Thursday, October 10, 2013

Yankees Offseason Plan

A lot of people think that with the $189 million plan that the Yankees have no chance to compete next year. If Alex Rodriguez remains suspended that is simply not the case. According to Joel Shareman, if Rodriguez remains suspended, and his $27 million AAV does not count against the luxury tax, then the Yankees will have about $80 million to spend. That is enough to make this team competitive in 2014 even with all the holes. Here is what I would do with that $80 million.

1. Re-sign Robinson Cano- This is really a no brainer. Cano is by far the best second baseman in MLB. His .314/.383/.516/.899 slash line in 2012 was once again at an MVP level. People who are turned off by him asking for $300 million are fools. That is just how negotiation works. According to FanGraphs, Cano was worth $34 million in 2012 and $30 million in 2013, so the Yankees have been severely underpaying for his value. The Yankees need his elite bat going forward, as there is no suitable replacement. A seven-year contract for $175 million would be my contract offer. I just don't see a team that will give much more than that but if there is the Yankees should really do whatever it takes.

AAV: $25 million

2. Sign Brian McCann- McCann may be a douche, but he is one of the best catchers in MLB. McCann hit .256/.336/.461/.796 with 20 home runs, 122 wRC+ and a .347 wOBA. He bounced back from an off 2012 season when he was hindered with a shoulder injury. Catcher could be a place they try ti save money with Austin Romine and J.R. Murphy, but I would go after McCann. He would be a gigantic upgrade from the Chris Stewart disaster and he could hit 30 home runs in Yankee Stadium with the short porch. Signing McCann could make Romine or Murphy trade bait. At the age of 30 McCann still has prime years left. An ideal scenario for the Yankees would be for McCann to play catcher for three more seaosns before and then have Gary Sanchez be ready to take over while McCann moves to a first base/DH role, which he has a good enough bat to be able to do. The bidding war for McCann could be high, but I would estimate he gets a deal for about 5 years and $85 million.

AAV: $17 million

3. Sign Masahiro Tanaka- The Yankees have to start flexing their muscles in the international market again and Tanaka would be a good place to start. The Yankees have been rumored to be heavily scouting him so I would be surprised if they did not make a significant posting bid. That posting bid does not count against the luxury tax, which is huge for the Yankees. Tanaka is 20-0 with a 1.24 era in the Japanese League. He is not considered as good as a pitcher as Yu Darvish coming over, but he is not to far behind. He features an mid 90s fastball with a splitter that some scouts consider to be one of the best in the world. If the Yankees post a huge posting fee that should keep the contract at a reasonable level. A 5-year, $45 million deal sounds about right.

AAV: $9 million

4. Sign Stephen Drew- The Yankees need to fix the left side of their infield and Drew would be a good place to start. He is unlikely to resign with Boston with Xander Boegarts ready to take over. He can play shortstop or third and he is very good on defense, as he had a 10.9 defensive rating on FanGraphs. He hit .253/.333/.433/.777 and 109 wRC+, which is very good for a shortstop. The Yankees really cannot go into the season relying on Derek Jeter as their main shortstop again. A four-year deal for $48 million sounds fair

AAV: 12 million

5. Trade for Chase Headley- Brian Cashman must be more aggressive in the trade market and Headley may be on the block for San Diego. He is entering the final year of his contract and has shown no desire to remain in San Diego. He is coming off an down year, so perhaps his trade value may be down a little as well. His ability to play third base and the outfield would be great for the Yankees.

AAV: $8.75 million

6. Sign Joaquin Benoit: Benoit would be the oerfect setup man to add and he could be insurance in case David Robertson fails as closer. Benoit had 24 saves and a 2.01 ERA this year and is 36 years old. A two- year contract for about $16 million sounds good.

AAV: $8 million

This comes out to $79.75 million. Obviously, the chances of the Yankees making all of these moves are slim and who knows if my contract estimations turn out to be correct, but this just goes to show you that $80 million is a lot to work with. This is the best team I could out together for that $80, which was the purpose of this exercise.  Obviously, Rodriguez getting suspended is the key. If he does, then the Yankees will have plenty of money to work with. Here is  my 2014 Yankees roster with these moves:
Starting Rotation:
1. CC Sabathia
2. Masahiro Tanaka
3. Ivan Nova
4. Michael Pineda
5. David Phelps

1. Brett Gardner CF
2. Derek Jeter DH
3. Robinson Cano 2B
4. Mark Teixeira 1B
5. Brian McCann C
6. Alfonso Soriano LF
7. Chase Headley 3B
8. Stephen Drew SS
9. Zoilo Almonte RF (yes i refuse to put Ichiro as a starter)

Austin Romine
Eduardo Nunez
Jayson Nix
Ichiro Suzuki

(release Vernon Wells)

David Robertson
Joaquin Benoit
Shawn Kelley
Casaer Cabral
Dellin Betances
Preston Claiborne
Adam Warren

This would be a very competitive team even though the starting pitching is a little suspect. So, it is possible for this team to be a contender and Brian Cashman needs to get to work on it.

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)