- C
    8. Brett Gardner/Ichiro-LF
    I didn’t put a DH in here because I don’t know honestly what we will do about the DH, do we go rotating DH to rest our players, or do we get a permanent DH? Rotation will be if Kuroda and Pettite come back. CC, Andy, Kuroda, Hughes, Phelps and if they both retire. CC, Hughes, Phelps, Nova, and ?

    • http://www.twitter.com/matt__harris Matt :: Sec110

      Jason….nah, I won’t. But I do think Nova/Granderson could be used in a package, with prospects, for Juston Upton.
      #WishfulThinking?

      • Long Gone

        That probably is a start to a trade. At the end of the day Granderson is a power hitter and there is value there and Nova has won 28 games in 2 seasons, is cost controlled, and has a good stuff that will play up in the NL. The Diamondbacks w/Kevin Towers would be the first call I would make.

        • croy

          I could see a good senerio with the Braves. Grandy to Atlanta, Upton and Prado to NY and 3 prospects from nyy, 2 from Atlanta to Arizona.

    • Mickey McMick

      That’s a third place line-up

  • http://www.twitter.com/matt__harris Matt :: Sec110

    Russell Martin – Keep 2 year deal, $18M
    Nick Swisher – so long
    Raul Ibanez – 1yr $1.5M
    Eric Chavez – keep, but I bet he retires
    Andruw Jones- gone
    Jayson Nix – keep
    Ichiro Suzuki – Keep, 1 year deal only
    Mariano Rivera – keep
    Chris Stewart – keep
    Casey McGehee – gone
    Freddy Garcia – gone
    Rafael Soriano – opts out, 2 year deal…Tigers? Mets? Sox?
    Clay Rapada – meh
    Derek Lowe – gone
    A-Rod – who the hell knows
    Kuroda – keep, would you go 2 years?
    Pettitte – keep

    • Robinson Tilapia

      I just noticed you were in section 105 in the old threads. Is this an actual real-life change?

      • http://www.twitter.com/matt__harris Matt :: Sec110

        Indeed it is, good eye…same cost, but not under the 2nd level overhang.

    • CountryClub

      I think Rapada is pretty good as a second lefty. I hope they keep him.

      • Cris Pengiucci

        And cost controlled. Worth holding on to.

    • vin

      I would definitely give Kuroda 2 years. Hell, I’d give him 3 years if he wanted. Wouldn’t go past that though.

      Next year is Phil’s final year of team control. Nova is coming off an awful year. Pineda is coming back from shoulder surgery. Banuelos and Betances… yeah.

      I’d be in favor of CC, #HIROK, Pettitte, Hughes, Nova/Pineda next year. With Phelps waiting in the wings.

    • Dr. Vinny Boombatz

      Sec110…I agree except let Martin go and hand catching over to Stewart\Cervelli\Romine…pickup Granderson and Cano for 1 more year then that for Grandy and we will see about Cano. If Chavez retires sign McGehee for now (need backup 1b\3b…with Chavez and Swish gone).Sign Shawn Marcum for pitching depth…He was successful the the Jays and knows the AL East.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    I feel like half this place couldn’t wait to have the who stays/who goes conversation. Am I emotionally ready for this? Don’t we get a few days to catch up on the shit on our DVRs and stuff?

    Let’s have fun with Mike’s list of who could go, with my initial knee-jerk reactions which, in non-Eddard style, I could completely change my mind on in the next 20 seconds since I am telling you up front I’m not giving this much thought:

    Russell Martin: Stays on two-year deal as bridge to Gary

    Nick Swisher: Actually gets more than you think to play somewhere else

    Raul Ibanez: Replaced with 2013 version of grizzled vet with pop

    Eric Chavez: Returns for one more go-around

    Andruw Jones: Next seen next to Jillian Michaels asking him to do push-ups in three years

    Jayson Nix: If we hold the cards, he’s back as depth

    Ichiro Suzuki: Now playing RF for YOUR San Francisco Giants…

    Mariano Rivera: BWA HA HA HA HA

    Chris Stewart: He’s never leaving. Get used to it..

    Casey McGehee: Non-tendered faster than you can say “Steve Pearce”

    Freddy Garcia: On the mound for YOUR Kansas City Royals…

    Rafael Soriano: Oh man, I could see Boston so happening here.

