Prioritizing the offseason needs

Thoughts at the open of free agency
What Went Wrong: Ichiro Suzuki
(Scott Halleran/Getty)
Both irreplaceable. (Scott Halleran/Getty)

It’s no secret that the Yankees have a lot of needs this offseason. A lot of needs and not many internal solutions, which is a bit of a problem. They’re going be busy all winter and given their payroll situation, I’m not sure it’s possible to address every single need. I don’t think many teams ever get through the offseason with all of their questions answered anyway.

Like everything else in life, some of the Yankees’ needs are more pressing than others. Finding someone to replace Travis Hafner at DH isn’t nearly as important as say, finding someone to stick in the rotation following Andy Pettitte‘s retirement. Only one of those things can be placed on the back-burner and addressed in the weeks leading up to Spring Training. With that in mind, let’s prioritize New York’s most pressing needs over the next 15 weeks or so.

Priority #1: Re-Sign Robinson Cano
As far as I’m concerned, Cano is the key to the offseason. If the Yankees re-sign him, they have a chance to contend next season as long as they make some smart moves to improve the cast around him. If they don’t re-sign him, they have close to no chance to contend and should seriously consider tearing the whole thing down and rebuilding. I don’t expect that to ever happen though. That’s just what I think should happen if he bolts.

Anyway, getting Cano locked up has to be the team’s number one goal this offseason. Not just locked up either, locked up quickly. That’s going to be close to impossible, obviously. The team should put some pressure on Robbie and his rookie representatives to get a deal done soon so they can move onto other business. He’s going to sign a massive contract, the kind of contract that will determine how much they can spend on their other needs. The sooner they get this wrapped up, the better. The more it drags on, the more the list of available options for their other needs dwindles.

Priority #2: Rebuild The Rotation
With Pettitte retired, Hiroki Kuroda a free agent, and CC Sabathia having an abysmal year for whatever reason, the Yankees do not have a sure thing in their rotation. Even Ivan Nova, who impressed in the second half this past season, has yet to put together a solid year from start to finish. It would be nice if he pitched well without having to be sent to the minors for a wake-up call for once, wouldn’t it?

The Yankees are expected to be all-in on Masahiro Tanaka but even he is an unknown. Everyone expects him to be very good but no one knows how much he can contribute until he actually comes over and starts facing big league hitters. Guys like David Phelps, Adam Warren, and Vidal Nuno are nice depth options but not guys the team should ask to be the numbers three through five starters come Opening Day. Tanaka is (by far) the most luxury tax friendly option but New York could use another veteran starter in addition to him as well.

(Eric Christian Smith/Getty)
(Eric Christian Smith/Getty)

Priority #3: Find Some Power
The so-called Bronx Bombers set a Major League record by hitting 101 fewer homers in 2013 than they did in 2012, the largest year-to-year drop in history. Alfonso Soriano played only 58 games with the team and managed to hit four more homers than any non-Cano hitter. Just think about that. It’s mind-boggling, especially considering the hitter-friendly nature of Yankee Stadium.

A full season of Soriano and the expected return of Mark Teixeira should help the power output, but that’s not enough. New York needs to find a catcher who is not a total zero at the plate and a designated hitter who can actually hit (!), first and foremost, but adding some punch to the bench and replacing the Ichiro Suzuki/Vernon Wells tag team in right with an actual MLB-caliber hitter should be priorities as well. The Yankees play in a small ballpark and in the AL East. That is a reality, not my opinion. They’re going to have an extremely hard time winning if they can’t hit the ball out of the park.

Priority #4: Replace Mariano Rivera
Okay, there is no replacing Mariano Rivera. The Yankees are likely to give David Robertson the closer’s job and let him sink or swim, but that’s not replacing Rivera. Simply sticking someone in the ninth inning isn’t replacing Rivera. New York is losing an elite reliever this winter — the inning he pitches is relatively irrelevant. They had two elite guys and now they have just one, so the bullpen is weaker even if Robertson turns into another Craig Kimbrel. I don’t know if adding an elite end-game arm is a realistic possibility this winter, but, at the same time, going with Shawn Kelley in the eighth, Robertson in the ninth, and a bunch of kids everywhere else isn’t all that realistic either.

