Yankees still have more work to do even after landing Tanaka

Prospect Profile: Jose Ramirez
Tanaka Speaks: "I’m going there to win the World Series"
Second best reliever. (Presswire)
Second best reliever. (Presswire)

The Yankees have spent a ton of money and signed several premium free agents this winter, but I’m not sure any felt as important as yesterday’s Masahiro Tanaka addition. Don’t get me wrong, the Brian McCann signing was huge and both Carlos Beltran and Jacoby Ellsbury will help as well, but Tanaka felt like a true necessity. Without him, the team’s chances of contending were small. Heck, they might not even make the postseason with Tanaka, but at least now it feels like they’ll be dangerous.

Following the signing, Brian Cashman told reporters he doesn’t think “there’ll be more heavy lifting that can take place” in the weeks leading up to Spring Training. That makes sense; the Yankees have signed five players to contracts worth $15M+ annually this offseason and every team does have a limit, even teams worth more than $3 billion. The “heavy lifting” is done but that doesn’t mean there aren’t more moves to be made. It shouldn’t mean that, anyway. The Bombers still have some questions left to answer.

“I think people want to see how the bullpen’s going to shake out. People are going to want to see how the infield’s going to shake out,” added Cashman according to Dan Martin. “What’s Brian Roberts going to be? What’s Derek Jeter going to be as he comes back from his injury? What’s Mark Teixeira going to be at first base as he comes back from his wrist [injury]? Can Kelly Johnson secure and handle on a consistent basis third base? … Speaking to the obvious questions that people would have every right to ask.”

As the GM indicated, the biggest one of those questions is the bullpen. I feel like a broken record saying that, but I keep repeating it because it’s true. The Yankees’ second best reliever right now is Shawn Kelley and the bullpen as a whole could really undermine the entire pitching staff. Remember, the Yankees have been talking about scaling back CC Sabathia‘s workload and Hiroki Kuroda spoke about doing the same himself, plus I have to think they’ll take it easy on Tanaka (at least as first) as he transitions to a five-day schedule. Who knows what the kid fifth starter will do as well?

Someone needs to eat up all those middle innings and right now they’re slated to fall on the shoulders of Dellin Betances, Preston Claiborne, Robert Coello … guys like that. The Yankees almost have to hope someone like Adam Warren or Vidal Nuno turns into 2009 Al Aceves, a rubber-armed reliever who can throw four pitches or four innings on any given day. That’s the kind of guy they need right now given the state of the bullpen. It’s Kelley, David Robertson, lefty specialist Matt Thornton, and a whole lotta hopin’ and prayin’.

There isn’t much the Yankees can do for the infield aside from signing Stephen Drew or swinging a trade for Chase Headley at this point. Neither of those options seems particularly realistic either. The Yankees currently have a stars and scrubs roster and many of those scrubs are on the infield. Teixeira and Jeter might be awesome coming off their injuries, or they could be totally ineffective. Roberts is somehow even more of an unknown. The team seems resigned to filling out the infield with someone on a minor league deal and continue to look for upgrades at midseason.

The Yankees came into this winter with a lot of problems and, for the most part, they’ve addressed them. The lineup is much improved and the rotation was solidified, though I would love to see them add another starter — it would be awesome if Ubaldo Jimenez fell into their lap in March a la Kyle Lohse last year — to knock Davis Phelps & Co. down a peg on the depth chart, but I’m not counting on it. Tanaka might be the team’s last bit of “heavy lifting” but he shouldn’t be the last move. The infield needs work and the bullpen especially needs help.

Prospect Profile: Jose Ramirez
Tanaka Speaks: "I’m going there to win the World Series"
  • Martin Ranger

    Ayala would be a good depth signing.

    I’m probably insane, but I think Betances is going to be the next David Robertson. He was -really- good when he was finally kicked to the bullpen, and that raw stuff plays anywhere. If he can keep his mechanics in check for an inning at a time, that’s a dominant set-up guy.

    And I still have high hopes for Kelley. You can’t teach that K rate.

    Generally I feel that middle relievers (especially righties) are incredibly fungible. If you have a bunch of guys with talent, which the Yankees do, you should get one or two servicable guys for the middle innings.

    As for position players: I feel like Baker is an obvious add, especially with his ability to fake the outfield and play the corners. If you have to DFA Ichiro so be it. I’d love for them to DFA Nunez, but that probably isn’t happening. Drew would be nice, but that’s a lot of middle infielders. Right now it’s the corners I’m worried about.