    Clay Rapada: On the fence…..if we don’t have control, I don’t see the team moving heaven and earth to keep him. Enter 2013 LOOGY
    winner from Spring Training. Watch out for dude named “Stairs.”

    Derek Lowe: Loser of 5th starter battle in Kansas City to FREDDY GARCIA. BOOM.

    A-Rod: BWA HA HA HA HA

    Kuroda: Next seen in Japanese deodorant commercial after retirement OR Yankees.

    Pettitte: We ain’t goin’ out like dat. We ain’t goin’ out like dat (Sen Dog: “WE AIN’T GOIN’ OUT!” Love me some old-school Cypress Hill.)

    My bold-I-haven’t-thought-this-out-one-bit-prediction has Curtis Granderson somewhere in the NL West as well.

    • DJ4K&Monterowasdinero

      Well done but you left out the big move to get Montero back for Pineda, ARod plus lotsa cash.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        We traded them straight-up, but have to give them ALEX to get him back? Woah.

        You know I’m considering the Alex/Jesus swap, but they’re not getting extra money OR Michael Pineda in that swap. I even expect more back from them.

        • MannyMachete(Geee)

          I would be OK with this trade, and I am amongst the biggest “dont trade A-Rod and pay his salary” adversaries… Maybe its my irrational love for Jesus Montero, but I think I could get behind A-Rod+$100M for Montero trade. I really really could

          • Robinson Tilapia

            I couldn’t get behind the money part. Just can’t. too much money to pay a guy to play somewhere else. He’s not that much of a sunk cause.

      • jjyank

        Well I guess it just wouldn’t be a new off season without a Montero comment from you.

  • steves

    Not alot of focus on CC’s performance in Game 4 but after throwing so many pitches in Game 5 against the O’s and all the shut-down time he had during the season would it be that big of a surprise when we hear that CC needs surgery to fix something in his arm/shoulder?

    • Robinson Tilapia

      He was on the DL once? That’s not a lot of shut-down time. One bad start after a series of lights-out performances should not make for huge concern. Do I think you’re completely nuts for suggesting it? No, but this is going to be quite a bit overstated by those who expect a perfect performance from CC every time out.

      • steves

        He only started 28 times in 2012 when he has started 34, 34 and 33 in the prior 3 years. One 15 day disabled list run does not account for his entire shut-down time this year. Hardly was expecting perfection from CC but being competitive would have been nice.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          I think we can safely say he was “competitive” at baseline here.

  • mitch

    I agree that retooling is the best option, but at some point in the next couple years, they’re going to have to add another impact bat to the lineup. Arod and Tex and becoming less and less capable of filling the 3/4/5 spots along with cano.

  • Jonathan

    Here’s a scenario I’m surprised nobody is all over…Brian McCann. On the surface it looks like the usual deal where a Yankee fan wants the best at every position but all the rumors are talking about him needing shoulder surgery and whether or not the Braves pick up his $13MM option. Perhaps we could trade for him and he could DH while his shoulder heals and if it’s good to go from the start of the year he catches. He could have a large power surge in the YSIII and still get a chance to DH on his days off like Mauer does. If he’s recovered we could extend him and if not we just bought another year for the long term fix (Romine until Sanchez?) without touching the 2014 payroll plan. It’s pricey and I dunno if the Braves would really consider it (I’m just going off what they’re reporting on blogs and MLBTR) but I hope they look into it. Russell on a 1-2 year deal for $7-8MM a year would also work for me.

    • MannyMachete(Geee)

      The only non-Martin catcher I want on this team starts with Jose and ends with Molina. I know the fighting Maddens have an option on him for 2013, i’m jus sayin

  • Long Gone

    I remember when the Granderson trade went down that most baseball people said the Yanks were the winners and that Austin Jackson was striket out prone…funny how 3 yrs changes the outlook on that with Phil Coke getting control of the 9th inning, AJAX not letting any balls drop over his head and Granderson striking out over 50% of his postseason AB’s. The win now trades need to stop, as the Yanks need to trust their development of their prospects and allow these guys the opportunity to earn playing time at the big league level.

    • Eddard

      Problem is most fans won’t give time for the prospects to develop at the ML level. Look at how they crucified Nunez. Nunie is a really good player and was our only offense the last 2 games of the season. He’s a kid. Phelps is a kid. We have to remember that.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        Phelps is 25 years old and repeated AAA twice. Swing and a miss. Strike 3,000,002.