Priority #5: Add Depth
If you read this blog regularly, you’re going to be sick of seeing the word “depth” by time this offseason is over. I’m going to be talking about it all the damn time after this past season. Pitching depth, infield depth, outfield depth … you name it and the Yankees should bring it in whenever possible. Minor league free agents, waivers, whatever. The farm system doesn’t have much immediate help to offer, which, in addition to being a negative, means there are lots of roster openings in Triple-A. Even the smallest of upgrades are worth making. This isn’t so much an item on a list of priorities as it is a blanket statement they should look to address whenever possible.

Thoughts at the open of free agency
What Went Wrong: Ichiro Suzuki
  • Mister D

    New Priority 1: Start to clean up the roster. Aim to not offer deals where players will make $20MM+ beyond their expected prime or just-out-of-prime years. Right now, 2017 is the first chance for a clean roster. Don’t make that 2020.

  • Mike HC

    #1 – Cano
    #2 – Rotation
    #3 – McCann

    • Giuseppe

      #4 – Choo

      Bullpen depth can seemingly come from anywhere. Banuelos for 2014?

  • Dale Mohorcic

    “If they don’t re-sign [Cano], they have close to no chance to contend and should seriously consider tearing the whole thing down and rebuilding.”

    What exactly would that entail? Seems to me that the guys the team would want to get rid of are virtually untradeable due to their contracts–Sabathia, Teixeira, Rodriguez, Jeter and to a lesser extent Wells, Soriano and Ichiro. I don’t mean this as a jerky snarky question, I just wonder if it is actually possible to begin a rebuild with those contracts on the roster.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting

      Those guys likely aren’t going anywhere.
      Maybe Soriano if he’s willing to waive his no-trade clause, or Ichiro if they’re willing to eat some salary and still not get much back.
      The could look at trading impending free agents (Gardner and DRob).
      Or they could look a little deeper and consider trading someone like Nova.

      • Preston

        Eating salary would make it pretty easy to trade some of those players if they went full rebuild. Mark Teixeira for 22.5MM per is an unattractive trade chip, eat about half of it and a lot of teams would come calling, same with Sabathia. Of course that means that for the next 3-4 years you’d have huge chunks of money tied up in paying players not to play for you. But if you deal Sabathia, Tex, D-Rob, Gardner and possibly lesser pieces like Soriano and Ichiro, you could get a pretty hefty prospect haul. Plus you could get two or three comp picks for Cano, Granderson and possibly Kuroda. Following up a three pick first round with a four pick first round add in four years of non-contention and picking in probably the top ten. Plus you could use some money to buy reclamation pitchers and flip them at the deadline like the Cubs have done the last few years. That would be a full rebuild and in 2018 with all the contracts on the books they’d hopefully have a young core to build around and supplement with huge gobs of money. Of course this is never going to happen because committing to losing for that long would kill the fan base in a saturated NY market and tarnish the brand for a long time.

        • Need Pitching & Hitting

          I was thinking the combination of contract and no-trade clause would make Tex and CC virtually unmovable.
          But even assuming they’d be willing to accept a trade, if you eat half of CC’s contract, that would leave about 4/$48M (including vesting option)remaining. I’m not sure he’d get that as a free agent coming off the year he just had, though he might. I doubt you’d get much of a trade return at that price though.
          Same with Tex. About 3/34M would probably be palatable to someone, but I wouldn’t think a team would give up much for the privilege of taking that on.

