Before getting into what the Yankees need to do this offseason to improve their offense a bit of news. The Yankees have signed Damaso Marte to a 3 yr 12 million dollar option. I was never a fan of acquiring Marte last year and still will not trust him in a big spot. However the move makes sense as the Yankees need a lefty reliever they can rely on (no more Billy Traber or Mike Myers please.) Phil Coke looked good last September but lets let him develop before we give him the 8th. (Remember how good Ian Kennedy was last September?)
Ok onto the offense: As we know Friday 12:01 AM will be a big day for the Yankees. Maybe even the biggest free agency day for the Yankees in their history. The offense was the major problem for the Yankees last year. If you take the same pitching last year with 2007's offense, the Yankees make the playoffs. Hopefully a healthy Posada will come back and restore some claught to the catching position. Arguably two of the top Yankee hitters last year Jason Giambi and Bobby Abreu wont be back next year. They both had very good years last year. It seems any player on the team not named Jeter or A-Rod will be on the block.
Yankees have shopped Hideki Matsui and Johnny Damon and have had some interest in both. The big name the Yankees can offer is Robinson Cano, now the tough move is do you believe that 2008 was just a bad year and he will return to his batting title form or is he a guy you need to get rid of? Cano could get you the centerfielder that you need as Damon definetly wont be there and there are doubts if Brett Gardner or Melky Cabrera can handle the job. Cano for Matt Kemp of the Dodgers has been rumored for months and seems like a good deal. If Cano is gone look for Orlando Hudson to be signed to replace him.
I wouldn't mind seeing Abreu back for one year and having Gardner and Cabrera try to handle CF this season as there are no top guys to get to fill those wholes. For 1B, I am not a big Mark Texeira fan but he seems to fit their needs perfectly. Great Defense, Good OBP and Power. Texeira doesnt do anything great but does a lot good. He isn't as good as the money he will earn but thats the market and the Yankees need him. If I were Yankees I would see if Todd Helton and Ryan Howard were available. Howard doesnt seem likely to stay in Philly too long and he is very pricey maybe he can be had. If I were Cash, I would bring Giambi back on a cheap short contract as his OBP and OPS last year were very good and he had some nice #'s besides avg.
As for Manny Ramirez, I do believe the Yankees will have a chance for him. If they can move Matsui, Manny wouldn't be a bad DH for a year or two. Anything more then 2 yrs is a bad contract. I utlimatly believe Cashman wont sign him no matter how hard Scott Boras tries. If Cashman wants a CF he should see what Toronto wants for Vernon Wells and see if he is available.
So Abreu back, Gardner in CF, and Texeira at 1B is my pick. I will probably be wrong on all my ideas but I do know this: the next month will be very exciting to see what moves the Yankees make.
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