      • OldYanksFan

        Francesa took the words out of my mouth. And this is why Cashman has such a tough job. It is very, very hard to Win Now and Build for the future at the same time. It’s almost an oximoron. That’s why, while I hated to see Montero go, Pineda was both a Win Now, Win Later and Get Younger deal… so I was for it.

        But the Yanks will continue to be in Win Now! mode, until/unless there is a collapse, and winning now is impossible. Until then, Cashman will contine to walk the tightrope and have the Most Difficult Job in Profession Sports, and unfortunately, more IPK’s and AJax’s will fall by the wayside.

    • Francesa

      Philosophically I agree but…and it’s a big but…not making those trades means not winning now. Are fans willing to be patient say for 3-4 years while a homegrown team comes together? I’m not sure about that at all.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        It’s Monday Morning QB’ing. People forget the legit concerns about A-Jax back then, how it took an adjustment in order to see some improvement last year, and how we’d be just as intolerant with his K’s as we are with Curtis’s now. Jose Tabata was just as heralded, and no one’s crying for him to come back…..yet.

        Phil Coke is such a non-factor in this that it’s not even funny.

        I think we’ll look back and call Detroit the “winners” because they were able to have a cost-controlled solid player in Jackson for years while it may be (still need to play 2013) that the Yanks don’t make a WS with Granderson. Jackson’s lapses wouldn’t play well with this fanbase, though, so, of course, that’s going to be massively understated. The difference between who “won” and who “lost” isn’t that huge here.

        • thenamestsam

          Agree with this. The reality is that when you trade prospects for proven players you’re going to come out ahead more often than not, but every once in a while you’re going to lose big when one of those prospect lottery tickets win big. Prospects are always going to be higher variance than the players you get back, and the Yankees as perennial contenders are generally going to prefer the low variance route. It’s a philosophy that makes perfect sense for a team in their position.

          Focusing only on the one trade where the prospect turned into something is a silly way to judge the philosophy. People should look at all the prospect for proven player trades we’ve made as a whole. If they did I think they’d determine that on the whole those trades have served us quite well .

        • Sweet Dick Willie

          I know this is a novel concept to many on this board, but regarding trades, there’s a such thing as win-win, which I believe describes the Granderson trade.

  • Hoss

    Why the love for Martin all of the sudden? He should go far, and asap! Give me Austin and Frankie and we’ll be fine in the spring. If not, Cashman can trade a good middle reliever for a subpar backup catcher like he did last season…

    The problem is Cashman. As long as he gets a pass for every mistake he makes, we’re in the same soup. Imagine if we had Austin Jackson, Ian Kennedy, Phil Coke, Jose Montero, George Kontos, Tyler Clippard and Jose Quintana, among others. And what do we have to show for it? Granderson, Pineda and Stewart. I’m tired of hearing about how he ripped off the White Sox and got Swisher. He’s made bad trades that mortgaged the farm system and signed free agents that had a couple of good years then locked us into years of mediocrity. Gene Michael and Buck Showalter built the dynasty in the late ’90s and early ’00s. Cashman used the money generated by that success to give us what we have now.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      You had me at “Jose Montero.”

      • Hoss

        Ooops… Jesus!

        • Robinson Tilapia

          It’s cool, dude.

          Too many middle relievers, and one fluke Single-A-to-middling-MLB-starters in your sample, though.

          • Hoss

            Jackson and Kennedy are not middling.

            • Robinson Tilapia

              I left those out because I considered those actual valid targets. I was referring to Quintana there.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      Only keep the good prospects though. Trade the Tabatas and Ohlendorfs and Marquezes and Vizcainos and Weemes and so on.

      • Hoss

        Mike,
        Even Tabata gave the Pirates more than we got from Nady and Marte, other than the WS (which was big, but not enough to warrant 3 years of pay). Look at the failed FA signings: Feliciano (2 years of nothing, then blames the Mets for “abusing” him; Nick Johnson; AJ Burnett; Randy Winn; Chan Ho Park, etc.). The other bad trades: Vasquez, which would have been a negative had we given up nothing. Even the deal for Berkman, in which we gave up Melancon, netted the Astros Jed Lowrie and Jimmy Paredes. I’m not saying that everything the guy did in his time here was bad. But tell me one other GM that can make those sorts of costly blunders and keep his job. There is no accountability.

