Wednesday, November 6, 2013

To Hell With The Austerity Budget

There has been so much talk about "$189 million" that I think it's time for a break. Let's have some real fun and just put the best team on the field.

"Thank God, as this will take a lot less thought."

Let's start with starting pitching. The Yankees lost Andy Pettitte to retirement, and may lose Hiroki Kuroda to Japan. They also are losing Phil Hughes, however I don't think anybody is shedding any tears over that one. That leaves only two pitchers... CC Sabathia and Ivan Nova. So what about the other two spots?

While it's been said that he's not as good as Yu Darvish, Masahiro Tanaka is still expected to be a top-of-the-rotation pitcher in Major League Baseball. The posting fee for Tanaka will likely be in the neighborhood of... WAIT! Who cares? We're just getting the best.

I'm not a big Ervin Santana fan, but how can you not be impressed by his average of 210 innings per season the past four years? And those four years includes a sub-4.00 ERA, along with a WHIP a little above 1.20. Santana is a bit homer-prone, and doesn't strike out a ton of people out, but his durability and low walk rate sounds good to me.

While the Yankees have two kids that could possibly fit into the rotation, we've opened up the wallet here so I'm not stopping. Although he was injured in 2011, Matt Garza came back and started 24 games while posting an ERA of 3.82. He was also able to maintain a strikeout rate of about eight per nine innings, and also kept his walks down to below three per nine innings.

Moving on to hitters, we're going to sign Brian McCann. I think he's a bit overrated, as his triple-slash the past three years of .252/.329/.441, but those 20+ home runs a year would be nice. Not to mention the fact that McCann plays pretty good defense.

Then there's that Robinson Cano guy. I think I've talked about him a few times, so I'm going to say we bring him back and move on.

Derek Jeter may be back, but I don't think anybody really wants him to be playing shortstop regularly. Heck, some would say they don't want DJ playing short at all. I would be okay with him playing there a little, but as for a regular shortstop I think we should sign Stephen Drew. Outside of some freak injuries, due to running into team mates, Drew has been a solid contributor both with the bat and with the glove.

You may think that means I'd move Derek to third base, but you'd be wrong. Let Jeter be the most expensive bench player of all time. He can sit back and have his $12 million. I'm going out and signing Jhonny Peralta for third. Jhonny has lost a step or two, making some people think a move to the hot corner is inevitable. He's been an all star in two of the last three seasons, and knows what it's like to player in pressure situations. So I'm bringing him aboard.

The only outfielder on the team that I'd like to see regularly is Brett Gardner. So what do we do about the other two spots?

For starters, I say we put Carlos Beltran in right field. Beltran may not be a great defender, but right field at Yankee Stadium isn't exactly "sprawling", so I'm not too concerned there. The reason Carlos would be in pinstripes is because of his 25 or so homers a season, along with a batting average around .290. The on-base percentage is nothing to scoff at either.

That leaves us with left field. I've mentioned Shin-Soo Choo a few times, but I can't deny the fact that his trouble with left-handed pitching and sub-par defense would be a problem. So I'm turning to Jacoby Ellsbury. He's spent a lot of time injured, but those injuries were not due to him being fragile, but due to him being a bit reckless on defense (both of his long DL stints were due to running into other players). Ellsbury's combination of speed along with some power would be a welcome addition to the Yankees.

Like I said in a recent post, we can't forget about the bullpen. While Robertson is primed to be the closer next year, Mariano Rivera's retirement still leaves a massive hole. I suppose Shawn Kelly could be a decent set-up man, but with a blank check we can do better. So I say we bring in Edward Mujica. I know... I know... why not Joe Nathan? Well, I just can't see Nathan taking a non-closing role. Besides, Mujica has had plenty of success as a closer and as a set-up man, to go along with having pitched some stressful innings for the St. Louis Cardinals.

So here's my "To Hell With The Austerity Budget" roster...

C - Brian McCann
1B - Mark Teixeira
2B - Robinson Cano
SS - Stephen Drew
3B - Jhonny Peralta
LF - Jacoby Ellsbury
CF - Brett Gardner
RF - Carlos Beltran
DH - Alfonso Soriano

SP1 - CC Sabathia
SP2 - Masahiro Tanaka
SP3 - Ervin Santana
SP4 - Matt Garza
SP5 - Ivan Nova

Closer - David Robertson
Set-Up - Edward Mujica

As for the bench and the rest of the bullpen... who cares? It's not like it's going to happen anyway, so why get too in-depth with it? Now it's your turn to tell me what you'd do if money were no object.

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