The Yankees had an off year last year.With a record of 85-77 and seeing the Red Sox capturing the World Series crown, most Yankee fans demanded a complete overhaul of their roster. The Yankees have been high rollers this offseason, spending at least over $300 million on catcher Brian McCann, outfielders Carlos Beltran and Jacoby Ellsbury, pitchers Matt Thornton and Hiroki Kuroda and utility players Brendon Ryan, Brian Roberts and Kelly Johnson.
While all these moves are nice and dandy, one question that has plague the Yankees is their Starting Pitching. Their pitching was mediocre last season as their ace CC Sabathia was anything but ace, Hiroki Kuroda emerged as their best pitcher but struggled mightily at the end of the season which raised concerns over his age, Phil Hughes was just a mess, Ivan Nova gave glimpses of what efficient pitcher he can become, and Andy Pettitte was unable to stay healthy and has now gone on to retire, a second time. The Yankees still need to sign two starting pitchers to replace Phil Hughes and Andy Pettitte. The ultimate prize that the Yankees want is right-hander Masahiro Tanaka. The 25-year-old went 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA for the Rakuten Golden Eagles this past season. If he does not come to the United States, available pitchers such as Ubaldo Jimenez and Bronson Arroyo can make a great 4th and 5th starter for the Yankees. As you all know, pitching can win championships.
The other problem that the Yankees need bullpen help. The bullpen for the Yankees last year 20th in the league which is respectable. However, they lost a lot of pieces (Joba Chamberlain to the Tigers and Boone Logan to the Rockies). The biggest piece that they lost is Mariano Rivera, who retired at season’s end. How can they replace Rivera? Well you can’t replace him. There are a lot of closers that are available. Closers like Grant Balfour, Fernando Rodney and possibly Jonathan Papelbon can be the successors to Rivera. The best out of the bunch would have to be Balfour due to his recent string of success. Whoever the Yankees sign, they have huge shoes to fill.
With all of the acquisitions, the Yankees lost one major piece to their lineup. Robinson Cano. He signed a ten-year $240 million dollar deal with the Seattle Mariners. They have signed Kelly Johnson and Brian Roberts to help platoon second base. Cano is partly to blame for this because of the amount of money that he demanded. Oddly enough, Yankee fans are not sad that Cano has left. They will miss his bat in the lineup.
The offseason is not over. The Yankees still have a lot of work to do. Do I think the Yankees have a better team than last year? On paper they do but as you know games are determined on the diamond. Can the Yankees recapture the magic that they had in 2009?
It is possible.