        • MannyMachete(Geee)

          every FA signing mentioned above, with the exception of AJ Burnett (Which we were ALL happy to ride upon his coat tails in 2009 to say how much of a bust he is now that he’s gone) were 1-2 year flyers. Those are dice rolls for everyone always, but every team signs them.

          And citing the Berkman deal as a bad trade because the Astros let Melancon close a few games and then flipped him to a rookie GM for Lowrie & Paredes? Dont shit on Cashman for that, this was Houston swindling Cherrington all day long. And also, Melancon kinda was shit for the Yankees, was “alright” in obscurity in Houston, and spent as much time in Pawtucket this season as he did in Boston. And successfully closed all of like ONE game.

        • The Real Greg

          And the Melancon deal helped us in the long run because we got to face him as a Red Sox and we lit him up.
          AJ Burnett was not a failed deal. We got a ring out of him.
          And Tabata has really done nothing with the Pirates.

    • Long Gone

      What we have now is a team that won 95 games. Not every trade Cashman has made has been a bad trade. Agree though the Yanks shouldn’t be trading their top prospects for ok big leaguers like Granderson and should see what these kids really have at the big league level.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Also, I’d call it “begrudging love” with Martin.

  • JJ

    Retool is the key world. Definitely should not blow this up.

    Kuroda & Pettitte – each will return on 1year deal.

    Swisher – peace, dude.

    Granderson – can’t replace 2/3 of the outfield at once, so his option gets picked up.

    Arod – trade for the right price. I don’t think the price will be right, so I bet he returns.

    Ichiro & Ibanez – 1 will return. Not sure which, but I wouldn’t really object to either assuming its a reasonable 1 year deal.

    FA – not sure who I want them to target. Every candidate has at least 1-2 major drawbacks. Please no to BJ Upton though.

    • AnthonyD

      I’d be curious what you can get for Granderson post option pick up. Gardner should be playing CF. Grandy’s CF D is an abomination. Agree overhauling 2/3 of the OF is tough but odds are the entire IF and potentially C will be back.

      Suppose Hunter is an option in Left?

      • MannyMachete(Geee)

        Hunter who? Not Torii, I hope. You thought you’d had enough of Andruw, wait until the Torii Hunter era begins.

  • smurfy

    Getting Gardner back, keeping Ichiro, and with Jeter, the Yankees probably have their contact-hitting needs covered. I like Kevin Long (and Joe and Cash), but would like them to train their “hairy left handed monsters” for some flexibility.

    • Francesa

      Gene Michael wanted hairy left handed monsters who got on base at a prolific rate as well as hit homers into the short porch. Somehow Cashman lost sight of that part of the message.

      • Cris Pengiucci

        Except for Swisher …

  • stuart a

    insanity get a year older and get 2 new offensive pieces of the modest level only….

    that is suicide…

    sure expect pettitte to stay healthy at 41 and kuroda at 38 after his most innings ever..

    before the ship sinks totally, remodel BIG TIME…

    trade arod he is a cancer, the guy has been here 9 years and had 1 great playoff. he is clueless. the wave, hi mom from the dugout. that is arod a 18 year old fool in a 38 year olds body.

    • Sweet Dick Willie

      If the Yanks need remodeling BIG TIME, exactly what do the Mets need, troll?

  • 15 Day DL

    I think Kevin Long needs to go. This “pull happy” team has shown once again that when they face tough pitchers who are hitting their spots, they can’t compete. Did you notice how in both series’ the Pitchers were hitting the outside corners consistently? They need a hitting coach that’s going to help them hit to all sides of the field.

    • OldYanksFan

      I agree 1000000% except….
      Is it KLong’s fault?
      We KNOW he tried to get Teix to go the other way.
      We know Robbie is GREAT when he uses the whole field, but he keeps falling back into pull mode.
      I’ve seen Swish go the other way, but it’s getting rarer.
      Martin seems hopeless in this venue.

      I really think it’s the players, no KLong.
      I think the short porch has killed a lot of LH pull hitters ability to do anything but try and hit a HR.

      If it’s me, I have Cashman and Hank and Hal read these guys the riot act. They might let it sink in if it’s from the brass. But these players make 50 times what KLong makes, and I think they feel they have the option of NOT listening.

