Since missing out on Cliff Lee, which I still call a blessing, The Yankees are stressing patience in their approach to improving their line-up. Everyone is high on how the Red Sox have made such a big splash in this offseason but to tell you the truth they had to. After missing the playoff last season and falling short of winning 90 games the Red Sox were desperate to get some talent to level the playing field. They have added some great offence and have made up a lot of ground in the American league East. We Will get into a comparison position by position but for now we will wait until both teams are done making moves. Lets just say for now that the Yankees only hold a slight advantage and that hinges on whether Pettitte resigns and if they are able to make another pitching move. The Yankees are trying to be coy and say that they are comfortable with the line-up they have and will only make moves if they make sense. Who are they kidding, this is the team that claimed they were comfortable going into the season with Bubba Crosby as their CF then went out and got Johnny Damon and this season claimed that they were comfortable with Jesus Montero as their starting catcher and then went out and signed Russell Martin.
So lets look at the moves the Yankees have already made this year:
Russell Martin So far this has been the best move of the offseason for the Yankees. Martin has struggled with injury the last couple of seasons but there is no reason to believe that he will not be back to his old self again. Martin is one of the best in the game and still on the right side of 30. A two-time all-star and former silver slugger and gold glove award winner is potentially the starting catcher for many years to come in the Bronx and will give the Yankees some flexibility to trade some of their plethora of catching prospects.
Mark Prior- Prior is the definition of a rehab case. More times than not someone with the injury troubles he has had doesnt make it back to the level they once were. However this is a low risk deal, it’s a minor league deal that will be worth more if he makes the major league roster. Mark has not pitched on the Major league level since 2006 but is only 30 years old and looked good in his minor league comeback last season. If healthy Prior throws in the mid 90’s and has impeccable control. It is a risk and it might not go anywhere but if he can even show glimpses of his former self he should be able to help the Yankees out .
Pedro Feliciano- Pedro Feliciano has been the model of consistency over the years as a left-handed reliever. Last year he led the league in appearances 92 games with an ERA of 3.30. He has not given up a HR to a left-handed batter since 2009. With Marte not being available until after the all-star break if they are lucky, the Yankees needed a solid left-handed option out of the Bull Pen to compliment Boone Logan who is still a fairly unproven commodity.
Luis Vizcaino- Most of you will remember Vizcaino from his previous time with the Yankees coming to the team from Arizona as part of the Randy Johnson trade in 2007. Luis appeared in 77 games and holds a career Era of 4.33. It’s a minor league deal worth 750,000 if he makes the major league club. He hasn’t pitched since 2009 in the majors but has looked good in winter league only allowing one hit in nine appearances.
So its apparent that the Yankees have made a few moves will bolster the bullpen. I think losing Wood will hurt but these low risk options should pay off and compliment Joba Chamberlain, Sergio Mitre, Ivan Nova and Mariano Rivera quite nicely. Now the Yankees aren’t done mind you they still need to bolster the rotation. First and foremost will be getting Andy Pettitte back. I think he will be back and I think he will make an announcement sooner rather than later. Secondly will be having new pitching coach Larry Rothchild straighten out AJ Burnett. Say what you like about AJ but he is a great talent with great stuff but he is fragile mentally. Last season having Dave Eiland take leave for whatever reason caved in AJ’s season and what do you know Eiland is not back this year. Granted this is speculation on my part but not one that’s not dictated by common sence.
Beyond that they need to trade for another pitcher. I know everyone is saying that we need to get Felix Hernandez from the Mariners but that’s not going to happen. First of all why would the Mariners want to trade him and if they did it would basically empty out the Yankees farm system. So lets just call this a no go. Here is a list of names that I like and not necessarily in this order
Wandy Rodriguez , Freddie Garcia, Matt Garza, Fausto Carmona,Gavin Floyd, Joe Blanton and Carlos Zambrano. My personal favorite is Zambrano but I like almost all of these names. Who knows could be someone else entirely. I will keep you informed as I hear rumors. One last Rumor that I have heard is that they may have shown some interest in inquiring Jokim Soria as a potential set up guy / Marino Rivera’s future replacement. However I have not heard multiple rumors so im going to leave it at that.
So the Yankees have a little work to do yet and they still have some time to do it. Dont panic kids it will all get done and the Yankees will have one of the best teams in baseball yet again. Dont forget to follow us on Twitter at Yankees Magazine.