New York Yankees Should Infuse Youth, Not Sign High-Priced Veterans

October 26, 2010   ·     ·   Jump to comments
Article Source: Bleacher Report - New York Yankees

The New York Yankees teams in the past would spend their money at astronomical proportions during an offseason following an early playoff exit.

One must hope the Yankees of this season will not follow the same model as it has proven to be detrimental over the course of time. The Yankees do not need to spend big on free agents, but instead should look to within and infuse youth into an aging roster.

The first order of business is of course the much-maligned rotation, which helped give pitching coach Dave Eiland the boot. Most Yankees fans want Cliff Lee to play Robin to CC Sabathia’s Batman. First off the Yankees do not need Lee and after the allegations fans spit on his wife I’m not sold that all the money in the world would bring him to the Bronx.

If the money is the end-all for Lee then it could be bad news for the Yankees in this writer’s opinion. The Yankees are already on the hook for Sabathia’s contract for another five years and Mr. Reliable, AJ Burnett’s deal for another three years. 

Take the name, Lee, away from his numbers and you see a 32-year-old pitcher who has had career seasons the past two years. He is believed to be a seeking at least a five-year deal and it would be nonsense to think he can keep up the level he has pitched on the past two seasons for the length of his contract.

Following Lee there are talks of the Yankees looking into acquiring Jayson Werth of the Phillies or Carl Crawford of the Rays. Crawford is far and away the player Yankees fans most covet, but he would not be a good acquisition.

Crawford is a 30-year-old outfielder who relies entirely on his speed. He may have more power than the Yankees current left fielder, Brett Gardner, but signing him would be a mistake.

Gardner is a pesky hitter who works long counts and drives pitchers crazy. Once he gets on base, he then causes havoc. The pitcher is so worried about him because he’s a threat to steal on any pitch that they sometimes leave a cookie over the plate for the other hitters to feast on.

Both Gardner and Crawford’s games are based on speed and who would you rather have? A 30-year-old who may soon lose a step or a 26-year-old who is entering his prime years?

To help solve the rotation issues the Yankees would do good to bring along Ivan Nova who impressed in his short stint in the big leagues this season. Nova possesses a mid-90s fastball and sharp breaking curveball. He has trouble getting through an opposing lineup for a third time making it paramount to develop a third pitch, but he’s a cheaper alternative who could pay big dividends.

To help alleviate Jorge Posada who has shown that he cannot be an everyday catcher anymore, the Yankees should call up Jesus Montero. Montero started off his season slow, but rebounded to blast 21 home runs and hit to a .270 average.

The knock against Montero has been his defensive skills, but Yankees personnel believe his defense has improved enough to be a catcher in the big leagues. He is said to have Mike Piazza-type power to the opposite way and at worst he will be another Posada: someone who has below-average defense that can make it up with above-average offense.

To help out their aging left side of the infield the Yankees can use Eduardo Nunez to help give them days off. The Yankees made Nunez play multiple positions, so he can be super-utility player. He can play every day, but in different positions in order to give the older players rest.

Another player the Yankees are impressed with is somebody who has not gotten enough attention. His name is Brandon Laird and he played third base for the Yankees Double-A affiliate. This season he blasted 25 home runs, giving the Yankees hope he can fill a power spot in their lineup sometime soon.

Signing high-priced veterans would put the Yankees in a cycle which is hard to get out of. All one needs to do is look back to the 2002 and 2003 teams. They were filled with older players and were playoff failures, losing to teams who were more athletic and younger at every position.

This year’s playoff exit happened the same way. The Texas Rangers beat out an aging Yankees team. To continue to compete against teams such as the Rangers and Rays, the Yankees need to continue to infuse young players to complement their aging core.

Youth leads to success and the Yankees should follow that memo this offseason. 

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