    • nsalem

      I don’t think your insane but i think your being overly optimistic to think that Betances will be the best set-up man in baseball next year. Would love to see neither Nunez and Ichiro on the 2014 Yankees.

      • Martin Ranger

        I was seeing him following a Robertson career path – while he was good as a rookie, he certainly wasn’t the pitcher he’s become. But I think he’s got the chops to do it.

    • Tags

      I have to agree with you having seen Betances in Trenton, and seeing how awesome his stuff was at times. I’m hoping he shows why we stuck with him this long and nails a spot in the bullpen.

  • Masahiro Deniro

    per @BtBscore

    “#Yankees’ rotation is projected to have a 15.2 fWAR (FanGraphs’ depth charts), third-best in baseball…without Tanaka.”

    I’d argue that McCann was a much bigger signing considering the level up upgrade he represents at a preeminently important position.

    I just don’t see where the rationale for the narrative “Still work to be done” comes from.

    The team isn’t stocked with All-Stars at every position, but they shouldn’t be. There are some stars, some everyday players, some role players, and some fringe candidates… that’s what every team in baseball looks like.

    They also don’t need another starter… 1-4 is set, and there are young guys to fill out #5

    • Martin Ranger

      I do not at all understand this need to fill the 5 starter spot through free agency. The Yankees won most of their championships with utterly forgetable guys in the five spot. Hell, most teams do.

      • Need Pitching & Hitting

        If they didn’t have as many serious question marks in the IF and bullpen, I’d be absolutely fine with a 5th starter competition.
        I thinks it’s an issue of just too many question marks in too many areas right now. If they could substantially upgrade the IF (unlikely) or bullpen, then I don’t think 5th starter is much of an issue. If they can’t do at least one of those things, substantially upgrading the 5th starter is one way to make up for the other shortcomings.
        Those championship Yankee teams didn’t have nearly the other question marks that the current Yankees roster does.

        • Martin Ranger

          I guess I’d just much rather spend money on the bullpen than on the 5th starter spot when you have at least three guys (Pineda, Phelps, and less so Warren and Nuno) who have shown some ability to get major league hitters out. I will take my chances on one of those guys, or some combination, being league average or better.

        • Nishi

          IMO the Yankees need to allow guys like Pineda, Phelps, Warren and co a chance to succeed in the majors. I don’t like the idea of filling in all holes in the rotation with free agents. If the Yankees are going to be successful in this century, it is going to be on the backs of young pitchers, like every other successful team out there right now. Give them a chance to start, not just be longmen. If none of them work out, then sign someone, but there is no reason they need to sign a number 5 when they have Phelps, Warren and Pineda all ready to compete for that job.

          • Need Pitching & Hitting

            I’d much rather they upgrade the bullpen and IF and go with the “kids” for the 5th spot.
            I do think they need to add a little bit more to become a likely playoff team, and SP is one of few remaining possible avenues to get that little bit more.
            I seriously doubt they sign a significant free agent pitcher, though.

  • Nathan

    Bye bye Balfour…back to the Rays. 2 yr/$12M…

    • TWTR

      Oh well…

      It will be a little more interesting watching him pitch against the O’s this season.

  • Rob S.

    The Yankees have enough middle infield depth with Ryan and Nunez. What the ceally need is corner infielder who can back up at first and third. I wish they had pushed harder for Mark Reynolds or re-signed Jayson Nix.

    • Nick


      • I’m One

        How much experience does Baker have at the corners?

        • Martin Ranger

          Baker played first (21 games) and third (10 games) on the Rangers last year. And he has a history of playing the corners on and off dating from his Rockies’ days. He can fake it. And probably isn’t much worse than the Immovable A-Rod post hip-surgery.

        • Need Pitching & Hitting

          110 games (73 starts) at 1B (21 and 15 in 2013)
          99 games (64 starts) at 3B (10 and 5 in 2013)

          • Need Pitching & Hitting

            For comparison’s sake, the current likely starting 3B (Johnson) has 16 games (12 starts) at 3B and 3 games (2 starts) at 1B (I’m guessing he’d be the current on roster 1B backup).

            • Martin Ranger

              Can you make one third baseman between Baker and Johnson, and see what Roberts and Sizemore can offer? It’s not ideal, but I think you can. The strength of the team’s offense is the outfield and catcher spots, both of which will be enormously better in 2014.

