• Things Bad For Yanks This Year, But, Will Be Worse In 2014

    Posted by on September 22nd, 2013 · Comments (5)

    Via Danny Knobler

    As it stands right now, it’s a whole lot easier to see the Yankees as a last-place team next year than as a first-place team. It’s easier to believe that they’ll be worse than this year, rather than better.

    Think about it. The first baseman (Mark Teixeira) will be trying to come back at age 34, after missing basically a full year with a wrist injury. The second baseman (Robinson Cano) is a free agent, and at this point there’s no guarantee he returns. The shortstop (Derek Jeter) will be closing in on his 40th birthday, with no guarantee his surgically repaired ankle will be any better than it was in this nightmare of a season. The third baseman (Alex Rodriguez) will likely be serving a suspension.

    How does it sound so far?

    They really don’t have a catcher. The three outfielders they have signed for 2014 — Alfonso Soriano, Ichiro Suzuki and Vernon Wells — will be 38, 40 and 35 when next season begins. Their only position player under 30 is Eduardo Nunez, who has proven this year he can’t be a regular.

    The closer is retiring. So is one of the more dependable starters. There’s still uncertainty about whether Hiroki Kuroda will return (and he’ll be 39). CC Sabathia will be back, but he looks less and less like an ace.

    The free-agent market is awful. The owner would prefer to stay under the $189 million luxury-tax threshold. And the farm system offers so little help that even with all the injuries the Yankees had this season, they never saw a reason to give the young players a chance. Even if they want to trade their way out of this mess, they have little to offer.

    The truth is that the Yankees overachieved this year, just to get to the fringes of a pennant race.

    I agreed with everything that Knobler said here. And, to be honest, it’s not exactly breaking news. Others have made the same points already…writer, bloggers, fans, etc. But, what is missing here is assigning responsibility for this state of current affairs in Yankeeland. And, we need to see more of that…enough that it is hammered home on who is to blame. Once that happens, hopefully, Yankees ownership will address it.

    Until that happens, the Yankees will never get back to being a dominant championship-caliber franchise.

    Comments on Things Bad For Yanks This Year, But, Will Be Worse In 2014

    1. redbug
      September 22nd, 2013 | 9:09 am

      Assuming his wrist is fully healed, Tex will be an offensive and defensive improvement at 1st.

      I can’t believe the Yanks will not retain Cano.

      Assuming Jeter’s ankle is fully healed and his legs back in shape, he’ll definitely be better than anyone else who played SS this yr.

      They’ll need a new 3rd baseman if Arod’s suspension is long.

      We didn’t see enough of Murphy but I liked what I saw. Maybe he and Cervelli will be good enough.

      They’ll have Sori and Gardner in the outfield. A new every day outfielder should replace Ichiro and Wells.

      I like the bullpen. Of course he’s no Mo, but I think Robertson will do a good job. The rest of the pen (minus Joba) did a good job. I expect it to remain a strength.

      The starting pitching is the biggest problem they face. I hope CC will figure out how to deal w/ a slower fastball. He’s smart and gifted. Nova had a very good yr. I don’t expect Kuroda or Hughes to return.

      I don’t see them in the playoffs next yr, mostly due to their starters, but I don’t see them in last place either.

      The other question is will Girardi return? Chicago and Washington are rumored to be interested.

    2. September 22nd, 2013 | 11:37 am

      @ redbug:
      I’m not sold on Tex. His numbers have been going down every year since 2009. And, it’s not like Overbay has been terrible. So, will Tex be that much of an improvement?

      Jeter is going to be a wreck. He can’t play a year after the injury and he will be 40 next year. If the Yankees are smart, they keep Ryan, play him everyday at SS next year and use Jeter at DH, assuming that he can hit. (But, who said the Yankees are smart?)

      I am also assuming that the Yankees are now counting on Soriano to be their everyday LF in 2014. That will be a mess too, maybe? He could be great, being in a walk-year…or he could be back to his low OBA hacking ways.

      The Yankees have to get someone for RF in 2014.

      And, Cano? It’s tricky. Yes, the Yankees need his offense. But, I want no part of him on a long-term, mega-millions deal – esp. at his age.

      It sounds like the Yankees are not going to break the bank on Cano. Hopefully, they have learned watching A-Rod up close and seeing what’s happening with Albert in Cali. But, you never know.

      And, by the way, who is in the Yankees starting rotation next year? You really have faith in Cashman to put together a starting rotation without a checkbook?

    3. KPOcala
      September 22nd, 2013 | 11:42 am

      I’ve been predicting the Yanks to tank after this year for the past couple of seasons. But, who in the hell could have predicted that Boston would pull it together so quickly? Which is why things could swiftly change. The Yankees could roll the dice on some high-upside free agents who’ve had bad seasons/injuries, get lucky there, and possibly a couple of international FAs, and a couple of rookies emerge in spring training. But that’s a lot of “ifs”, and a willingness to spend money. The fan in me says “it could happen”, but a lot of us went 18 years without watching the Yankees win the WS. Not good……..

    4. K-V-C
      September 22nd, 2013 | 11:54 am

      Joe’s contract situation wasn’t even mentioned..I keep reading and hearing(FOX) him going to the Cubs. I give him most of the credit for this season, up until the mid-august Red Sox series where he made the wrong move every time.

      Yankee fans have to face the fact the George is gone. And really George had a number of awful years before the dynasty years. 18 post seasons out of 20 – its time for some lean years, they are paying the price for winning all those years.

    5. September 22nd, 2013 | 2:37 pm

      @ K-V-C:
      It will be interesting to see what happens with Joe. Is he loyal to the Yankees? Does he want to be here since his kids are in NY schools? Or, does he see the writing on the wall in terms of the roster and minors? Does he bolt for a team like the Nationals because of their young talent?

      Personally, I always thought that the Cubs were the only ones who could catch Joe’s eye…

      Another angle, mentioned elsewhere, is FOX. Do they want him to be the next McCarver? If so, that’s ideal for Joe. He doesn’t have to move and only will have to work once a week. But, if he LOVES to manage, then this is not ideal for him…

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