  • mick taylor

    sign josh hamilton and put a clause in his contract that if he goes off te wagon it is void, does anyone think cano messed up his swing in the home run derby. arod and cano are now the core with whores

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Going off the wagon isn’t the #1 problem there. Relapse is part of recovery. I’d be more worried as to his body holding up.

    • jjyank

      lolwut

      • Robinson Tilapia

        Holy shit. I missed the “core with whores” part. How is that different from Rocky Road Redemption’s “core” idea. Where are the whores?

        • jjyank

          I dunno, but I want some.

  • OldYanksFan

    We all love Mo.
    We all want him back.
    But last year, he cost us FIFTEEN MILLION, for nada.
    Let’s be honest.
    There is some risk here.
    I’d like to see Mo ‘understand’, and offer to come back for like $8m.
    But that won’t happen.
    So…. considering we have DRob and Joba, is spending $15m on our beloved Mo really the best allocation of resources?

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Yes.

    • MannyMachete(Geee)

      um. yes

  • Jose M. Vazquez

    Perhaps we overestimated this team because they won 95 games. I believe they played short of or at .500 ball vs. the AL East and beat up on the NL clubs to reach much of the 10 game lead. Right now we may be the 8th best team in the AL, behind Texas, Oakland, Detroit,Baltimore, Tampa and even Toronto if they get their pitching staff back. Some major changes need to be made. Youth has to be injected into the team. Look at the Tigers playing 3-4 rookies against us. There is nothing wrong with that. All of the players except Mo on that list by Axisa need to be let go (those on the blue list) and the best 2 or 3 AA and AAA players brought up to replace them.

    • Jose M. Vazquez

      I forgot the Angels on that list.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Take my hand, Jose. We’ll go to Union City and have some ropa vieja, some tostones, maybe even share a tres leches. Everything is going to be just fine.

  • RossA

    They will never do it, but I would love to see them go on a rebuilding track. Dump players, even if you have to go on paying their salaries. Make room. Even Cano is at prime and is going to decline now. Not dump everyone, of course, but sometimes you end up finding good or great players when you do this.

    I would happily take 2 or even 3-4 years of mediocrity if it allowed the organization to rebuild a farm system through the draft. Maybe they can get lucky and develop another core of good young players that will enable another long period of success.

    The Yankees organization knows how to recognize and acquire productive, established players, and with all their money, they can go on forever in this manner. But when they do, we always limp into the playoffs with maybe one or two young all-stars, accompanied by a bunch of past-prime or washed up guys.

    I like winning every year. Until I don’t.

    I’m ready to try something new, and get a new “core four.”

    • Jose M. Vazquez

      I see that many teams have gotten the upper hand on us in getting Latin American players. When was the last time that we got a Ramiro Mendoza, for example.

      • Neil

        Especially Cuban players. They were in on Cespedes but Oakland bid higher. Hard to believe the big spending Yankees were outbid by Oakland. It’s only one year but Oakland appears to have at least one OF spot filled for a few years.

  • Reggie C.

    Aside from a possible knee jerk reaction I had a few hours ago in suggesting a permanent move to DH for Alex and a trade for David Wright, I don’t see how Cashman has much wiggle room with the lineup.

    1. Pick up Granderson’s option. (NO extension)
    2. Pick up Cano’s option. (NO extension)
    3. Make an earnest effort to re-sign Swisher. But dont go over 3 seasons. If a team goes a 4th, so be it, and let Swisher walk.
    4. Re-sign Ichiro should Swisher leave. Yanks can easily win a bidding “war” over Ichiro at that point.
    5. Re-sign Martin for a one-year at the ’12 contract dollars.

    That’s

  • Frank

    I’d like to see them go after a Justin Upton but it’s probably not realistic given our shortage of upper level prospects. Could they do a Gardner/Nova/Sanchez deal of some kind…doubtful but maybe something could be done. At the same time, the Rangers, who are likely losing Hamilton, would be all in on that I’d think. Hamilton would be perfect…lefty, power, speed, OBP, and shorter rather than longer term contract (I’m guessing 4/80 gets it done). But, that’s not happening for obvious reasons. The biggest problem will be going into next season with the same team. Getting younger players who are on the upswing is a must, but that’s easier said than done, and with the spector of 189MM hanging over the team for the next few years things don’t look so rosy, specifically if guys like Pineda/Nova/Banuelos/Betances never turn into anything useful.

  • Darren

    What about these trades with LA?

