By Richard Barber
With C.C. Sabathia locked up to a reasonable long term deal, and Brian Cashman set to run the team for at least another 3 years, the Yankees can now begin the serious job of rebuilding the team into a world champion. Here are the moves Brian Cashman and the Yankee front office should make if they want to do just that:
Trade for Matt Garza
Garza is almost a perfect fit for the Yankees. He has a very affordable contract, he’s still in the prime years of his career, and he’s pitched in the AL East before. If they’re able to convince old foe Theo Epstein to trade Garza to them, the Yankees could easily have the most impactful offseason acquisition. It shouldn’t be too much of a problem convincing the Cubs to trade him either. They will be terrible again next year, even with him, so why not move him and dip into the Yankees’ stash of valuable prospects?
Sign David Ortiz to DH
This is a tough one. It has nothing to do with Ortiz—he’s a phenomenal situational hitter with power to go with it—but more to do with Jesus Montero. Montero has the chance to be a premium bat for a Yankees team that needs some reenergizing in the middle of its lineup, and DH is really the only spot he fits. Still though, it’s not enough to pass up signing Ortiz. Signing Big Papi would not only give the Yankees another feared hitter, but would significantly hurt the divisional rival Red Sox’s chances of competing next season. And just for some icing on the cake, Ortiz has not ruled out signing with the team this offseason.
Trade for Nick Markakis
Surprised? I thought so. Here’s the deal: Nick Swisher is clearly on the downside of his career. While he can still be a very productive player, Swisher’s numbers were down this season, and more importantly to the Yankees, he has been terrible in the postseason. Markakis would provide an excellent solution to this problem. Over the course of his career, Markakis has been an exceptional situational hitter. Last season, he hit .362 in late/close situations, and a strong .286 when behind in the count. Good situational hitting, along with strong pitching, is really what wins championships (see ’96-’00 Yankees). The Orioles have no reason to hold onto Markakis anymore. His services are not cheap (roughly $11 million a year), and he’s not a kid anymore (he’ll be 28 next season).
Pick up Nick Swisher’s option, and trade him to the Twins for Francisco Liriano
The Twins need an outfield bat (and a ton of other things), and the Yankees need another starter to fill out the back of their rotation. They had success taking fliers on Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia, and Liriano could bring those kinds of returns, if not better. He’s been terribly inconsistent and barely been able to stay healthy, but he still has electric stuff. He would have virtually no pressure on him, with C.C., Garza, and Nova filling out the top of the Yankee rotation. And the team wouldn’t even necessarily have to put him in the rotation, with Phil Hughes still an option for the fifth starter. All things taken into consideration, picking up Liriano would be a smart move for the Yanks. Worst case scenario, he’s equally as frustrating to watch as A.J. Burnett.
Of course, there are a number of other moves the Yanks need to make (resigning Russell Martin) in order to have a successful offseason. These moves though, will be the decisions that will determine whether or not the team indeed captures its 28th world championship in 2012.
I am a hard working college student with an undying passion for sports. Writing for stateofthesport.com allows me to share that passion with others while at the same time honing my writing skills. It really is a unique opportunity that I have taken on with a great deal of excitement. I hope for readers to enjoy reading my articles as much as I enjoy writing them. Follow me on Twitter @richardbarber26