Yes, I'm well aware that the playoffs are still in process, but for all effective purposes the off season has arrived. How Yankee fans deal with an off season after the Yankees have failed to win a championship goes a little something like this:
1. Start finger pointing and yelling. Find one scapegoat to amass all your hatred against (A-Rod was a past favorite, AJ is a new favorite).
2. Begin making wild trade proposals (IE. AJ Burnett and Pedro Feliciano for Cliff Lee, cash considerations, and a player to be named later).
3. Demand in some sort of online forum that Cashman sign (insert name of biggest free agent here) and that he should be fired if he fails to do so.
4. Repeat steps 1 - 3.
Before we at the RJG begin this process however, we want to celebrate the release of certain contractual obligations that had been a hindrance to the Yankees. First up, Kei Igawa. This years $4 million payment marked the last we would make to our favorite triple A pitcher, and marks the end of a $56 million investment that never paid out. Second, Damaso Marte. He did well for us in helping us win a world series, but his overall value has been diminished as he's seemingly taken up permanent residence on the designated list. That's another $4 million freed up from the payroll. Third, A-Rod made $32 million this season, next season that price will drop to $30 million for a saving of $2 million dollars. Now some may think that a .276 average with 16 homeruns and 62 RBI's is not worth $32 million or even $30 million, but that doesn't take into A-Rod's intangible qualities. Like who else would we hate if A-Rod wasn't on the team? Who else could we boo? $32 million assured us of at least one player we could boo and feel guiltless about. Booing the $900,000 Bartolo Colon? That's just wrong. Booing the $32 million A-Rod? Priceless. Lastly, we will be losing Posada's $13.1 million contract. That is the biggest contract coming off the books, but it comes with much sadness. Posada did not produce this year, and we were forced to come to terms with his humanity. Posada will likely not be back next year, but it doesn't diminish what he's done for this organization, and the many great memories we've had with him in the Bronx. He was a vital part of the dynasty, and helped continue the tradition of Yankee catchers who were also strong clubhouse leaders.
All in all, I am ready for the off season. The Yankees have holes throughout their rotation they need to fill, and CC's impending opt out could be an interesting story over the next couple months.