Saturday, November 3, 2007

The Offseason Plans

1) This sounds easy and an obvious choice for what the Yankees must do to give themselves the best chance for a World title in 2008 and beyond, but they have to sign Mariano Rivera and Jorge reasonable contracts. Now, I'm not saying to low ball them, or to make the contract negotiations miserable, but they should hold firm to one thing in particular: 3 Years. Do not risk giving Posada four years and being stuck in another Bernie Williams situation. Give him 3 years and by the end of that contract, he should be a DH. If he continues offensive success late in the contract, then offer him a 1 year deal to return as the DH. They really shouldn't have too many qualms about the money as the losses of Roger Clemens and Alex Rodriguez will already clear a considerable amount of money. Mariano, like Posada, should be given no more than a 3 year deal, although 4 years for him wouldn't be awful because of how he has been consistently very good and may continue similar success as he gets older. Also, as a reliever, he would likely have less a role in the bullpen if he did struggle in his 3rd and fourth years. Again, it would be the preference to keep him at 3 years, but 4 years should not be a deal breaker for him.
2) Hope Andy Pettitte picks up his option
3) Sign Morgan Ensberg to a 1 year, $3 million deal with incentives to boost it near $5 million
4) Trade Kyle Farnsworth and Mike Mussina to the Phillies for Pat Burrell. Why? Burrell is a free agent after 2008, the Phillies badly need pitching, the Yankees could use a right handed power bat, and Pat Burrell is an awesomely good hitter. While the Yankees may not love the thought of another DH, allowing him to split time with Hideki Matsui in left and DH would probably keep both Burrell and Matsui healthier and more productive. Additionally, Burrell would likely be declared a Type A free agent at the end of next season and would therefore grant the Yankees two more first round draft choices. The Yankees, with their depth of starting pitching, would have a hard time slotting Mussina in to the rotation on a regular basis. The Phillies, meanwhile, have a ton of offense and could afford to risk a platoon involving Greg Dobbs in left, with Shane Victorino and Michael Bourn anchoring the other two spots, or could maybe turn to Aaron Rowand and lure him back with $13 million and the promise that they will be even better next season.
5) Re-Sign Jose Molina
6) Tell Luis Vizcaino to peace out, and gladly take the draft pick for him.
7) Designate Andy Phillips for assignment. Seriously, just end the love affair for this average player.
8) Re-Sign Doug Mientkiewicz
9) Promote Alan Horne
10a) Sign Richard Hidalgo to a 1 year deal worth 4-5 million. Hidalgo hits lefties well, and would be a nice guy to slide in place of Abreu or Matsui vs. lefties.
10b) Sign Sammy Sosa to a 1 year deal worth 2 million. See above.
10c) Promote Bronson Sardinha if a deal cannot be reached involving the above.
11) Trade Jason Giambi and pay his entire contract to the desperate-for-offense Minnesota Twins. In return, take whatever the Twins are kind enough to give us.
12) Ship Brett Gardner and Chase Wright to the Nationals in exchange for Chad Cordero. Cordero makes sense for the Yankees because 1) He has pitched well throughout his career and 2) He is a free agent at the end of the year and requires no commitment beyond this year and may be a Type A after this year. The Yankees badly need bullpen help and if the Yankees make a quick strike for Cordero, they will add a veteran solid pitcher to set up for Mariano, with the rookies and Chris Britton filling the innings before the 8th. The Nationals need a center fielder, and while Gardner struggled last season in AAA, he still projects nicely and the Nationals have time to let him learn on the job, also allowing them to stay out of the free agent market, while Wright gives them a guy who could potentially start for them right out of Spring Training. Additionally, this keeps the Red Sox from dealing Coco Crisp to the Nationals and getting anything good back.

Damon, CF
Jeter, SS
Abreu/Hidalgo/Sosa, RF
Burrell, DH/LF
Matsui/Sosa/Hidalgo, LF/DH
Posada, C
Cano, 2B
Betemit (vs. righties)/Ensberg (vs. lefties), 3B
Duncan, 1B

Cabrera, OF
Sardinha/Sosa/Hidalgo, OF
Molina, C
Ensberg/Betemit, INF
Mientkiewicz, 1B

(6th: Clippard)
(7th: Rasner)


No, this is not a perfect team. Not at all. There are many question marks, particularly in the bullpen, with 3 rookies. However, due to a lack of other options, all of the players make more sense than what is available in free agency. Ensberg and Betemit won't make anyone forget A-Rod, but the combination of them, some more offense from the DH, CF and 1B positions would all help to fill his hole. Additionally, Kennedy, Joba and Hughes have some MLB experience under their belts and should represent an upgrade over the rotation at this point last season. Meanwhile, the deal also leaves open the possibility for the Yankees to sign Mark Texieria and Johan Santana in the 2008 offseason, while allowing our younger pitchers to develop a little more.


Anonymous said...

Horne in the bullpen. Doesn't seem like that swift of an idea for a guy with a history of arm problems.

The Career AAAA Player said...

since when does going to the bullpen give you arm troubles? If anything he could thrive there with a limited arsenal of pitches and a smaller workload.