          • Preston

            Oh, I don’t think you’d get a lot for Tex and CC, but you could move them for something, maybe an interesting arm in A ball that has a chance to break out. I think the no-trade clauses would be waived pretty readily if the Yankees let them know they were tearing it down. But it would make it harder to trade them because they would have the opportunity to veto the trade.

            • I’m One

              Agree with your assessment. What the Yankees would be gaining is payroll flexibility, not talent. Not sure how far the payroll flexibility goes if you don’t have a core to build around.

        • I’m One

          On top of having a losing team for an extended period, we know that blowing up a team and rebuilding it to be a perenial contender is a lot easier said than done. Some, possibly all, of the prospects they pick up could fail. It’s been done, but we know the Yankees can’t develop young players.


          • Preston

            I totally agree, and don’t advocate for doing this. Look at the Cubs. Theo has been there for three years, he’s done everything he can to maximize his resources and bring in talent. They’ve averaged 96 losses, Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro were supposed to be their center-pieces and both are struggling. Sure they have a couple of big time guys down on the farm in Baez and Soler. They now have all their bad contracts off the books, but they now seem to be in Astros territory where spending the money isn’t worth it because they aren’t close enough to competing.

            • Robinson Tilapia

              Look at how long it took the Pirates to reach respectability again.

              • Preston

                There is a lot of luck in prospecting, you can do everything right and have nothing to show for it. Can’t misses miss all the time. That four year rebuild quickly start to steamroll in to 7 then 10. At which point you’re just considered a cellar dweller and not rebuilding at all.

          • Robinson Tilapia

            The 2012-13 Boston Red Sox: Terrible beards. Even worse narrative.

    • Mike Axisa

      Soriano, Nova, Robertson, Kelley, Phelps, Warren are all tradeable. I bet they could find a taker for Sabathia if they eat some money. They’re probably stuck with Tex. Ichiro, Jeter (presumably), Wells will be gone next year.

      But yeah, tearing it down and rebuilding isn’t all that practical.

    • ChrisS

      The first rule of holes is that if you find yourself in one, stop digging.

  • PunkPitch

    Resolving Arod is #1 Priority. Pitching is #2. Healthy Jeter is #3.

    • I’m One

      Yankees have very little they can do with your priorities #1 & 3. I agree with Mike’s priorities.

    • Mike Axisa

      The Yankees have no control over #1 and very little control over #3.

      • PunkPitch

        They can wait for a decision from Fred the Executioner before writing checks – I call that Self Control.

        • I’m One

          If they wait that log, there may not be anyone left worth signing.

  • EndlessJose

    Besides Tanaka the Yankees should also get Suk-Min Yoon who would be cheaper than the Dodgers Ryu and the Yankees should trade Yoon to another team to get a few prospects the Yankees don’t have.

    The Twins,Cubs,Mets and even the Angels are desperate for pitching and if they can’t get Tanaka will go after Yoon who would be better in a bigger stadium.

    The Yankee need younger players who can win now.

    • mitch

      I don’t really understand the Yoon suggestion. Why would a team give up prospects for him if they could just sign him themselves?

    • MannyGeee

      Dude… put the video games down

  • nycsportzfan

    Tim Dierkes Did a TOP 50 MLB FA’s and where they land Perdiciton on He had us landing these players from his top 50..

    Robinson Cano 2B

    Ervin Santana P- I like this idea. Hes only 30yrs old and outside of a bad 2012, he had posted a ERA under 4 in 3of the last 4seasons and has been a AS in the past. Hes really good.

    Hiroki Kuroda P- I love getting him back on a 1yr deal, even though his 2nd half, he clearly had arm fatigue. I think we can get one more rock solid season outta Kuroda.

    Carols Beltran OF/DH- We need more power, and Beltran offers that and is a switch hitter, which we simply need to get, as we’ve always had switch hitters, and they come in so handy. Guys like Bernie and Posada, and Raines and Tex..etc Adding a 2nd SH to Tex makes Giardis job so much easier. Beltran still has the fire burning for a WS ring also, so we’ll get a motivated Beltran

    Grant Balfour P- Obviously a talented veteran reliever is a must this offseason, and Balfour fits the profile of a 8th inn who can strike guys out and set up for David Robertson. And if Robertson struggles in the closer spot, Balfour could probably step in and do well.

