Saturday, December 1, 2012

NY YANKEES: Cashman Making Moves Or Writing Checks?

By The Big Ragu
Staff Writer NFL PRO ZACH

Every once in a while you might here me say the Yankees gave to much money to this player or why would they pay him that but you will never here me complain about how much money they spend as a team on players. 

     So far this off season there's not a whole lot going on other than the resigning of a few players. The Yankees have agreed to terms with pitchers Hiroki Kuroda, Andy Pettitte, and Mariano Rivera. 

Mariano Rivera
     Kuroda signed a one year deal for $ 15 million. Pettitte has decided to come back for another year. The 40 year old lefty resigned for $ 12 million plus award bonuses. All time saves leader Mariano Rivera will be returning for one " Mo " year. Ha ha get it ? The 43 year old Rivera is returning from a season ending knee injury and has signed a one year deal for $ 10 million dollars plus incentives. Also according to the New York Post outfielder Ichiro Suzuki wants to come back next year as a Yankee. 
Brian Cashman

      I know these are good signings that had to be done. I don't have a problem with the Yankees bringing these players back. The question I have is with the Baseball Winter meetings getting under way on Monday in Nashville, Tenn. what is Yankees GM Brian Cashman going to do there just write checks to older players ? Heck, I could do that and do it for a little less salary. Notice how I said " a little " not half. " Show me the money."  

     With all the talk about Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner wanting to cut payroll down to $ 189 million by 2014 Cashman has his work cut out for him. I think over the next couple of years we are really going to see what kind of baseball mind and general manager skills Brain Cashman has. 

      I look around at some small market teams like the Oakland A's and the Tampa Rays and all I see are young hungry competitive teams with players who are only going to get better. Every year the Rays compete with a low payroll.( $64 million last season).  

Billy Beane
     This past season the A's were a feisty fiery team with some pop in the lineup. Last season they had the second lowest payroll ( $55 million) in all of baseball. After their playoff loss to the Detroit Tigers I saw a team that was angry. A team that was determined to be back. The second lowest payroll in baseball with one less regular season win then the Yankees. It makes me wonder what if A's GM Billy Beane had a budget like Brian Cashman. Since Beane took over as GM in 1998 the A's have had only five season with a record below .500. During his tenure the team payroll was never more than $ 79 million with an average payroll during that span around $ 49 million. It makes me think where the A's would have finished this past season had they been able to spend a couple of more bucks on payroll. How do these small market low payroll teams do it ? Are their scouts better than most teams ? Do they work harder because they have to do more with less ? Every year these teams bring up good young players and compete. It's a shame that these teams don't generate enough cash to keep their players otherwise we would probably be talking about other teams having a dynasty.

      I know the Yankees make the playoffs every so I've got no reason to complain. I don't care how much money players make or how much money the Yankees spend. I'm just wonder what's around the corner. I've been saying it for a little while now this team needs to start getting younger. I don't see that happening. With quite a few older players with big contracts it's going to be difficult to trade those players and get young at the same time. Could a playoff drought be around the corner ?

       One thing Cashman certainly will be doing at the Winter Meetings is looking for a catcher. Former Yankees catcher Russell Martin has signed a two year $ 17 million dollar deal with the up and coming Pittsburgh Pirates. I say up and coming because the Bucs are a young team with some very good talented young players. 

     After the season the Yankees never even made an offer to Martin. So what was Cashman planning on doing ? Signing an older free agent catcher like Mike Napoli or AJ Pierzynski ? Here are their numbers from last season. Napoli, 31, .227 BA, 24 HR, 56 RBI, 125 strikeouts in 417 plate appearances. Pierzynski, 35, .278 BA, 27 HR, 77 RBI, 78 strikeouts in 520 plate appearances. Number wise I'll take Pierzynski. Age wise I'll take neither.

Bryce Harper
     The Yankees have some good young talent in the system like catchers Austin Romine and Gary Sanchez. Outfielders Tyler Austin, Mason Williams, Ramon Flores and Slade Heathcoat. Pitchers Ty Hensley and Manny Banuelos. Infielders Zolio Almonte, Angelo Gumbs and Dante Bichette Jr. As good as they might be most are at lower levels in the system and the Yankees feel their still a few years away. Why ? Here's an idea give catching prospect Austin Romine a chance to make the team. Cashman has said one of his top priorities is to replace outfielder Nick Swisher. Hey I've got another idea ! Give outfielder Tyler Austin a shot to make the big club the this spring ! Why are they Yankees always so afraid to give their young talent a chance ? Other teams do it...Hint hint...Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, Stephen Strasburg. 

     Romine is the name I've been hearing about for a couple years well then give him a shot. Last season the 24 year old Romine began the year in the Gulf Coast League finished the year at Triple-A Scranton and had 19 at-bats with the Yankees last season. That's quite a progression I'd say. In 1760 minor league career at-bats he is hitting .278 with 43 home runs, 254 RBI, 102 2B, 138 BB, 308 SO, OBP. .333, SLG. .414, and an OPS. of .747. 

Tyler Austin
     Tyler Austin began last at Single-A Charleston and finished at Double-A Trenton. In his short two year minor league career the 21 year old has had 413 at-bats and is hitting .322 with 17 HR, 80 RBI 35 2B, 6 3B, 51 BB, 98 SO, OBP. .400, SLG. .559 with an OPS. of .960.

    This spring training give these two kids an honest chance to make the major league roster. I say give them plenty and I do mean plenty of at-bats this spring. I don't mean in the first week or two of spring training either. Let them stick around after teams start cutting down their rosters. Let the " A & A Boys " get a legitimate shot against major league pitchers. Let's see what they can do !!

    That's it for now stay tuned for an update on any hot stove news plus we'll how Cashman and the Yankees did at the Winter Meetings.

No comments: