Monday, March 4, 2013

Desperation in Pinstripes: What the Yankees Need to do Now.

Curtis Granderson's broken forearm could also be the camel's broken back.
Last year the Yankees didn't quite have the cool and confident look most fans associate them with.  In fact had it not been for Derek Jeter playing out of his mind, Hiroki Kuroda playing beyond his years and the absolute dominance of C.C. Sabathia and Rafael Soriano, the Yanks likely wouldn't have made it in to October.  The Yankees 2012 season ended unceremoniously, with a four game sweep in the ALCS at the hands of the Detroit Tigers.  Now it's 2013 and the Yankees have made no moves to become younger or stronger.  Making matters worse is their almost ambitious lack of depth, an issue that's gravity was made abundantly clear with the injury of Curtis Granderson.  If Brian Cashman isn't panicking about the 2013 season, he should be.

The state of the AL East is no longer what it was, a battle between Bronx and Boston while three other teams scramble for the crumbs.  The Orioles shocked everyone with a wild card appearance, the Toronto went full force in to the offseason acquiring half of the Marlins and 2012 Cy Young award winner R.A. Dickey from the Mets, and the Rays have carved out their own reputation as a team that seems to constantly be able to compete for the top.  As the teams so used to the basement start scratching their way to the penthouse, the Yankees are eroding, and fast.  Even with a decent farm system and a juggernaut budget matched only by maybe the Dodgers, the Yankees are looking dismal.  This is a reality that Yankees fans are not used to, and given the resources they have to work with, it's not one they are going to find excusable either.

Given the rickety situation the Yankees find themselves entering the 2013 season, it seems reasonable to consider whatever happens a wash.  Even if New York makes the playoffs, which is possible given their lineup, strife awaits them entering the 2013/2014 offseason. Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettite are likely candidates for retirement, with team captain Derek Jeter not too far behind. Robinson Cano is all-but-guaranteed to test free agency, and the usually unmatched Yankees budget may have contention in a rebuilding Cubs team and a Dodgers team who isn't afraid to spend like crazy.  The Yankees need to use their position as one of the few teams who can spend on risky contracts and sign Cano to a statement-making signing, or trade him for everything they can get.  There isn't anyone else who's young enough and good enough to build around, and the Yanks inactivity has put them in a downward trajectory that needs to be righted.  The Yank's future as a competitive entity in baseball, and Brian Cashman's future as the General Manager of an MLB team, rests heavily on the back of their MVP-caliber second basemen.

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