Tuesday, September 30, 2014

My Top Five Questions

There is going to be a lot to talk about this offseason. But here are the top five questions in my mind...

By the way, I'm cutting the intro short. See, most people see a list and go right to it, skipping the intro entirely. So why bother? Right?


1. Will the Yankees bring back Chase Headley to play regularly at third base, while Alex Rodriguez is the designated hitter? Or will ARod be the regular third baseman while Carlos Beltran is the regular DH? However, even if Alex does DH while Beltran plays RF, it's no guarantee that the Yankees won't look past Headley and go after somebody like Pablo Sandoval.

2. On that note, can Beltran be counted on as the regular right field? Will Martin Prado continue in RF? What about... nah, next year's RF is definitely on the roster. Right? Well, if Prado were to play second base, and Beltran had to DH, then what? Ichiro wants to keep playing, apparently. Nelson Cruz would give the lineup some much needed power, but could we live with his sub-par defense?

3. If Prado were to regularly be in right field while Beltran DHs, then who plays second? Should Rob Refsnyder get a shot? Jose Pirela got the late call-up to the Yankees this past season, so does he have the inside track on the job? If Ben Zobrist's option wasn't picked up by the Rays I'd scream for the Yankees to go hard after him, but I don't think the Rays are stupid. Rickie Weeks is a fine hitter, but his defense is extremely poor.

The fact is, while Martin Prado's positional flexibilty is great, it's going to make Brian Cashman's job a heck of a lot tougher this offseason. While it's nice to have so many options, figuring out the best combination is not going to be simple. I suppose it all hinges on whether or not Carlos Beltran can play regularly in right field, or if he'll have to spend a large chunk of time at DH? The hardest part is that that answer is probably based more on faith than actual evidence.

4. What about shortstop? Jose Pirela played 8 games at short this past season in AAA, but that's it since 2011, so I don't see him taking over for Derek Jeter. Carmen Angelini played the most at SS for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, but it surely wasn't because of his bat (.238/.271/.336), so I think it's safe to count Angelini out. Brendan Ryan is signed for at least one more season (there is both a player and a team option for 2016), but there's no way the Yankees are going to settle for a guy with an OPS of .526 to be the heir for Jeter. I think it's a safe bet that the Yankees Opening Day shortstop next season will come from outside the organization. So could it be JJ Hardy? Should they re-sign Stephen Drew? Hanley Ramirez?

5. On the surface the starting rotation looks good. CC Sabathia is not the ace he once was, but I think he still has value going forward. And then there's Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda, Ivan Nova, David Phelps, and Shane Greene. When those guys are all healthy the team is in great shape without doing anything this offseason. But that's the thing... can you count on their health? I'm not going to review all the injuries those guys have suffered, but the only guys whose health is not a question (at least not as much as any other pitcher's health) are David Phelps and Shane Greene. Heck, Ivan Nova probably won't be able to return for a couple months (I'm sorry, I said I wasn't going to review the injuries). So what do they do? Bring back Hiroki Kuroda, who had a solid season? Personally, I'd rather see them bring back Brandon McCarthy, who actually had a sub-3.00 ERA for the Yankees. And I'm sure you've heard that Jon Lester, James Shields, and Max Scherzer are free agents. Hmm.

I say this every year, but you can't deny the fact that this offseason is going to be a really interesting one. In previous offseasons the questions simply revolved around filling holes on the team, whether through free agency or trades. But this offseason will be more difficult thanks to so many players recovering from injury, having more positional flexibility, and the return of some guy named Alex Rodriguez.

Tell you what I'm going to do, though... I'm going to just be a baseball fan for another month or so. It stinks the Yankees aren't a part of the postseason, but the American League has three teams I could really get behind in the Orioles, Athletics, and Royals. My best friend's favorite team, and by proxy a team I'll root for, the Cardinals are there in the National League. And it would be cool to see the Pirates make some noise, too.

It's been a very trying season for Yankees fans. It will be nice not to have to stress about tonight's upcoming game... that's for sure.


  1. I liked Moneyball, so I'll root for Oakland. The KC fans have just gotten too stuck up lately

    1. I wasn't aware that KC had fans? Maybe some bandwagoners, but there can't be many "real" ones.

    2. Plenty of bandwagonn ones I can guarantee that. Just check Kauffman's attendance.

  2. I'm going for the Nationals and the Angels. I'd like to see Trout do something spectacular in a World Series.

  3. Is there a SS out there we can get other than selling our Farm for? I do mean a very good one, we do have chips we can use for one!
    I am not a big Drew fan, never have been, but I am sure he can hit much better with a full year of rest and a full, NEW Spring Training under his belt! He is 31 and has a few more years left before he becomes an average SS. He has a good glove, arm, range and bat. This was just one of those wasted years. IF he stays with the team next year, I look for a rebound year from him...he just has to do his normal and that will be plenty good enough. Buy 2016 one of the hot-shots we have in the system may be ready to make a push for the job...maybe sooner!

  4. A very good one? No.

    Hanley Ramirez, JJ Hardy, or Stephen Drew pretty much highlight the free agent market. Then there is that Korean (I think) guy that I wrote about a couple weeks back.


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