Friday, March 7, 2014

An Extremely Early Look At The 2015 Free Agency Class

I know it's early, and I realize that it's too early, to be looking at 2015 but I was bored so sue me. Let's take a look at the players the Yankees will no longer have under contract after the 2014 season and start the analysis there:

Derek Jeter $17 million
Hiroki Kuroda $16 million
David Robertson $5.215 million
Kelly Johnson $3 million
Brian Roberts $2 million
Alfonso Soriano $18 million, $13 million paid by Cubs
Ichiro Suzuki $6.5 million

Another offseason, another ton of money coming off the books, does that mean another offseason spending spree? Maybe. The Yankees would have holes once again at the back end of their bullpen, in the starting rotation, in the middle infield, the hot corner, and we would need another key piece or two that could help out Mark Teixeira if his wrist goes south.

$54.715 million off the books is a lot to play with this offseason so what kind of new toys could we be introducing this winter at Yankee Stadium? Obviously, unless the Dodgers re-sign him first, the Yankees are going to be all in on Hanley Ramirez and who could blame them? He can play third base or short stop easily and those are two spots the Yankees will really need to fill next season, even if Alex Rodriguez is back or not. Obviously I want David Robertson back and have wrote about how the Yankees need to lock him up now before he adds saves to his resume but if he was to go elsewhere the Yankees could look at former Oriole Jim Johnson, although he would likely be too expensive, but would also have Andrew Bailey still in the fold.

The great thing about the infield is between Eduardo Nunez, Dean Anna, Zoilo Almonte and the rest of the guys the Yankees are developing and bringing in the Yankees could finally fill in key pieces with homegrown talent leaving plenty of money for the rotation. The rotation will also be able to be filled with young guys like Michael Pineda, Adam Warren, David Phelps, Manny Banuelos, Shane Greene, Vidal Nuno, etc but if the Yankees are hell bent on spending big Josh Johnson would be a free agent again as well as James Shields with the possibility of Max Scherzer, Jon Lester, and Justin Masterson if the three do not reach extensions before then.

I cannot see the Yankees spending another $500 million this season but I could easily see them filling spots with homegrown players and filling in the blanks with the right choices, like we did in the early 90's. Adding a Hanley Ramirez, a Max Scherzer, and the rebuilt and revamped farm system could mean another World Series parade down the canyon of heroes... but damn it's early, too early to be looking at 2015.

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