Monday, November 17, 2008

Weekly Recap

Last week we finally had some action from the Yankees giving us a glimpse into what the future holds.

1. Darrel Rasner was sold to Japan. This one seemed a little odd to me at first. I liked Rasner and thought he did an excellent job for the Yankees when they needed him. He started out strong and had a very rough finish, but I thought he had value as a long reliever. Unfortunately, I get the feeling that teams in major league baseball just don’t see the need for long relievers any more. Joe Girardi last year made it clear that he didn’t want to waste roster space with a long reliever if he didn’t have to. In the end, I think this move came down to something Rasner really wanted to do, and the Yankees let him. Best of luck Darrel.

2. CC Sabathia given a huge offer. There have been a few complaints coming out of the Brewers organization that the Yankees overbid for Sabathia, but the Yankees have the money to spend and don’t want to waste time getting the players they covet the most. I don’t see the Sabathia offer as being too extravagant. A little more than he probably deserves but that’s exactly what you expect from the Yankees. There have also been rumors that the MLBPA has been pressuring CC to sign the deal to help push up contract prices for players, but that claim sounds dubious at best. I predict that CC will talk to one or two other clubs early this week and be signed with the Yanks by the weeks end.

3. The Yanks want to go after Lowe and Burnett. Hank Steinbrenner let the cat out of the bag that the Yankees were going to be making offers to three big name pitchers, not just one or two. Most people seem to think that the Yankees are interested in signing two quality free agent starters, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see more than that if the team can come to terms with the players it wants. The Yankees’ rotation was beat up last year and injuries took their toll. Joba couldn’t handle the physical stress of being thrown into a full time starting job at the end of last season and it’s still questionable how many innings he can throw this year. Mussina might not want to come back and the Yankees might not want Pettitte back. The most likely scenario is that the Bombers pick up two new arms, but don’t rule out them getting all three of their targets.

4. Yanks acquire Swisher from White Sox. Finally Wilson Betemit is jettisoned. He was a drain on the team more than anything else. His offensive production was abysmal and his defense was suspect as well. Joe Girardi insisted on giving him playing time rather than getting young prospects the at bats and innings they deserved. Marquez had some potential but wasn’t necessarily a guaranteed big league player. Kanekoa Texiera has potential and could possibly end up playing at Yankee stadium some day and his inclusion in the deal is a little surprising. Nick Swisher showed potential early in his career and then went and had an awful year this past season. He’s billed as a Jason Giambi type of hitter, but not quite as good (which, considering Giambi’s performance last year, is pretty scary). The hope is that last year was a fluke and that Swisher will continue to develop and reach the potential many thought he once had. His defensive skills are a significant improvement over last year and I laud the Yankees for placing a little emphasis on defense rather than just offense. Swisher also has the flexibility to play left and right field if needed. He’s a bit of a gamble, but the Yankees got him for a steal so you have to be pretty happy with this deal. The Yankees will still go after Mark Texiera, but their need at first base isn’t as dire and I think the Pinstripers won’t be offering quite as much as they would have if the hadn’t acquired Swisher.

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