Friday, December 6, 2013

I never thought I'd be saying this, but Robinson Cano is no longer a member of the New York Yankees. No, he's taken his talents to the northwest, where the money was, to sign a 10-year, $240 million contract with the Seattle Mariners.

With Cano leaving, the Yankees not only lost their best player, but it leaves them with more money to spend this offseason on positions that they really need to upgrade, like the starting rotation, third base, and of course, second base.

Because they suddenly have more money to spend, the Yankees are virtually "in" on every free-agent on the board, according to some within the industry.

That would mean we could see them make a run at free-agent outfielder Shin-Soo Choo, who the Yanks had been showing interest in this offseason. In my opinion, if they were to add Choo, that would give them six outfielder, making it almost certain you would some one, maybe even two, outfielders being moved. The likely candidates for that would be Ichiro Suzuki, Vernon Wells and Brett Gardner, the team's best trade chip.

With Cano out of the picture at second base, we will definitely see them make a move to bring in a starting second baseman for next season. The team officially announced the signing on Kelly Johnson to a one-year, $3 million deal Friday, and reportedly have an offer out to free-agent second baseman Omar Infante.

Should Infante accept their offer, that would obviously clear up the problem at second base -- but we all know he won't be anything near what Cano was at second.

If they can't reel in Infante, then we could see them make a trade to fill the hole left by Cano. I've been reading around that the Yankees should try to put a trade together for New York Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy. More likely than not, Gardner would be the centerpiece of a trade for Murphy, or any other player the Yankees try to acquire.

Many have also speculated that the Yankee could try their hand at making a run for Cincinnati Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips. Phillips appeared to be on the trading block early in the offseason, but the Reds' owner recently disputed those rumors. If he were up for trade, I can't see the Yankees even having enough pieces to land him.

The Yankees are also in the starting pitcher market, and the money freed up by Cano will go a long way in helping them land another starter. Hiroki Kuroda was re-signed to a one-year, $16 million deal Friday, bringing back one of their best pitchers in 2013.

They still have to acquire another starter, but where he might come from has yet to be determined. The Yankees have been showing a ton of interest in signing soon to be posted (maybe) Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka. He's been one of their top targets all offseason, and now that MLB and NPB have agreed to a new posting system, the soon to be 25-year-old right-hander will be up for grabs for all MLB teams.

As far as I know, the Yankees haven't shown much interest in most of the starting pitchers on the market, especially the top names like Matt Garza and Ubaldo Jimenez.

Brett Anderson of the Oakland Athletics has caught the eye of the Yankees, and they're one of the teams that could make a deal for him at the Winter Meetings next week. Anderson, a left-hander with great control of his pitches, could add some solidity to the rotation.

Obviously they also have to look at the bullpen. One of the things I heard was that if Cano left, the Yankees would use some of the money not taken up by him and use it for the bullpen, possibly to find a reliable closer or setup man.

Grant Balfour, John Axford and Andrew Bailey are a couple of names that I would keep an eye on. The Yanks had Joe Nathan as the No. 1 name on their bullpen list, but he signed with the Detroit Tigers last week, taking him off the board. Personally, I don't think the Yankees should be looking for a closer because I see David Robertson as the closer on Opening Day. I think he's done a great job the setup man the past couple of seasons, and he earned to right to get the chance to close.

As we've already seen this offseason, the Yankees are going to be aggressive and they are going to spend, even if it's not on Cano. They say they're in on just about everyone, and I don't doubt that. They're the Yankees, they have money, and that means they'll always be in on everyone.

They closed the deal on Brian McCann, and closed the deal on Jacoby Ellsbury. Now they just have to close to deal on a couple more players, and the Yankees will be set to go for a playoff run in 2014.

1 comment:

  1. Cano failed badly. Honestly, Mariners are a west coast team with a bright, young and talented pitching staff, but they really lack offense. Even with SAFECO field shortened outfield, Cano will drop his numbers in Hr , RBIs and OPS.

    NY Yankees made Cano an offer that Would Cano had accepted, would convert him in the Yankees captain once Jetter retired ( after this season , I suspect ) . Cano opted to go to Mariners for a couple ( A LOT actually ) $$ and lost his opportunity to become a historyc player with the NYY.