"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Dr. Killpatient

Over at Grantland Rany Jazayerli lower the boom on the 2013 Yanks:

If everything goes right, the Yankees can win 90 games again and contend for an AL East title. But for the first time since before the strike, the Yankees need everything to go right. And it never does. Things are already going wrong, with a third of the projected lineup on the DL. They don’t have the depth to replace Granderson and Teixeira; other players will get hurt, and they won’t have the depth to replace them. Players will underperform, and they don’t have anyone in the minors who can step up. (The Yankees have a pretty good farm system, but their top five prospects — Mason Williams, Slade Heathcott, Gary Sanchez, Tyler Austin, and Jose Campos — have combined for two games in Double-A.)

So long as the Yankees stick to their guns and aim to get their payroll under the threshold next year, they won’t be able to purchase help from outside the organization. The team’s streak of 87 or more wins is in mortal danger, and so is its streak of 20 winning seasons in a row. If the old guys show their age all at once and another key player goes down — particularly Sabathia — they could collapse like last year’s Red Sox.

And 2014 will be worse. The Yankees only have four players under contract for next year, but they owe those players — Rodriguez, Sabathia, Teixeira, and Ichiro — more than $78 million. Cano will be a free agent, and with the Dodgers trying their best to out-Yankee the Yankees, it’s no guarantee he’ll re-sign in the Bronx.

Cano is just the tip of the iceberg. Other free agents next winter include Granderson, Kuroda, Youkilis, Pettitte, Rivera, Hughes, Hafner, Joba Chamberlain, and Boone Logan. (Jeter has a player option.) As much as 40 percent of this year’s roster will be available to the highest bidder next winter, just as the Yankees will be cutting payroll. Assembling a complete roster with no immediate help from the minor leagues and precious few pre-arbitration major leaguers will be an immense challenge.

Categories:  1: Featured  Spring Training  Yankees

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1 TheGreenMan   ~  Mar 7, 2013 1:30 pm

Haven't we been hearing this same story for several years now? The only difference is the $189 million that the front office is trying to get under next year. And yes, there are some bloated contracts that eat into that quite a bit over the next year. But it's still $189 million. That's a lot.

It's a long season, and a lot can happen. Players develop, trades happen, unexpected contributions from formerly replacement level talents occur.

Look at the Jays last year. They lost their MVP candidate Jose Bautista mid-year and pretty much their entire starting rotation to injuries during the year. A promising season that went down the drain. On the other side you have the Orioles and A's. NO ONE expected those to teams to excel, let alone make the post-season. With the Orioles it was a ridiculous 29-9 record in one-run games, a good bullpen and honestly I have no idea what else. Adam Jones, Matt Wieters and JJ Hardy were good, but not that good. The A's won with a core of good young pitching (with a dose of pre-suspension Bartolo Colon), a good outfield and defense, defense, defense.

Are the Jays going to be as bad as they were last year? With all those off-season acquisitions, I can't imagine it. But it could happen. But Reyes and Buehrle were mild busts just last year. Melky is coming off of his PED suspension, and Josh Johnson has been brittle. The only "sure thing" I would give them is RA Dickey, and he's 38, throws a pitch no one has ever seen before and he is missing an ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow. That's an odd choice for a sure thing.

Similar question for the Orioles and the A's. It would take a literal miracle for Baltimore to perform as well as they did last year in one-run games, especially with them running out pretty much the same uninspiring starting rotation. I'm more interested in seeing if the A's can continue their success. Great, young outfield with the addition of Chris Young. And they still have a solid young pitching staff (and Bartolo) and bullpen. The infield is a big question mark, but it was last year too. Maybe Jed Lowrie can finally have a consistent and healthy year. Who knows?

Which is exactly my point. Sure the Yankees have some (huge) question marks. But at this point, on March 7th, who knows?

2 Alex Belth   ~  Mar 7, 2013 1:38 pm

It was a shame they let Russell go.

3 rbj   ~  Mar 7, 2013 1:48 pm

Via lohud, rumor is that Mo's going to retire at the end of the season. Now I know how Linus felt when Lucy took away his security blanket.