    AJ Piersinsky C- I wanted him last yr, and people around here didn’t like the idea, and the guy did what he does in Texas, which is Hit, and his team ended up in the postseason. To be honest, i’d rather have AJ in a 2yr deal over McCann in a 4or5..

    I love these perdictions. This is just the top 50 as well. We can make a few other smart savy moves hopefully as well with lesser FA’s, like resigning Mark Reynolds and Brenden Ryan.

    A rotation of Sabathia, Kuroda, Santana, Nova, Pineda/Phelps/Maholm? is really intriguing.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting

      the guy did what he does in Texas, which is Hit
      90 wRC+. With a dreadful sub-.300 OBP. OK for a C. Not so much for a bat first C.
      He’s been below league average overall offensively 10 of the last 11 years.
      He does hit for a decent average. He does have a little bit of pop. He also makes a ton of outs and is mediocre at best defensively. And he’ll be 37.

      • nycsportzfan

        Hes a catcher that hit over 270 with power on a playoff team. Whats wrong with that?d p The point is, ur gonna get good production at alot cheaper price then McCann. McCann is also injury risk. Ur better off getting AJ on a 2yr deal and waiting on Sanchez.

        I’m sticking to this one, this guy would hit lovely in Yankee Stadium. His Similarity batters on BaseballRefrence are Terry Steinbach, Thurman Munson, Jason Varitek, Benito Santiago, and Tony Pena. All those guys were very good players and could hit for the positon.

        The guy can hit.

        • Need Pitching & Hitting

          90 wRC+ isn’t good production. It’s below average.
          It’s acceptable production for a C, but not standout.

          I don’t equate below average offensively for 10/11 years as “The guy can hit”. It’s “The guy can hit OK, for a Catcher.”

          He can hit OK for a C. He’s a bottom of the lineup hitter. The Yankees have more than enough options for that. If they are going to spend, they need to spend on above average hitters/pitchers. AJ isn’t that. And he’ll give away a lot of the limited offense he does provide with his defense.

          Every C is an injury risk. (especially as they get old)
          Yes he’ll be cheaper than McCann.
          He’s also significantly worse than McCann.
          Cervelli/Romine/Murphy will be cheaper than both.

    • mike

      I think Santana got a QO…..thats not gonna happen. I would think Beltran makes too much sense if Granderson moves on, and AJ – while apparently he is a douche – will be a major upgrade at C, and perhaps give Romine/Cervelli a chance to mature into the position.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        Santana did get a QO. Not interested there.

        If the Yankees can swing a way to get Balfour, I obviously wouldn’t be opposed.

        I’m definitely open to a clearly above-average catcher like McCann, but I also don’t see it as my top priority, nor I do I really want to see them waste too much time on the second-tier market for catchers. They’re going to have five catchers on the 40-man. I’d rather try to make it work with them and strengthen the rest of what’s needed first.

        • nycsportzfan

          It just seems kinda perfect in my opinion to bring AJ in on a 2yr deal. Gary Sanchez should be close to ready after the contract would be up, and we’d have Posada type offense in the meantime. AJ would light up that short porch in rightfield.

          Thats just my opinion though.

          What do you think of Carlos Beltran coming to the yanks?

          • Robinson Tilapia

            I’d rather not go crazy with guys who’d cost picks, but I don’t think Beltran is the worst idea.

            I’d honestly rather have Salty to AJ, but I’d rather have a certified letter guaranteeing me JR Murphy will be ready to catch full-time next season.