    Girardi for Mattingly

    Arod for Crawford

    Hank for Magic

    NY Sluts from stands for LA sluts from stands

    YS3 for Chavez Ravine

    Bronx Winter for Beverly Hills Summer

    • Cris Pengiucci

      I’d be on board with the NY Sluts for LA Sluts …

    • MannyMachete(Geee)

      “NY Sluts from stands for LA sluts from stands”

      I co-sign on this.

  • Long-Past-His-Day-Rod

    Martin- Bring him back for 2 years max at a reasonable cost, if not I think they’d survive a year or two with Romine/Cisco the Kid.

    Swisher- Gone, although if the Yanks could get him cheap (won’t happen) I wouldn’t be opposed to a new deal.

    Ibanez- 1 year on the cheap, not crying if he leaves.

    Chavez- Probably gone, maybe back for one more year on the cheap.

    Jones- Gone.

    Nix- I don’t think both him and Chavez will be back, Nix offers more versatility except the 1B element Chavy brings. I’d pick Nix for a year out of the two.

    Ichiro- I’d try and get him for another year if it doesn’t break the bank. Don’t know why people are saying “he’s old, he won’t be as good next year” but insist aging A-Rod will have some sort of out-of-nowhere resurgance next year.

    Mo- If he’s healthy and still wants to return, gotta bring him back.

    Stewart- EWWart. I’d rather have Cervelli as a backup but he’ll probably be back again.

    McGehee- Gone.

    Freddy- Gone.

    Soriano- Gone. Probably to the Sux.

    Rapada- I’d bring him back.

    Lowe: Gone.

    Alex: Look at his stats the last 3 years, and the amount of time he’s been injured. He is on the decline, there will be no magical resurgance. That being said, he’s still a good 3B, and although I think .265 BA/15 HR/70 RBI is about what you get out of him next year,there might not be a better option. Explore a trade, I think if you’re going to be able to trade him the time is probably now (even with all the money remaining) before he has a couple progressively worse seasons and nobody even wants to look at him. I’d say 75/25 he’s back next year.

    Kuroda- Want him back, hope he’ll take a 1 year deal, might do 2 depending on how everything else shakes out.

    Pettitte- He’s too much of a competitor to retire on that note. He’s back for another year.

    Just my thoughts.

  • Hoss

    How does this sound?
    Granderson to the Giants for Lincecum. Both players are in final year of their contracts.
    Can also add in other players to work trade for Pence.

    • Lew

      Doesn’t seem like starting pitching is the problem. I’d rather keep Granderson and “re-educate” – get him to somehow go back to whatever he was doing in 2007 when he hit far fewer homers but far more doubles and triples, and hit over .300.

  • bacciagaloop

    Wow, at some of these posters

  • Lew

    So, was this random, or is there something in the chemistry of the team that results in it self-destructing in the playoffs? I can only think of one possibility – the home run mentality. All those HRs during the year seemed to become Ks against Detroit, and the more the Yankees pressed the worse it got. Granderson epitomizes this but Cano, Swisher, even Tex seem to have the same problem. If I were the manager I’d put them all through a “hitting to the opposite field” clinic, tell them if they don’t hit more singles and doubles, they’ll be benched, and actually bench anyone hitting below about .260. Just a thought…

  • Elan

    We need CLUTCH players – every team has these incredibly clutch guys, and the Yankees seem to never be able to find them. I mean, the Yankees didn’t even win a game when trailing after eight innings until the second to last day of the season! Swisher and Granderson are not clutch – they need to go. I would love to see A-Rod be traded, but the odds are obviously EXTREMELY unlikely. I am also not a fan of Kevin Long, who has turned many of the hitters into HR-or-nothing hitters with the Yankee Stadium right-field fence. We also cannot have a repeat of 2012, where the Yankees were so terrible with RISP. That’s the main problem and that has to change.

    I really hope the Yankees can re-sign both Kuroda and Pettitte. Both of them are such gamers, and likely better than any option out there. Hughes and Nova have been major disappointments – Nova with his ballooned ERA and Hughes with the amount of HR’s he gives up. You can’t have a pitcher that gives up 35 HR’s pitching in Yankee Stadium half the year. If he didn’t get so much run support, there’s no way he comes up with 16 wins. The fact that a pitcher like Huroki Kuroda and a pitcher like Phil Hughes end up with the same amount of wins just tells the whole story about run support.