              • Need Pitching & Hitting

                With what’s left in free agency, I’d be fine with Baker.
                Johnson, Baker, Roberts/Sizemore/Anna/Nunez, Ryan, Jeter, Tex isn’t exactly ideal and leaves a ton of ??’s in the IF, but it has a chance to be serviceable. I think going with that group would make further upgrades to the pitching staff more of a necessity though.

              • Jorge Steinbrenner

                Definitely not ideal. For one, there’d be a shitload of blood to clean up.

              • BFDeal

                Frankensteinbrenner’s monster?

  • lou

    Yankees if you think your going into the season with that infield. Your finished!

    • Masahiro Dinero

      Jore (soft J, as in jogging)

      it’s all the same

      • Germain Williams


        • Jorge Steinbrenner

          I’m not sure but, apparently, you just run for an extended period of time. It’s supposed to be wild.

      • The Great Gonzo


  • LK

    I’m actually not all that worried about the bullpen. They can cycle guys in and out and I think they can figure out how to put together at least an average unit. And, if they don’t, it’s just the bullpen. Ultimately it’s pretty unlikely that this team will sink or swim based on the quality of the middle relief.

    The IF is what has me scared. Between injuries, age, and in some cases just not being that good to start with, the infield has the potential to be an absolute disaster. It’s not like the bullpen where if the rest of the team plays well no one will notice, it’s half the lineup. Morever, finding a competent midfielder at the trade deadline isn’t a given either. The more I look at this the more I think they need to sign Drew – the draft pick they’d be giving up is low, he can play SS, and he can hit a little bit. Shit, I’d probably put him at the top of the depth chart at all 3 non-1B IF positions.

    • Martin Ranger

      To be fair, the barring Teix and Jeter missing the majority of the season, the infield cannot possibly be worse than last year’s. Like, Cano was great, the rest were epically terrible.

      • JGYank

        Agree and I think McCann over Stewart will be huge and might cover up some other flaws. Stewart couldn’t hit at all.

      • LK

        As much as I wish you were right, I don’t think you are.

        Just back of the envelope, Cano was worth 6 fWAR last year. That would be 1.5 WAR per starting infielder, which is a player just below average. Given how old and injury prone this infield is, they could easily be worse than that.

        But either way, I’m not sure “not worse than last year” is good enough. The bullpen will probably be worse, at least somewhat. The rotation will hopefully be better with Tanaka and a CC rebound, but they also lost Pettitte, and I doubt Kuroda is as good as he was last year. The OF and catching situations are obviously much better, but they needed to be because last year’s team wasn’t good enough. I’m just having a hard time seeing Tex/Roberts/Jeter/Johnson getting it done in 2014. Even if the rest of the team is good, they need an IF that at least doesn’t suck, and I’m not sure they have that right now.

        • Martin Ranger

          Cano had 6 WAR, and if I remember correctly, the rest of the infield had something like -2 WAR. So you have to account for the fact that the Yankees’ non-Cano infielders weren’t replacement level – they were actually much worse.

    • mitch

      Agree about the bullpen. It’d be nice to add a veteran arm, but i’d definitely put it way behind infield depth on the priority list. It’s also the easiest position to upgrade during the season via trade.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      Yes, they can cycle guys in and out, bullpen-building is like law and sausage, etc.

      The margin for error here, even knowing that, is pretty razor thing. It almost doesn’t matter if DRob holds up. They’re playing some pretty big catch-up if Shawn Kelley regresses at the start of the season. I love me some Shawn Kelley, but counting on him to take the next step, without a net, is not a good strategy.

      They don’t need the biggest name, but they need another solid vet in their who has a reasonable chance of remaining reliable throughout the season.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        razor THIN.

        Can’t even blame the phone on that one.

  • I’m One

    With Balfour off the table, perhaps Ayala is a worth-while target, but I wouldn’t be too concerned if they go with what they’ve got internally in Phelps/Warren/Betances/Nuno/Cabral & possibly Ramirez to go along with Claiborne, Thorton, Kelley & Robertson. That’s a fair amount of arms to choose from, even if there’s not a ton of experience there.

    I agree, the corner infield spots are most troubling. I’m hoping Scott Sizemore can be the answer at 3B, but if there’s a better option out there, I’m all for bringing him in. And they need someone to back up Teixiera. Between Ryan, Nunez & Anna, I think they’ll be ok covering the middle infield spots.

