Monday, December 24, 2012
Merry Christmas Eve!
Merry Christmas eve, and happy holidays everyone! Since signing Ichiro, the a few more pieces have moved off the board officially closing any speculation. Swisher is going to Cleveland on a 4 year $56 million pact with an option for a 5th year, and sadly, our best post season hitter last season, Raul Ibanez has signed again with the Mariners. Effectively, the 2013 Yankees are now the same as the 2012 Yankees minus Swisher, Martin, and Ibanez on offense. In other words, the 2013 Yankees, are the same as the 2012 Yankees minus some power on base percentage, and clutch hitting. Despite this, some think the Yankees could win a championship next year. The argument is valid but with one major flaw. The valid part is that even without making a big free agent purchase, and even while losing guys like Martin, Swisher and Ibanez, the Yankees still have some great players. Do we really believe that a team with Jeter, Teixeira, Cano, Pettitte, Sabathia, Kuroda, and Mariano are going to start playing like the Kansas City Royals next year? The answer is no, until you factor in age and injury, and therein lies the flaw of the argument. The Yankees farm system is ill-stocked at the top levels, meaning that any injured players are going to be hard to replace. We can always hope for Pineda and A-Rod to come back strong, and for all our other guys to stay mostly healthy and mostly productive, but when has there ever been a season without some major injury? We haven't been able to keep A-Rod healthy for a few years now, last year we suffered freak injuries to Mariano and Pettitte, and even in the post-season we lost Jeter to a broken ankle. Injuries happen, and the Yankees have very little room for them this coming season. And when we lose a guy, how will we replace them? Eduardo Nunez at short? Dickerson as our everyday outfielder? Corban Joseph at second? This is with Austin Romine and Francisco Cervelli likely to take up most of the time behind the plate. The X-factor is what our minor leaguers will do next season. Sometimes we get some surprises from the lower levels, and this may be the year to get those surprises.