Tuesday, April 29, 2008

2009 Free Agents

Just for kicks I thought I'd take a look at who will become a free agent at the end of the season. I'm listing all the important Yankees, and a few non-Yankees of interest.

First Base:

Jason Giambi*

Third Base:

Morgan Ensberg


Bobby Abreu

Starting Pitchers:

Mike Mussina

Andy Pettitte

Relief Pitchers:

Kyle Farnsworth

LaTroy Hawkins


At first base, Mark Texiera will become available, and at 28 still has quite a few good years left in him. Several of the Yankees are getting a bit old at their position and might want to consider sliding over to first (Jeter, Posada). I don't see any way Giambi gets re-signed and wouldn't be surprised to see him get traded or cut if he continues to struggle. Also in the wings is Shelley Duncan, the utility OF/1B who has shown promise in the minor leagues but hasn't hit well in the majors this year.

Morgan Ensberg is more of a utility guy for the Yankees right now, and could get a better offer from someone else who wants to make him a starter. He is nice to have around, and currently adds more value to the team than Giambi. There are always youngsters like Eric Duncan and veterans like Cody Ransom ready to step in.

Bobby Abreu is an afterthought at this point. The Yanks already have too many outfielders and unless they trade someone, there's no need to keep Abreu around. Damon, Cabrera and Matsui can handle the job and guys like Duncan and Brett Gardner can fill in and you still have Tabata in the wings.

Mussina will likely be gone, Pettitte might sign on for another year if he holds up but the Yankees are going to need someone to fill in at least one spot. Assuming everything works out and Joba, Ian and Phil all come around as productive starters, Wang will still be an ace and then you've got one spot to fill. If Pettitte comes back you've got 5 but that's a lot of if's. Especially the way the staff is struggling right now, it wouldn't surprise me to see the Yanks pick someone up this year and then only re-signing Pettite if someone else doesn't work out.

I can't see the Yankees keeping Farnsworth around, despite Girardi's fascination with the hittable reliever. Hawkins is definitely gone. By next season Bruney should be healthy again and you've got Albaladejo,  Ohlendorf, Betances, Melancon and Patterson ready to take over.

There's a chance another minor league guy could be ready to try starting in the bigs. Darrel Rasner has been pitching well in the minors, but I see him as more of a long reliever. Jeff Marquez and Daniel McCutchen will get their shots eventually.

The Yankees have a lot of prospects that could play a role on next year's team. It would be hard to justify signing an overpriced veteran on the decline to a big contract when you've invested so much into bringing the young talent along. Then again, we're talking about the Yankees here, who am I kidding.


Jason said...

don't forget about JB Cox and hopefully Humberto Sanchez in the pen. Cox especially is progressing nicely this year.

Jeff said...

I admittedly haven't paid too close attention to those two. I'll have to start following them a bit more closely.