  • http://riveraveblues.com Rich

    And Baltimore getting close to signing Rodney. Was hoping he would sign in the NL so I wouldn’t have to see that stupid hat of his anymore. Maybe he wouldn’t have such a high walk rate if his hat was on straight!!!

    • Martin Ranger

      I want Rodney on this team even less than Papelbon. True story.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        Nah. Rodney all day over Papelboner.

        I just don’t think shooting arrows in the sky has the same effect in the 8th inning….or in the Bronx. You shoot arrows in the Bronx, someone might shoot back with something else.

  • Slu

    The Yankees second best reliever may well end up being the loser of the Phelps/Warren competition.

    • Gonzo

      I think I would prefer the loser to keep starting in AAA just in case. I do think Warren would make a better reliever though.

  • Max

    “There isn’t much the Yankees can do for the infield aside from signing Stephen Drew or swinging a trade for Chase Headley at this point. Neither of those options seems particularly realistic either.”

    How about trading for Aramis Ramirez?

    There’s a ton of upside there. Definitely worth the gamble, in my opinion.

    • Martin Ranger

      Really depends what the Brewers want. And I don’t have the stats in front of me but I think he’s reaching Miggy levels of suck at the hot corner based on the eye test. His range consists mostly of falling over, and he’s had a bunch of leg injuries in recent years. I don’t want another old guy unless he’s going to make a major difference.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      The Rangers had a catching prospect named Max Ramirez a few years ago. I wonder.

      • Max

        Nailed it.

        • Jorge Steinbrenner


    • Gonzo

      Steamer has Ramirez at 2.5 WAR and Kelly Johnson at 1.4. If you average out the other systems and just want to make it simple, let’s say Ramirez is worth one win over KJ. Maybe more if you calculate the value of KJ over what he replaces on the bench or wherever else he goes.

      Mike pointed out that 1 win to the Yankees is hella valuable, so might be worth it in a dump.

      • Max


        I’m bullish on Aramis, so I think he’s probably worth more than that, even if he only ends up with 400 ABs or so.

        Basically, I think he can add 2 extra wins to this team and that’s worth taking on the salary.

        This team is knocking on the door and I think Aramis puts them over the top and makes them AL East favorites.

  • Jamie Wolf

    If I can remember the late 90’s championship teams, we had Hayes or Brosuis or an old Boggs at 3rd, Duncan or Knoblauch at 2nd, an old Fielder or Tino at 1b, lf was always an issue with Spencer, Curtis or G. Williams, Giradi or young Posada at c.. a young Rivera as closer.. I’m sure I missed a couple. Not exactly an all star team.. It is about pitching, solid defenses and timely pitching… 1-4 pitchers are solid, hopefully Pineda wins the job and Phelps and Warren go to the pen and continue to develop…who knows one may turn into the next Robertson. Too many fans think we need all stars at every position which we don’t… Sure there are questions but all teams have questions and nobody knows what will happen which is why the games are played…

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      The Gods of WAR make strike me down here, but I’d wager the 90’s spare parts had a bit more potential than the 2014 spare parts.

      Beware of the late 90’s as barometer of anything.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        MAY strike me down

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    Spot on.

    There’s still opportunties to address both right into Spring Training. Let’s not cry doom bcause Balfour and Rodney might have/have found homes.

  • Freddy Sez Spend $260 Million

    Didn’t Hank just say the other day they could have a $300M payroll without the luxury tax?

    So work backwards:

    $189M +71M = $260M

    50% of $70M = $35M

    That’s $295M

    Why are we worried about payroll again? We know in a bad year they clear $300M in tickets alone.

    • Gonzo

      It’s one thing to spend $300mm to directly better your team. It’s another spend $300mm with over 10% not directly benefiting your team. It’s a tough thing to swallow.

      • Freddy Sez Spend $260 Million

        This makes no sense. We pay money to see them win. They have the money. Given the choice between seeing them spend it or keep it, why should we root for the owners?

        They need a shortstop
        They need a 3B or 2B

        They need another starter

        They need two veteran bullpen arms.

        I don’t see how another $50M can’t get them most of the above. And it’s not like these signings are long-term commitments. Drew requires a 3 or 4 years. And they still need a SS for 3 or 4 years.

        The real problem is there aren’t very many other decent options left.

