Consider a few things. The Yankees, at present, have the oldest roster of position players in all of baseball, and they have second-oldest pitching staff in all of baseball. To be sure, there’s nothing wrong with a roster that skews veteran insofar as the present is concerned, but the future is another matter. Up and down the lineup, stalwarts like Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira and Curtis Granderson are all on the wrong side of 30 (or, in A-Rod’s case, the wrong side of 35). Derek Jeter, while enjoying a remarkable and historic renaissance this season, can’t possibly keep it up. He’s an all-time great and a future inner-circle hall-of-famer, but most of all he’s 38. Will they re-sign Nick Swisher? Should they re-sign Nick Swisher? What about catcher and DH?
In the rotation, will Hiroki Kuroda return and remain effective? Andy Pettitte will retire once again, right? Has CC Sabathia’s decline phase begun? Will Mariano Rivera choose to come back? Can Michael Pineda be counted on for anything of consequence? And how long can their pitchers keep working around what’s a pretty awful team defense?
...The “new economics,” if you will, means teams, many of which are flush with new local-television revenues, are more willing to lock up players long-term during their cost-controlled years. That, in turn, thins the free-agent herd. For instance, top talents like Cole Hamels, Yadier Molina, Matt Cain, Andre Ethier, Brandon Phillips and Carlos Quentin, among others, all signed extensions during this, their walk year. Maybe the Yankees could have taken their usual approach had none of those things happened, but happen they did.
Throw in an AL East that still figures to be pretty tough, and you’ve got the makings of a disappointing season for the Yankees. Age, a weak system at the upper levels and a paltry free-agent market may not permit anything more. And wouldn’t that be a change?
Posted: October 01, 2012 at 05:12 PM | 46 comment(s)
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