As new rumors pop up, I once again had to adjust my “If I was Brian Cashman, here is what I would do with the Yankees this offseason” plan:
Resigning Mariano Rivera and Jorge Posada is still the priority, which it sounds like they will be working on this week.
They already offered arbitration to ARod, so they will be getting a couple of draft picks for him, and he will be getting $35M per season from some team who doesnt care about postseason performance (I’m looking at you, SF Giants).
My new plan for 3B is to acquire one of these three players: Miguel Tejada, Scott Rolen, or Joe Crede. Tejada is already involved in a trade to the Yankees rumor. He has 2 years $26M remaining on his contract and the O’s really want to move him. Rolen has 3 years $36M remaining, and can no longer get along with the Cardinals manager. The White Sox want to start Josh Fields at 3B and its rumored they may nontender Joe Crede, making him a free agent. All of this means, the Yankees should be able to acquire one of them for almost nothing of value (aka B level type prospects that are similar to the nothing prospects that they gave up to get Bobby Abreu from the Phillies two years ago).
Since it has been announced by new manager Joe Girardi that the top of his lineup will be Damon playing LF, Jeter at SS, and Abreu in RF, many other questions have been answered. If Damon is in LF and Abreu is in RF, then Matsui will be primarily a DH next year, which means Giambi will be playing some 1B next season and probably splitting time with someone. They usually carry 4 players on the bench, not including whoever is considered the DH. One of those 4 will be a backup catcher, hopefully Molina is resigned for that. My preference would be that the other three are – Wilson Betemit, Shelley Duncan, and Alexei Ramirez (the Cuban defector). All three play multiple positions.
I’d continue to explore a trade for Johan Santana, but if the Twins insist on Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes, or Robinson Cano be in the deal, then walk away from the deal and hope Santana makes it to free agency next offseason when there would be a 99% chance the Yankees win a bidding war for him.
I would avoid trading for Miguel Cabrera. The Marlins asking price is rumored to be insanely high and although he is only 24 years old, he will soon be a 26 year old DH due to his horrible lack of physical conditioning. Since there are too many players with the last name Cabrera (see: Cabrera, Melky; Cabrera, Orlando), I have dubbed Miguel – “Fat Cabrera”.
Everything else reamins the same from previous plans – a bullpen made up of youngsters from the farm, Mariano Rivera, and “Contract Year” Kyle Farnsworth (in normal years he is shaky at best, but I have a good feeling about him in a contract year putting up solid numbers to fleece another team on another big three year contract), although there are a couple Japanese relievers out there that might be worth at look at in hopes of catching ligthning in a bottle ala the Sox with Okijima; the rotation is looking like Wang, Hughes, Kennedy, Mussina, and a random guy until June when Joba gets called up, if Pettitte decides to return or they trade for Santana then becomes Mussina that random guy, if not then Jeff Karstens or Darrell Rasner might be that random guy; I still highly recommend trading Kei Igawa whilst he has value (not a lot of young lefty starters with high K/9 ratios who are locked into 4 year contracts at $4M per year are out on this market, especially when you consider Kyle Lohse, a not so young righty starter is asking for 4 years at $10M per year).