  • Yankeefan

    stewart gone i rather have ronny paulino as a back up plus hes my friend and would be very happy to see him in pinstripes

  • forensic

    They should add another contact-type hitter (preferably two) and maybe focus a little more on the running game, but that’s really it.

    Ironic seeing this from the guy who wants nothing to do with Gardner and Ichiro in the OF because it’s not nearly enough power, though they basically fill the requirement you just mentioned here.

    • The Real Greg

      He wants Johnny Damon again, a guy that can do both.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      Contrary to popular belief, not every contact hitter is limited to single-digit homers.

  • The Real Greg

    I would say:

    Look for an outfield replacement for Swisher.

    Keep Granderson. Only outfielder we have that can hit for power.

    Look for a potential ARod trade if you can.

  • Chilango

    Mike’s point 3 seems about right. Especially about the pitching. But I’d like to see 3 contact hitters and a dump of the stooges: Swisher, Granderson and ARod. This would change the nature of the team obviously, leaving Cano (who will be great again) and Tex (who is still serviceable) as the only power guys. Even if ARod stays (the likely scenario), he will either have to change his approach or crash and burn. His power days may be over, given the injuries PED effects etc…

  • mt

    I agree they just need a couple more players who can generate a base hit with good plate discipline. Tex, Arod, Cano and unfortunately Grandy are not goiung anywhere (although Lincecum plus a prospect for Grandy is intriguing).

    How about Pagan for outfield and a third basemen – Arod becomes permament DH, Nunez plays more back-up SS and continues to work on his defense – too bad he can’t play OF).

    As I mentioned before I saw Mark Reynolds, Chris Davis, Miguel Cabrera (Triple Crown winner) and Fileder during these playoffs hit the ball through the middle and sometimes other way – how come no one on yanks can do it, especially Cano who we have seen do it?

    For those saying “trade Grandy” not sure what we are getting back in a trade since he has only one year left if 2013 option for $15 million picked up (and it is $15 million although numerous outlets say $13 million – he met the All Star and/or MVP requirements to get it to $15 million.).

    I think a trade of Grandy would be fascinating – top HR hitter in majors over last 2 years(admittedly helped by YS3 and Jose Bautista absence) who has obvious holes in his game that seem to be getting worse – remember how the “bad routes to balls” issue was pooh-poohed when he came over from Detroit and surprise, surprise – now it is much worse. If he stays, we need Gardner or Pagan in CF – we need to stop saying “it won’t make a huge difference” – since we are probably stuck with some major declining contracts like Tex and Arod (hopefully not CC yet) we need to do everything in our power to make improvements like “Grandy out of CF” that are under our control. We have lost games due to Grandy in CF misplays (I at least remember one game agaainst Boston at home when he did the pratfall and of course last year when he couldn’t see the ball in Tampa).

    I hope Granderson gets his eyes checked and I am totally serious. He was missing swinging strikes by a great margin.

    I also think we need to be more aggressive with young players (why didn’t Mark Montgomery, for example, get a September look?) – I hate seeing players like Avisail Garcia and Manny Machado play and get looks – sometimes you don’t know what you have unless you play people.

    The only silver lining of this Arod situation is that we have “gone there” – I knew day was coming where Arod was no longer middle of order hitter and would need to be moved and there would be a lot of drama – hopefully with this ALCS fiasco, we are over the whole “resume” issue and Girardi will do so next year IF it looks like Arod is not bouncing back – also Tex may be a candidate.

  • Rocky Road Redemption

    Guys, remember: Your Trade Proposal Sucks.

    That is all.

  • http://fendersonandhampton.com Cuso

    The most satisfying part of a miserable winter will be the day I learn that Swisher has just signed a 7-year/$126M deal with the Astros

  • dave

    They should add another contact-type hitter (preferably two) and maybe focus a little more on the running game, but that’s really it.

    Are you on freaking crack? Seriously, turn in your pretend journalist badge and find a new writing gig. I’m not sure where the line between retooling and rebuilding begins and ends, but if the Yankees are going to simply add “one or two contact hitters”, they might as well give up on any chance of getting back to the WS next year. Honestly, when the Yankees crash and burn, which they will if they follow your deluded advice, please make sure to quote this article. I’ll enjoy it, and maybe you won’t regurgitate the same nonsense again.