Looking for firewood for the Hot Stove: What to do with the Yankee Free Agents October 01 2014
Another disappointing season for the Yanks and 2 straight years where the celebration of a retiring legend has help divert the attention away from how bad the season really was.
Sorry to tell you but the Yankees are out of CORE members or Future First-Ballot Hall of Famers to distract the fans from paying attention to their actual record. Just like last season most fans tuned in or made their way to the stadium just to catch a glimpse of Jeter. Games that Jeter didn't play or DH'ed were upsetting to fans even if the Yanks won in blowout or Walk-Off fashion. And for the second year in a row we are talking about next year before the Wild Card round of the playoffs isn't even over.
As bad as this team was this year they still have some decent Free Agents leaving the roster that are worthy of re-signing. Don't think the Yankees are going to have plenty to spend again with Jeter coming off the books. Welcome back A-Rod alone and that's enough to offset any savings. Martin Prado is also locked up for 2 more years so that's $11 Million right there.
Here are 8 of the Yankees Free Agents and what they should do (no crazy unimportant stats because I don't feel like looking them up and no one really knows them off the top of their head anyway):
Hiroki Kuroda: I don't see the Yanks signing him for another 1 year deal. It has felt like he has been a rental without long term commitment and never seems to have gotten any run support. He is always better than his record shows give or take a few terrible outings. I see him signing a 2 year deal elsewhere, mainly in the National League.
Chase Headley: Chase Headley is another guy, that, when flat out asked about next year, didn't give a definitive answer. We are at the point in time where no one (aside from Jeter & A-Rod) would ever say "I WANT TO BE A YANKEE". I can and will spend an entire blog-post about this discovery because it stood out so much after the last games interviews. With that being said, Headley has made it clear he wants to play a position everyday. Alex will return to 3rd Base, Prado has 2nd, and an iffy Teix has 1st. Headley doesn't have experience at short and won't want to wait around for an injury opportunity to play a position. YES I would love for the Yanks to sign him but he can get a decent contract elsewhere.
Stephen Drew: Has been okay defensively at short. I am not sure why there has been all this assuring talk that he would be Jeter's successor. When your batting average is less than your weight you shouldn't be negotiating with anyone. Drew should take any amount of money from wherever its offered, and I think the Yanks will throw some his way. He would be a good fit for the Mets as well.
Ichiro: Another position player who clearly does not want to be on this team. Last season the Yankees went in with 6 outfielders (Wells, Soriano, Ellsbury, Gardner, Beltran, and Ichiro) and now it is both a need and a question mark. You can PEN in Jacoby and Gardner everyday but what about Beltran? Can he play 85% of his games in the outfield or will he be clogging up the DH spot for most of the season. Ichiro either gets a 1 yr deal from the Yanks for the sole purpose of marketing reasons (his REAL 3000th hit) or he will have a homecoming in Seattle and do it there.
Brandon McCarthy: YES Re-sign him. 4/5 of the Yanks starting rotation went down this year. Not only can it happen again but are the returning pitchers a sure thing? How will CC rebound? Will Tanaka even pitch? How will Nova perform after Tommy John? You can never have enough starting pitching and McCarthy proved he can pitch here. Give him a full season in the rotation and see how it turns out.
Chris Young: Chris won't get another contract like last year. It was a bad Mets decision that turned out to be a good pick-up for the Yanks. He seemed like he was part of the team and really enjoyed the fans and also had some great performances as a Yankee. Can he do that for a full season? I'm not sure. But if they can get him for less than $5 Mill it wouldn't hurt to find out.
Chris Capuano: Another guy who filled in for an ailing rotation. I think McCarthy and Greene have a slight edge to make the rotation if there is room leaving Chris the odd man out.
David Robertson: YES David had the biggest shoes to fill out of any Yankee this season or ever. SS next year wont be under a microscope has much as replacing Mariano Rivera is. He did fine and was more than any Yankee fan could have hoped for. If the Yank offense next year is as bad as it was I would rather keep him. Betances/Robertson make it a 7 inning game, or even shorter when Betances comes in the middle of the 7th. The strongest 1-2 punch in the bullpen is so much more important than a question mark in the 8th and only Betances to close. Whatever Robertson decides to do bottom line is he will get PAID. If the Yanks give a qualifying offer he is looking at $15 mil. If they offer him a 3 year deal it can be upwards of $30+ mil. Teams around the league will offer the same as far as years and there are plenty of them who need a great closer. I have seen players turn down qualifying offers from the Yanks and I will never understand it, but if it is years David wants then he can certainly get there wherever he signs. Nightmare scenario is that he is with Boston or the Mets next season.
That is all for now. Plenty more when the real hot stove season starts. If you are watching the playoffs enjoy. Hopefully we can tune in next year and watch the Yanks. Leave a comment below with your thoughts or join in on the conversation on twitter/facebook. And don't forget to sign-up for the email list where we give away a free tee every month!