2010 - 2011 Yankees Offseason Analysis

Did the Yankees Strike Out?

After getting ousted in the playoffs by the Texas Rangers the Yankees went into the offseason looking for starting pitching. They had their sites set on one man: Cliff Lee. The Yanks threw a 6 year offer for something around $140 million. He spurned the Yanks and went to Philadelphia where he had been the previous year.

In the process of waiting for Cliff Lee decide where he wanted to be, the Yanks sat and watched their division rival Red Sox make a big trade for Rockies slugger Adrian Gonzalez and sign the most sought after bat in free agency, the speedster Carl Crawford. The Yankees put all their eggs in one basket hoping Cliff Lee would join C.C Sabathia as their one and two starting pitchers. Now the Yanks are left searching for another starting pitcher.

One person that would make GM Brian Cashman sleep a little better at night would be Andy Pettitte. Pettitte is deciding whether to retire or come back for one more year. It’s looking more and more likely that Pettitte will hang up his cleats and end his possible hall of fame career. Pettitte was injured for much of the 2010 season, but posted a solid 11-3 record with a 3.28 ERA.

The Yanks currently have question marks for their fourth starting spot behind Sabathia, Hughes and Burnett. If Pettitte decides to come back the Yankees should have a powerful starting rotation. If he retires Cashman will have to look high and low to find another arm for the rotation.

The Yankees did, however, find an arm via free agency signing Rafael Soriano. Soriano, previously with the Rays, posted up a 1.73 ERA notching 45 saves in 48 attempts. This acquisition gives the Yankees the best 1-2 punch in baseball with Soriano and Mariano Rivera closing games. This three year deal also paves the way for Soriano to potentially be Rivera’s successor should Rivera decide to retire when his current deal is up.

The Yankees still have one of the most powerful offenses in baseball. Robinson Cano posted up MVP like numbers batting .319 with 29 homers last season. The Yankees are hoping Jeter and Texiera have a bounce back year. Jeter hit .270 last year, his worst since his rookie year. Texiera hit 33 homers and had 108 RBIs, but batted just .256 throughout the year.

Another wild card is free agent acquisition Russell Martin. Martin was an all-star two years ago in the National League and is looking to return to form with the Yanks. The Yankees will place the DH tag on Jorge Posada, allowing Martin to take over catching duties.

The Yankees still have one of the most powerful offenses in the game. Their offense will keep them in a lot of games even despite of their pitching. Their division rival Boston Red Sox got much stronger with their acquisitions this offseason while the Rays got weaker. This will likely be a two team race late in the season for the division.

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