4 RagingTartabull   ~  Mar 7, 2013 1:48 pm
5 TheGreenMan   ~  Mar 7, 2013 1:48 pm

I liked Martin, but it wasn't exactly like he tore it up last year. Losing him will hurt, but I'd imagine the impact will be negligible over a full season if the Yanks stick with Stewart and Cervelli.

6 Diane Firstman   ~  Mar 7, 2013 1:49 pm

Press conference Saturday . . . Mo is going to hang them up after 2013.

(so I just bought tix for the final home game)

7 Diane Firstman   ~  Mar 7, 2013 1:50 pm


Martin's ISO and pitch-framing skills aren't easily replaced.

8 Shaun P.   ~  Mar 7, 2013 1:57 pm

[2] I agree, but it is possible the Yanks made the decision not because of money, but because they reasonably believed that the Ragin' Canadian was not worth it.

Before his September renaissance, Martin "hit" .198/.301/.366. Yes, the walks and power were quite nice, but his power was almost entirely due to the Stadium v2.0 - 10 HR at home, 4 on the road (where he hit .201/.310/.321 prior to September).

I don't know for certain why the Yankees let Martin go, but I know there's a decent reason for it.

That is what disappointed me about good Dr. Jazayerli's article - he left out some of the good reasons he usually does not miss. Yes, the Yankees' offense is likely going to be worse, but the rotation and bullpen are going to be better. The defense is improved (in the outfield, dramatically), which will make the pitchers look better still. This was almost entirely glossed over.

I don't think the Yankees will win 95 games again, but I don't think this is the end, either.

9 Diane Firstman   ~  Mar 7, 2013 1:59 pm


The defense is improved (in the outfield, dramatically), which will make the pitchers look better still. This was almost entirely glossed over.


The defense on the infield, however ...

10 Alex Belth   ~  Mar 7, 2013 2:01 pm

No surprise on the Rivera announcement.

11 TheGreenMan   ~  Mar 7, 2013 2:09 pm


ISO can sometimes be misleading in the case of players with extremely low batting averages. Like Martin last year. He was 9th in the MLB for ISO at C, but only 16th for SLG. Se were aren't exactly talking about an elite player here.

As for his pitch-framing, I agree. Hard to replace. From what I've seen of Stewart, he seems excellent behind the plate though I'm not sure about his pitch-framing. Cervelli might be another story.

12 thelarmis   ~  Mar 7, 2013 2:25 pm

No Mo.


13 knuckles   ~  Mar 7, 2013 3:20 pm

Just be thankful Mo came back, and that the last we see of him isn't sprawled on the warning track in KC.

I hope he's lights out and enjoys a prolonged and well-deserved farewell tour. If this season ends up sucking, at least that'd be a bright spot.

14 rbj   ~  Mar 7, 2013 4:25 pm

Hey, Karim Garcia is playing for Team Mexico.

15 RagingTartabull   ~  Mar 7, 2013 5:24 pm

I'm re-reading Verducci's 2009 profile of Mo and came across this gem of a quote...

"You know when you come to New York, you're going to get Mariano," Rays outfielder Gabe Gross was saying before a game last month. "It's not just before the game. I start thinking about him on the plane ride up. I know he's there waiting, and he'll be out there, and I will have to see him with the game on the line. So I start getting ready for him. I start thinking, What am I going to do to try to hit Mariano?"

16 knuckles   ~  Mar 7, 2013 5:36 pm

Who is Karim Garcia?

17 Sliced Bread   ~  Mar 7, 2013 6:56 pm

Mo for Pope!
Russell who?
16) exactly

18 Bama Yankee   ~  Mar 8, 2013 9:26 am

[16] :-)

19 BobbyB   ~  Mar 8, 2013 10:49 am

I pretty well agree with Rany's assesment. Anything can happen, the Yankees could win the World Series, but the odds are that 2013 and 2014 are going to be very difficult and the string of injuries going back to the end of last season, A-Rod, Jeter, Granderson, Texiera and the stated goal of getting under the luxury tax in 2014 points to a very bad couple of seasons. Too bad in a way, the pitching looks to be very strong, which is great in the Post Season, but you've got to get there first and I don't see this team making the playoffs.

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