          • Need Pitching & Hitting


            AJ is nowhere near Posada type offense. Not even on the same planet as Posada.
            Posada career 123 wRC+, AJ: 94.
            One was a well above average offensive player and borderline HOF. The other is a consistently below league average offensive player.
            Posada in his last year as a Yankee was just slightly less productive offensively than AJ has been over his career, and about as productive as AJ was this year.

    • jjyank

      Ew, hell no on Pierzynski. Dude is just not good. Below average on offense, bad on defense, old, and a douche. I see absolutely no reason to sign him, let alone for 2 years.

  • Frank

    Priority #1- As to Cano, “if they don’t re-sign him, they have close to no chance to contend…”.

    That’s ridiculous.

    • ChrisS

      Frankly, even if they resign Cano, they don’t have much of a shot to contend.

      This is a desperate team and desperation is the worst cologne.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting

      It’s probably slightly exaggerated, but if they are going to stick to $189M, replacing by far their most valuable position player as well as filling all of the other major holes they have would be extremely difficult.
      It’s just a ton of major holes to fill without a lot of viable options to fill them.

    • Coolerking101

      Doesn’t strike me as ridiculous at all. Without Cano, the Yankee lineup is in the bottom 5 or 10 in all of baseball. It’s not like the pitching is elite either.

      • I’m One

        Without Cano, they have ~$25M/yr to upgrade at other positions. That could mean McCann at C, Infante at 2B, Drew at SS, Tanaka/Garza/Sanatana at P, Beltran or Granderson and so on, depending on how they decide to spend the money. Not re-signing Cano provides flexibility to spend differently. It may or may not lead to a playoff slot next season or in the future depending on who they pick up. Different, maybe not better (or maybe it is).

  • mike

    the killer about Arod is the 6mm kicker he has coming….even if he is suspended for 100 games, he still will still cost the payroll $15mm (when that bonus kicks in) for basically 2 months of baseball

  • Farewell Mo

    I’d like to see Tanaka and Garza since they wouldn’t cost a draft pick, either McCann or Beltran and then some roster filled like Infante, a reliever or 2, etx.

  • Batsman

    #1 and #2 are fine. #3 is plain old stupid. We had power in 2010, 2011, and 2012 (with the addition of Granderson, etc..) where did that get us? Let me give you a clue,….men left on base and high strikeouts. What the Yankees need are players with high .OBP who can hit for a decent average.

    As for #5, I am not worried about that. The Yankees haven’t had a problem with dept in the past years. The key to depth is to hope that they don’t play everyday. Meaning… injuries to the Starters.

    In Mike Axisa’s own words: “To their credit, the Yankees have had a lot of success getting unexpected production from declining players in recent years. They squeeze water out of washed up veteran rocks better than anyone.” THAT is Raul Ibanez, Eric Chavez, Andruw Jones, and Russell Martin…in a nutshell.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting

      We had power in 2010, 2011, and 2012 … where did that get us?

      The playoffs?

      They led the league in HR’s in 2009.
      Where did that get us?

      (They do need a better balanced offense though, but that includes power)

    • MannyGeee


    • Mike Axisa

      We had power in 2010, 2011, and 2012 (with the addition of Granderson, etc..) where did that get us?

      The playoffs? The ALCS twice? What a rough three seasons.

    • jjyank

      Um, what?

      *head desk*

    • Robinson Tilapia

      2010-12 were pretty good seasons.

      Folks, Papa Bear may have told you it was championship or fail every season, but even Papa Bear didn’t give you a championship for 18 straight years.

  • j

    I have a feeling that Dan Uggla will be our opening day 2b next year. Cano will sign elsewhere, but by the time that happens the already barren FA market will be empty and we will go the “Vernon Wells” route.

  • dasani

    They need to DFA Wells, I don’t care if the Angels are still paying his salary, the guy is taking up a valuable roster spot.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting

      They currently already have 6 empty roster spots.

