Cashman Says Yankees Likely Done For Winter… Uh Oh

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Updated: January 26, 2013

Tampa Bay Rays v New York YankeesOn a radio interview on New York’s WFAN radio yesterday, Yankees’ General Manager Brain Cashman said that other than potentially adding a right handed “caddy” to help spell his left handed hitting outfield, the Bombers are likely done for the winter. For fans of the team, this is a serious problem. We are currently relying on an incredibly old starting lineup with virtually no depth behind it. Since when is this a formula for success?

The Yankees have two major problems right now, but before I get to them, let’s look at some things that aren’t problems to help get some perspective. The Yankees infield is solid. It’s old, but it’s solid. Robinson Cano is the game’s best second basemen and if Alex Rodriguez is going to be out an extended period, Kevin Youkilis isn’t a bad fill in, all things considered. Mark Texeira is still in the conversation as one of the best first basemen in baseball but in order for New York to really compete, he needs to play at a very high level. No more .100 batting average in April, getting semi-hot in June and finishing with a .250-ish BA. That won’t cut it. He needs to hit at least .280 to justify his salary and compensate for the lack of pop elsewhere in the lineup. Finally, Derek Jeter is old and coming off a serious injury but if he can play 2.0 WAR ball at short this season, the Yankees should be ok there.

New York is also pretty set on the pitching front. Though Phil Hughes and Ivan Nova are weak links and Mariano Rivera might be a question mark coming off of surgery, there’s really no way to complain about this group. It’s not the best in baseball, but it is solid top to bottom and definitely a rotation and bullpen that can pitch a team into contention.

So that gets us to the two glaring weaknesses in the Yankees’ lineup. The first is in the outfield. Right now, the starting three are Brett Gardner, Curtis Granderson, and Ichiro. Gardner is a productive slap and speed guy who is arguably the best defensive left fielder in baseball. No complaints. Granderson might be one of the three best centerfielders in the game and is drastically under rated. Last season, in addition to above average defense he hit 43 homers, his second straight 40 HR season. If we stop thinking of him as a top of the order guy who is supposed to get on base and accept him as a home run hitter who won’t hit much higher than .250, we can see how good he truly is.

That brings us to Ichiro. Ichiro is older than the 39 years he’s spent on Earth.  He is old and he hasn’t preformed well over the past two seasons as an every day starter. Ideally, he’s a fourth outfielder with a strong, right handed hitting every day right fielder in front of him. Ichiro is a great guy on this team if you can find him 90 starts spread over all three outfield positions and DH. Problem is, the Yankees don’t have that luxury.

They now have a power hole in the middle of the lineup left by Nick Swisher and Alex Rodriguez and are counting on Granderson, Texeira, and Cano to fill it. That might be good enough to contend, but last year they had Arod and Swish and that didn’t get them to where they wanted to go.  Remember it’s World Series or bust every year.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, the Yankees have compounded their offensive concerns with the fact that THEY DO NOT HAVE A CATCHER. THEY DO NOT HAVE EVEN ONE VIABLE CATCHING OPTION. Austin Romine needs to spend the year in AAA. He’s not ready yet, maybe next year. Chris Stewart was the backup last season behind a guy who hit .205.  If he was good enough to start, there would have been at least some conversation about it last season when Russel Martin was below the Mendoza line. Finally, Fransico Cervelli, the frontrunner for the job, wasn’t even good enough to make the team last season. I read something about Jorge Posada coming out of retirement for God’s sake.

Why do the Yankees think this is ok? Why isn’t this getting more attention? Do they think that catcher isn’t an important position? With the competition in the AL and the AL East, the Yankees are fooling themselves if they think the answer is in guys like Russ Canzler. They need a catcher. I can’t say that any more clearly and if Brian Cashman doesn’t see that his team as presently constructed is the fourth best in the division, he’s fooling himself.

-Max Frankel

11 Comments

  1. Joe from Sarosota, Fla.

    January 27, 2013 at 10:51 am

    ,.., And what happens if someone like Texeira or Gardner gets hurt or needs a rest; there both injury-prone).

    Don’t be surprised if Granderson isn’t traded by the All-Star game.

  2. Allan

    January 27, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    I’m sorry but the Yankees need to GET RID OF CASHMAN!!! I said this last year, yet the late Steinbrenner son’s are driving the team into the ground slowly but surely! I may have to find a new team after being a di hard fan for 40 years!!!

