The Yankees Are Getting Better and Younger

The
Yanks have had quite the off-season.  There’s a lot of “experts” out
there talking about how it’s the same old same old from the Bronx
Bombers, but is it? Yes, they’ve been spending money on some stars. I’d
argue that they’re not only getting talent, they’re getting talent that
is in or near it’s prime. Last year, the Yankees relied too much on
“could be’s”,  “never were’s” and “used to be’s” with a few proven
players scattered in there. This year, they’ll be younger, and more
proven. Taking a quick look at each position and you  can see they’ll
be better talent wise at almost every position.

1B:
Tex over Giambi is a huge upgrade. Did the Yankees overpay for Tex?
Maybe. But they certainly upgraded. Tex is one of the top three
offensive first basemen in the league. He has no equal on defense. This
has been a thorn in the Yankees side as long as Giambi has been there.

2B:
This is a “We don’t know” position. Will Cano return to form or will he
struggle again? I don’t know and frankly neither does anyone else. The
Yankees seem to believe in him so that might count for something.

3B:
A-Rod, love him or hate him this is an odd year, which has typically
been a good year for him. (Of course I’m a little superstitious! I am a
baseball fan). Even a down year for this guy is something to look
forward to from an offensive POV. Of course, the question will be can
he hit when it matters?

SS: A healthy Jeter is always welcome in my opinion.

Outfield/DH:
This is still a bit of a cluttered mess. Who will play where? Is
Gardner really that big of an improvement over Melky? Personally, I
think Melky is a good to average centerfielder. If that is the case,
Damon could play left and Swisher could DH/play left or right. Nady
will be a good platoon guy and I think he could play LF everyday.  He
is the type of guy the Yankees had in spades during the last dynasty
run in the late 90′s.  A hard working platoon guy that can play hard
nosed defense and get some timely hits when needed.

DH
is the most interesting position to me. I think Matsui needs to go.
I’ve not been sold on him for a few years. I imagine that might hurt
the team from a business stand point as I am sure he brings in a lot of
revenue from the Japanese markets but his skills are just fading. If
they kept him, I think that he would be adequate. The depth here at OF
allows them some wiggle room in the trade department.

I think they should move Matsui for a MR guy and go after Manny to be a full time DH.

C:
If Jorge is healthy, he will really lengthen their lineup this coming
year. We’ll see what happens there. I love Jorge but he is older.
Molina isn’t a bad back up because of his defensive skills but his
offense leaves much to be desired.  If Jorge is healthy this should be
a huge upgrade over last year.

Tomorrow we’ll look at the pitching and management.

1 Comment

I think Jorge is the big question mark going into ’09. He had such a huge offensive year in ’07 that it was an even bigger blow when he went down with the injury in ’08. If he comes back strong, the Yankees will be just fine. If not? Molina’s a great backup catcher, but what about every day? Jorge doesn’t want to be a DH, and we already have Matsui/Damon. With all the talk about our big acquisitions this off-season, I think the Jorge Issue will be crucial for us.

Happy New Year, Giuseppi!

- http://janeheller.mlblogs.com

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