      Though I suppose an empty roster spot might still provide more value than Wells…

  • Delbert Grady

    The difficulty in saying what the Yankees SHOULD do right now is not knowing if it’s more important to Hal to achieve 189 and feel like he won top prize at the math olympics or is it more important to win. If winning is important, you objectively look at the roster and go to work. Cano, Kuroda, Tanaka, Choo, Beltran, McCann all should pursued vigorously. Joe Nathan should be pursued vigorously. You admit you don’t have the young guys to fill in during the next couple of seasons and try to build a great club full of guys who have character (hence avoiding AJ P behind the dish aka MLB’s real life Kenny Powers).

    If 189 and being the mathlete of the year is what matters most, then we all should just shut down, stop commenting and watch Hal strip mine the brand they’ve built until we’re the current version of the Mets touting 2-3 high draft picks that make it up to the majors as the future while letting the rest of the team rot. Getting under 189 while carrying Tex, Arod, Jeter, CC makes no sense. You’re punishing your present team for your sins of the past. Running an organization that suddenly finds payroll religion while carrying close to 100 million in declining assets and not having young top level talent ready to fill in is the recipe for disaster. And I’m sad to say, I think that’s where we’re headed. The budget is more important than winning. We’re already on the slippery slope and we’re running out of branches to grab on the way down.

    • Pee Wee Herman Ruth

      Here, here!

  • dkidd

    we’re the phillies, aren’t we?

    • Robinson Tilapia

      We don’t throw batteries onto the field. No.

      There’s other similarities, but you could be in a far worse situations than either team is in.

      • dkidd

        angels & brewers, to name two

        i’m just grumpy

        • Robinson Tilapia

          That’s OK. We can deal with your grumps.

          Being the Angels sucks. Frankly, I still think being the Astros sucks. Let’s see where that farm system takes them before we say they’re in a good position.

          Remember, it ALWAYS sucks to be the Kansas City Royals.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    Holy God. I want to hit myself repeatedly with a sledgehammer after reading some of the comments here.

    Fine with priorities #1 and #2. While I don’t really like to think about a Robbie-less team much, theoritically, you could add an Infante and look to make up what’s lost elsewhere. Easier said than done, but possible in 2014 with even a celery cap in place.

    Priority #3, to me, if strengthening the left side of the infield. That means, even if it winds up being somewhat superflous, getting a starting-quality 3B. It also means finding an upgrade over Eduardo Nunez. The incumbents at both positions may struggle to even give you 100 games on the field next year. I know, Darren, I know, but I must be honest sometimes. It’s OK, Darren. Yes, cry on my shoulder.

    I think you bring back Curtis Granderson as the easiest route to get that power, and you hope Tex at least hasn’t lost the power stroke, even if he settles in at being a .250 or so hitter from here on out.

    Fine with the rest. Solid write-up.

  • Doug

    I know I’m spoiled since I started rooting for the team in the early 90s. For as long as I can remember one of the Yankees biggest strengths has been money. It’s so weird to see them throwing that away. You hear stories of George having a meeting where they went through every free agent, picked the ones they thought would be best for the team and tried to figure out what they’d have to do to get them. This year it feels like they’ll be going through every free agent and, for the first time, looking at the cost over how much it will help the team win. The worst part is that it’s all self imposed. I’d love to see the math where they figured out that 189 will save them more now than putting a better product on the field. Or maybe they just think they can contend with the cap space they have. I just wish they’d make 189 a goal to be reached over the next few years. There’s no reason they have to do it the first year the cap changes.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Look at the team’s history past 1978. Look at when they won championships, with who, and why. Those mythical meetings didn’t get results and, when you look at what signings and trades actually occurred under pre-suspension GS3’s watch, there’s a whole lot to be less than impressed about.