        • Gonzo

          I used to know people – with money mind you – that drive far to not pay taxes on clothing. I don’t see why avoiding paying taxes makes no sense when you are talking about more than 10% on $300mm.

    • BFDeal

      He was referring to revenue sharing, not the luxury tax.

    • steve (different one)

      Did the revenue sharing he was talking about go away?

      No? that was his point.

  • Dicka24

    Nice signing for the Rays. 2/$12 million is a nice deal for them. Would have been a nice cushion to have in the Yanks pen, but oh well.

    Garza’s deal is another decent one. 4 years at $52 million seems pretty good for a guy like Garza. I almost wonder if it would be better to have Garza for $12.5 million per, and another $10 million to spend elsewhere, than it is to have Tanaka for $155 plus the $20 million posting fee? Then again, it ain’t my money.

  • Freddy Sez Spend $260 Million

    “The Yankees’ second best reliever right now is Shawn Kelley”

    And he was replacement level last year…

  • JGYank

    I agree there is still more work to do, but the most important things this offseason have been done. The lineup and rotation were improved and that’s what needed the most work and are the most important parts of a team. Looking at the rotation changes, CC, who seems to be in good shape and can return to his offseason routine since he didn’t have surgery again, should rebound at least a little if not a lot, while Nova and Kuroda are back and both were great for a large part of last year. Kuroda may be worse but even if he declines a little he will be a good pitcher and Nova seems to be on the rise. Tanaka should be able to replace Pettitte if not more, while Hughes didn’t give us much at all last year so the #5 starter could actually be an upgrade over him. So I think the rotation should be better than or at least as good as last year if CC rebounds, which I think he will and Tanaka is as good as Pettitte which is reasonable to expect. The outfield is much better. Gardner replaces Wells in left. Ells replaces Gardy in center. Beltran replaces Ichiro who moves to the bench while Soriano will be here for a full season but probably won’t be as good as he was in the second half. Grandy didn’t get much playing time last year and wasn’t great when he did so the outfield is a huge upgrade with an improvement at each spot. The infield isn’t as bad as it looks. McCann is a huge upgrade over Stewart and Cervelli isn’t a bad backup. Tex, if healthy, is a nice upgrade over Overbay, even if Tex can’t bring up the average or put up 30/100 and he is also stellar defensively. Roberts is a huge downgrade from Cano, but if healthy (for his standards) and used in a platoon with someone (sizemore?) we may get respectable production from there. SS is all about Jeter healing. I think he can still hit for a SS. It’s his defense and health that worries me. Ryan can play there if Jeter can’t and will at least provide value defensively. Either way, that’s better than what we got from there last year up from Brignac, Gonzalez, etc. Johnson should be average at 3B, but is still an improvement from last year since he’s not Luis Cruz or Chris Nelson, and will be helped somewhat by YS. Probably platoon him. Arod did get some time there in 2012 but not enough to keep us from getting terrible production at the position. The only way the infield would be a disaster is if both Jeter and Tex both go down again which is possible so a lot will depend on health.

    I’m confident the team can scrap together a pen, and I trust Robertson. We did lose Mo and Logan, but we also lose Joba (which is a good thing since he was terrible) and gained Thornton so that should cushion the blow. I remember 2011 when the rotation had Colon and Garcia who were scrap heap signings but they actually worked out. If we can scrap together a rotation like that, we can do the same with pen. Nothing is guaranteed of course, but it is far from impossible. Plus it’s not like the offseason is over and the trading deadline is around the corner. Guys will become available once teams fall out of the race. Overall we are better at every spot besides 2b and the pen. The offense is much better and the rotation has a ton of potential and upside. I feel much better about this team than last year.

    • steves

      I agree with your analysis. I think, without making another move, the Yanks have added 1-1.5 more runs per game and will be back to 800 runs next year. If you take a look at the top 9 total plate appearances last year the Yanks, more often than not, trotted out this team (in order of plate appearances): Cano; Gardner; Ichiro; Overbay; Wells; Stewart; Nunez; Nix; Hafner. Obviously Cano will be missed and Gardner is a wash but, in every other case, the Yanks will be getting plate appearances from a far superior group than the 2013 group. I thought the Yanks were a 90 win team just based on the moves made prior to Tanaka. Tanaka now makes them the team to beat IMO.

