Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Yankees have already signed two of the biggest free-agents on the free-agent market, and we haven't even reached the Winter Meetings. It's worth noting that Robinson Cano is not one of those players.

After fumbling around in the drawers, the Yankees found their checkbook and now they're handing out big money deals like it's 2009 all over again.

While, yes, it's nice to have nice things and good players, the signings of both these All-Star players is not enough, solely, to get the Bombers back to the playoffs after missing the postseason in 2013. If they're going to completely recreate the success of 2009, more has to be done.

For the time being, the Yankees don't have a second baseman. Even after signing Ellsbury, the Yanks still believe they are directly in the running to re-sign Cano, but talks with him appear to be going nowhere. Although, if Ellsbury could get a seven-year, $153 million deal, I don't see why the Yanks won't give him more than $175 million.

Jon Morosi reports that the Yankees have made an offer to free-agent second baseman Omar Infante, and if he were to accept that before a deal with Cano could get done, you would have to think that it would hurt the chances of Cano coming back.

A couple positions over, the Yankees still have to figure out who is going to play third base for them next season. There is probably no one within the organization that thinks Alex Rodriguez will be with the team on Opening Day. A decision with him won't likely come down until January 1st, I heard on Tuesday. The Yanks will save a ton of money should his suspension be upheld through, at least, the full 2014 season.

Infante could be an option to play third, but unlikely. I've said in the past that the Yankees could re-sign Mark Reynolds and have him playing third in place of A-Rod. That wouldn't be a terrible option. He would provide some power from the right-side of the plate. Right now, the Yankees would have Derek Jeter and Alfonso Soriano in the right side of the plate, with Mark Teixeira also being a switch-hitter -- you also have to hope that Jeter and Teixeira remain healthy.

The you have to take a look at the holes in the rotation and bullpen. Apparently the Yankees don;t even know who is going to be closing games for them next season. GM Brian Cashman has said publicly that he's unsure if David Robertson is ready to close.

The Yankees, reportedly, aren't going to start looking into the closer market until after something happens with Cano. Even then, the options in that area might be slim at that point. Joe Nathan signed a two-year deal with the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday, so he is off the board. Grant Balfour, to me, just doesn't fit in New York. I wrote that John Axford and Andrew Bailey would be solid bullpen options, but only has setup men because I think Robertson should be the closer -- he's earned the opportunity.

On the other side of pitching, CC Sabathia is still that headline of the rotation, and he declined dramatically in 2013. Ivan Nova is up and down, and you can only hope he pitches well all season, and not just at times. After that, the Yankees are still waiting on a decision from Hiroki Kuroda, who has an offer from the Yankees.

It doesn't appear that Masahiro Tanaka will be posted anytime soon, and he was the Yanks' No. 1 target this offseason. Eventually, though, if he does get posted, the Bombers will be big players for him, too.

At this point, the Yankees are starting to look like they could actually compete for a championship once again in 2014, but they still have to finish filling out the roster first. Yes, it's nice to have players like McCann and Ellsbury, but don't get caught up in that, because there is still work to be done.

Also read: With Cano out of the way, where do the Yankees go from here?
Also read: Brett Gardner could now be a valuable trade piece.


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