      There’s a lot of myth around GS3’s drive, and where it got this team. I wouldn’t pay much attention to it. :)

  • Mantle28

    No Cano offseason where we still have a playoff caliber team:

    Sign Tanaka 70 Mil Posting Fee 6/60 contract
    Sign Hiroki Kuroda 1/15
    Sign Josh Johnson/ 1/5
    Sign Brian McCann 5/90
    Sign Omar Infante 3/30
    Sign Carlos Beltran 2/30
    Sign Curtis Granderson 3/50
    Sign Mark Reynolds 1/5

    Trade for David Freese

    Add a few bullpen pieces and a solid bench and I think this works out to be a solid offseason. Money is just my own estimation.

    C: McCann
    1B Teix/Reynolds
    2B: Infante
    3B: Freese
    SS: Jeter/Nunez
    LF: Granderson
    CF: Gardner
    RF: Beltran
    DH: Reynolds/Jeter/Soriano

    SP: Sabathia
    SP: Kuroda
    SP: Tanaka
    SP: Nova
    SP: Johnson/Phelps/Pineda etc

    Cl Robertson


    • Hardy

      That team costs like $115M. Even with a 162+ susoension for A-Rod, the Yankees can’t spend more than $75M to stay under 189.
      If they blow past 189, there is no real reason not to go all out and acquire Cano.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting

      Not too bad, should be competitive.
      But also probably over the $189M threshold, even before adding the bullpen pieces and bench.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Eight FA signings? That’s more than a busy off-season for anyone.

      It’s a competitive team. I’d like it better if you swapped out “Infante” with “Cano.”

  • WFAN Caller

    The Yankees are kidding themselves in thinking that the only way to escape the “restraints” of paying the luxury tax is to get under the cap. That’s just so stupid it makes me want to throw up in my hat. Cool, great, get under the cap, and keep trotting out the likes of Vernon Wells and Lyle Overbay. Pretty soon they will be looking at their bottom line in stadium receipts and wondering why the revenue gap is increasing even thought THEY GOT UNDER THE GODDAMN F-CKING LUXURY TAX THRESHOLD!!

  • Tom

    Assuming they make a run at Tanaka, what do folks think of Nolasco (instead of a guy like Garza)?

    Garza and Hudson are going to have quite a bit of interest and I think they will get (over?)paid. Nolasco might be a bit cheaper and maybe a slightly shorter deal than a guy like Garza? I think the key would be a quick (early) deal where you don’t have the losers of the Tanaka/Garza/Hudson sweepstakes getting involved and driving his price and/or years up.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      I still tend to like Garza better, simply because we have an AL and, especially, AL East, body of work to judge him by.

      Nolasco has his strong LA numbers, but always seemed more of a 4/5 type with the Marlins. I’m not sure that’s what this team needs. I feel like Garza, if all goes right, could push into a 2-3 role.

      He’s a good fallback, though.

      • Tom

        The Garza AL East story is overdone

        He’s a better pitcher but people seem to forget he wasn’t all that great with the Rays and he had massive home/road ERA splits (TB is a really good pitcher’s park that kind of flies under the radar). His FIP while in TB was consistently over 4.10 (not terrible, but not great) – he had one really good year in Chicago (2011) but other than that he’s been an average-ish pitcher.

        I just don’t see them as all that different, but one likely being considerably more expensive.

        2008-2013 (ERA/FIP/xFIP)
        Nolasco 4.30/3.60/3.62
        Garza 3.76/3.94/3.93

    • nycsportzfan

      Not a big fan of Nolasco in the AL EAST. I’m really not a believer in Nolasco. I think he’ll be similar to the guys like Hughes, where hes never consistent, and looks good sometimes, and terrible others.

      I’d much rather sign Ervin Santana , as hes more consistent. They are both the same age also. Nolasco was pretty bad up untill last yr.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        Your off-season plan has us giving up picks like they’re going out of style. :)

  • Mike

    The new posting rules will make it possible for Tanaka to choose between the top bidders for who he negotiates with. Hopefully Boston and LA don’t get too heavily involved or we might have a hard time convincing him.