      • JGYank

        I wouldn’t take it that far. This team is still full of question marks. 800 runs is pushing it with our infield/health/age questions. Tanaka might not adjust well, CC may not rebound, Kuroda could decline, the pen and infield could be bad, Jeter and Tex might not stay healthy, etc. I’m not sure if we are a 90 win team right now but it’s certainly possible if things go well. There’s a lot that could go right for us and a lot that could go wrong. We still aren’t the team to beat right now since Boston and TB are both solid and were better than us last year and I think the east should be a 3 team race involving us and those 2 teams. But we are contenders and are much improved since the offseason began.

        • steves

          If there was ever a one-hit wonder it was the 2013 Red Sox; everything broke fabulously right for them. The truth of the 2014 Red Sox lies somewhere between the horrible 2012 version and the blessed 2013 version. Tampa’s pitching always keeps them in the mix but the rebuilt Yankee line-up easily surpasses Tampa’s line-up (and their 3rd highest home run guy from last year now plays 3B for the Yanks!).

          • JGYank

            Things did go well for the Sox and I agree they won’t be as good as last year especially since they lost Ellsbury Salty and possibly Drew and Ortiz should decline any minute now. But they still are the defending champs and a pretty good team and their pitching should improve from having Bucholz and Peavy the whole year. TB’s lineup is underrated and they really don’t have any holes in the lineup besides at catcher. They have Longoria Zobrist Myers plus other decent guys like Jennings Joyce Escobar Loney and Dejesus. Their pitching is always good and unless they trade Price I would expect them to contend. They also just signed Balfour. Both the Red Sox and TB have better pitching staffs than the Yanks right now since the Yanks have some question marks and a shaky pen as it stands. Our lineup is good but those 2 lineups are comparable to ours.

  • Reggie C.

    Trade for Huston Street.

    Padres signed Benoit in the offseason so perhaps they’re looking to unload Street for prospects.

  • Bobby Knish

    Take the overs with this pitching staff. Right from day 1.

  • Farewell Mo

    “I think people want to see how the bullpen’s going to shake out. People are going to want to see how the infield’s going to shake out,” added Cashman according to Dan Martin. “What’s Brian Roberts going to be? What’s Derek Jeter going to be as he comes back from his injury? What’s Mark Teixeira going to be at first base as he comes back from his wrist [injury]? Can Kelly Johnson secure and handle on a consistent basis third base?

    I’m more convinced than ever that Cashman follows RAB at least semi-regularly.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      I won’t believe that until I hear “I failed” come out of his mouth.

      • Farewell Mo

        It would be hilarious if he said that while referring to himself in the 3rd person.

  • qwerty

    When the richest team in sports has to rely on a prospect in order to contend there they are doing something horribly wrong!

    • Mr. Roth

      Who said anything about Eric Jagielo?

  • Kosmo


    I think the 5th rotation spot is for Pineda to win or lose. He´s 2 years removed from the show and the clock is ticking. LOL
    I think the bullpen is solid enough and I´m optimistic that out of Montgomery-Betances-Ramirez one maybe 2 will emerge this season as very solid relievers.
    Yanks could still use an experienced arm in the pen. Maybe Putz ?

    I still see Mike Olt as an alternative to the 3B situation, he also plays 1B and can fake the OF. The Cubs are loaded with INF prospects and their top pick Bryant could easily be a mid season callup if all breaks right for him. Olt doesn´t really have much of a future with the Cubs unless they move him to a corner OF position.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      I’d completely forgotten about Olt. Funny.

      With you on the bullpen. Not so sure if Pineda goes in to ST a clear favorite, though.

  • stuckey

    EVERY time the Yankees make ANY move – free agent signing, trade, signing their own player, it spawns 101 blog posts and 10,001 comments about how they still “have question marks” and “still have work to do.”

    “They could use another arm on the rotation” and “they could use another arm in the bullpen” is a literal perpetual state.

    It’s like the NY Yankee version of Groundhog Day. This thread is like Shakespeare. It’s the exact same verse, just staged a little different here and there.

    To paraphrase the great Jacobim Mugatu – “They’re the same post! Doesn’t anybody notice this? I feel like I’m taking crazy pills!”

    Can’t we just all agree ONE TIME no one is ever going to be satisfied with the roster?

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      I don’t think some people are saying this with a “Cashman failed” in mind. I’m happy with the moves made. More than happy. There are still places to improve. There’s no reason to stand pat. That doesn’t mean, like some suggest, finding places to spend another 80 million (don’t even know how that’s possible, but some think it is – maybe they like Yuniesky Betancourt that much), but it does mean looking to strengthen some parts of the team that could use some strengthening. It’s not an indictment of anything. Overall, they’ve had a very good off-season.