    • Frank

      January 27, 2013 at 4:44 pm

      I think Cashman has been good for the Yankees but, I’ve also been saying for years that he needed to learn how to run this team as if it did not have deep pockets. In other words build up the farm system, give the kids a chance instead of trading them away, very careful with free agents, and spend the money only when absolutely necessary. YANKEES FOREVER!!!

      • Allan

        January 28, 2013 at 2:53 pm

        I agree with what you say Frank. But the Yankees always seem to trade away their good prospects. I think as long as cashman is involved they always will. I hope not though! Honestly I can’t see myself routing for anyone else except the Yankees!

  3. Fletcher

    January 28, 2013 at 2:29 am

    it Happen to Boston, it happens to all WHO THINK …money is the answer to SUCCESS……Well Cashman was dealing with the BOSS’S Deep Pockets, now those Pockets are NOT so DEEP, yet they still must pay up…for AGING UNPRODUCTIVE Players….Time Heals , but money only KEEPS you WISHING for MORE money………Cashman needs to go NOW….or we will have another UNPRODUCTIVE 2013….The Yankees need to get FRESH CLEAN BLOOD in their system to Compete with other younger Up coming organizations…Cashman is HOLDING Back New Progress with OLD MONEY ….that is NOT their ANYMORE..most EVIDENT…..The WINTER Meetings….The Yankees were left in A Rods Pockets……Swisher must be Laughing all the way to the Bank…..

    • Demetrius

      January 28, 2013 at 10:04 am

      Swisher’s definitely laughing but it’s not at the Yankees it’s at the Indians for giving him that ridiculous contract. Remember too that Swisher faded toward the end of the season and was AWOL in the playoffs. Truthfully he STOLE money from the Yankees for his dreadful postseasons and last years bust of a season.

      • fletcher

        January 28, 2013 at 12:07 pm

        In Respond to ( Swisher stole money from the Yankees ) Nobody steals from the Ynakkee….The Yankees PAY for WHAT THEY WANT, Not for what they need.They still will be paying Swisher on his owed Contract…Everybody on the Yankees has Faded EVERYBODY …Only Ichiro….has faded with Grace n Charm, he was a Great Bargain, still Slapping on base percentage ….but with no Supporting cast, the Yankees will still continue to fade….Dont misunderstand my Thoughts, BUT read Statistics, The Rangers, San Fran, Blue Jays…..they are Moving UP the LATTER toward Contentions …I have been a Yankees fan Forever, But The Brothers COULD NEVER FILL the Boss’s Shoes, and Cashman has no idea what to do now….Since the Boss’s is gone……NO NEWS is GOOD NEWS……the Yankees Need FRESH Bats , Position Players and Backups….if you DONT Play daily , you will always be second guessed…..as Cevelli ( catcher ) in the dust and Now after years of backing up with Good numbers, even he is Not qualified to Represent according to Cashman…..” Par for the Course “.Not even Cashman knows how much money he has lost Trying to BUY Big name Players one season or two….The Boss’s Legacy ….THAT IS WHAT IS BEING STOLEN
        We as Players know….the money must Continue to Flow, so our Productions will Continue to slow for the Contract….it has been signed By the Yankees…….Not all Ynakees are Derek Jeter…he is a BASEBALL PROFESSIONAL……..

  4. Demetrius

    January 28, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    Boy, you’re confused and it’s hard to understand what you’re talking about!!

  5. fletcher

    January 28, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    sorry to CONFUSE your ONE DIMENSIONAL OPINION….but one must look at the entire Team and its Farm Prospects before CONFUSION is understood as we learn what Cashman has done or Not done to put the Yankees where George left them ON TOP…….it surely is NOT where we are now…..just an other aging team…..I am a DIE HARD Yankee…and Change comes from the TOP OFFICE….ask Tito…..

    • Demetrius

      January 28, 2013 at 6:19 pm

      If you remember, the last World Series the Yankees won, was for George because he was in bad health and hadn’t had anything to do with running the team in his hands on style in a couple of years before that Title. The masterminds of that title were Cashman, the Steinbrenner boys and A-Rods comeback after the steroid scandal. The Yankees are fine. Subtle changes will keep us in the mix until we can get rid of A-Rods contract and find 1) a legitimate # 2 pitcher to C.C. and 2) outfield help with legitimate arms!!

  6. dick morash

    January 28, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    The Yankees are done for next 5 years. Age takes a toll. The Rays have youth and are contenders. They might need to move to Tokyo to get a fan base and make some money so the baseball owners don’t disenfranchise them! The fans have to be young too!! Tokyo Rays?

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