So Its obvious at this point that Swisher and Soriano will be gone. Soriano does not sting as much with the return of Rivera but the Yankees will need to find an adequate RFer. Swisher also acted as the back up first baseman, so there is another void. Kuroda turned down the qualifying offer from the Yankees and thus will net the bombers a draft pick should he sign elsewhere. The Yankees are still hopeful that they will be able to bring back him and Andy Pettitte next season. If not the rotation will need some serious help.
Setting the rotation aside for a moment the Yankees had expressed some interest in signing Tori Hunter to play RF but today he signed a two year deal with the tigers. My personal hope is that they bring back Ichiro on a one year deal and Raul Ibanez as part time platoon player between RF and DH. This brings us to who the other part of a DH platoon, with no assurance that Chavez will be returning and with his health always a question mark who out there can hit for power and perhaps play first and third base? Yes you guessed it former Red Sox Kevin Youkolis is exactly who I am talking about. I know I know he is hated in Yankee land for his hot head and ties with Red Sox but his departure from the Red Sox nation was far from pleasant and most of his hot hotheadedness can be chalked up to passion and playing the game as hard as it can be played. He is an excellent fielder at third and at First and holds a career .268 average. He wouldn’t come cheap but he wont break the bank or require a long term deal.
Now we can go back to talking about the rotation. Last season pitching was a strength for the Yankees and if we can keep CC, Pettitte, Kuroda, Phelps I feel that we will be in good shape. I think Nova and Hughes should either compete for a rotation spot or be used as trade bait, It would be nice to see the Yankees make a move for a younger number three type starter that can at least be a place card for Michael Pineda who hopefully will be pitching again by June. He is kind of a wild card at this point with no promises that he will ever be the guy that the Yankees hoped for. The bullpen for the most part is a strength for the Yankees with Chamberlain, Robertson and Rivera at the back end creating a solid anchor to a squad that may have over performed or might just be that good. I would like to see them bring back Derek Lowe who I think could be very valuable as a long man/spot starter next year. There are also a few good names on the FA market that are worth a look like Dan Haren, Anibel Sanchez and Edwin Jackson. These guys would cost some money for sure but how bad do they want to win. Also they have Cashmans push to keep away the dreaded luxury tax by keeping payroll under 189 million dollars. Lots of pieces out there just not sure which ones the bombers are going to put together.