      With hundreds of comments a day, yes, a whole lot of them are going to be about the same damn thing.

    • Farewell Mo

      I’m not sure if RAB was around the year the Yankees went 125-50 and won the world series but I’d imaging commenters would have wanted that roster upgraded in certain areas as well.

      Unless there’s a bonafide All Star at every position, people are always gonna want more. Realistic or not, it’s the nature of being a fan.

      They’ve done a tremendous job but I’d bet not even Cashman is completely satisfied with this roster especially in the pen and infield.

    • vicki

      god, you’re a nag.

      • I’m a looser and a trader baby so why don’t you kill me?


      • Mr. Roth


  • Chip Rodriguez

    All the more reason to cross fingers and pray for Pineda. If he can make the fifth rotation spot his at some point in the season, then Phelps and Warren can go to the pen, which also makes it a lot easier to manage CC/Kuroda/Tanaka’s workloads with two reliable guys who can throw multiple innings when they need to.

    Bummed that they couldn’t grab David Aardsma, who just got signed by the Indians earlier today.

    • Farewell Mo

      Losing Balfour to the Rays for 2/$12 million stings but the Rays could offer him the chance to close which the Yankees could not.

      I’d still like Rodney if he’s available.

      • RetroRob

        Balfour did seem like a good fit and the money wasn’t that high. I’m guessing the inability to offer him the closer role, and perhaps even the medicals might have played a part.

        I’m more concerned about the Yankees bullpen than the infield. I do have concerns about the infield, but unless the Yankees can piece this pen together, they could end up losing a lot of games in which they were once leading.

      • steve (different one)

        they just said on the radio that the METS offered Balfour more money than the Rays, but that he preferred to be closer to his home.

        So that’s the story.

        • qwerty

          Isn’t his home in australia?

  • CanoSoup4u

    I know he’s constantly laughed at on this site but we’re sifting through scraps here. Can we just sign Mike Young? I don’t think anyone expects Roberts to be our 2nd baseman in July. I’d rather have Kelly Johnson/Mike Young as our 2/3rd base tandem than some combination of Sizemore/Anna/Johnson.

    Of course, I’d rather see us sign Drew or trade for Aramis Ramirez but assuming those things don’t happen I don’t see the harm in Young.

  • nope

    That there are still fairly significant holes after all the big signings really highlights what a pile of dreck this team was last season. They really had a long way to go to field a competitive team, and they’ve now done that. That said, the problem with relying on old, brittle players like Jeter, Texiera, and Brian Roberts is that they are an injury or two away from having the same horrible infield they had last year. I for one would feel more comfortable if they were able to swing a trade for a solid infielder (easier said than done, I know). I’m not that worried about the bullpen, I’m sure they’ll sign a veteran arm or two before the season starts. But right now if Jeter and Texiera go down for a large chunk of the season again, we’re screwed.

  • OldYanksFan

    1B – Teix: Unless he’s on the DL, he’s still a .775+ OPS guy with above average Defense. He’s 33. Not young, but not old and should play a full season.

    2B – Roberts/Anna: Roberts’ main insues were concussion related. He says he is 100% in that regard, and his Doc agrees. He may surprise us.

    SS – Jeter/Ryan: Again, unless Jeter is on the DL, Derek Ryan should give us a full year at SS, with average to slightly above average results.

    3B – Johnson/Nunez: A bit of a crapshoot here, but at least they are both healthy. Could be anywhere from slightly below to slightly above average.

    This is not a terrible infield, just not particularly good. Unlike previous years, our 3 OF’ers, DH, C and 1B are going to have to provide the offense. If they do, this infield will be enough.

    My issue with the team is the BP, as fine starting pitching is wasted, if the BP gives the game away. $6m/yr for Balfour would have been a good gamble.

    Fortunately, we will have tons of money to buy other team’s mid season salary dumps. Cashman ALWAYS improves the team down the stretch.

    • qwerty

      I like Derek Ryan over either Derek Jeter, or Brendan Ryan. That guy can hit and field.

  • OldYanksFan

    By the way… If brains is only going to play BUC for 50 games/yr, can we buy him a 1Bman’s glove? He is relatively athletic and hungry enough to work hard at the position.