Thursday, August 12, 2010

Yanks Face Tough Choices

Derek Jeter bats against the Orioles on 4-19-08.Image via Wikipedia
     The time is coming, very soon, when the Yankees will need to make some tough decisions. Right now the focus is on a twenty eighth championship  as it should be, but once the season is over, win or lose, let the hand wringing begin. There are not too many things that make the Yankees nervous, but when it comes to the core four you can start to see sweat trickling down the scalp of Brian Cashman. It will be decisions on the core four that must be made this winter and they will not be easy.
     Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera are free agents. I expect both will be signed, but at what cost and for how long? Mo gas shown no signs of slowing down. I can see a two year contract without problems, but what if Mo wants four years or five? The question that will keep arising is, how much are you willing to pay for the past? Jeter has shown some signs of aging. He has lost a step and there are questions about his bat. He will still be a part of the Yankees in 2011, but where does he hit? It is time for Gardner to become the lead off hitter. Gardner has slumped recently but he is still hitting .279 with an OBP of .375, and has 31 stolen bases. Jeter is hitting .276 with an OBP of .340 and 12 thefts. Leading off with a much younger much faster Brett Gardner would be in the best interest of the team. Question is will Derek accept hitting eight or nine? If he does, it is not inconceivable that he plays a few more years as a Yankee. If he balks, once again, how much are you willing to pay for the past? And remember that payment will not only be in money but in success in years to come.
     Andy Petite will probably cause the least angst. He will either sign a one year contract or retire. I doubt he tries to get a multi year deal, although the way he has pitched this year he surely deserves one. It is his battery mate Jorge Posada that may be the toughest call of all. As has been reported on several Yankee blogs, Jesus Montero is tearing up the International league. It is hard to imagine that the Yankees can hold him down much longer. If he does not come up this year he will almost certainly be on the team next year. It is possible he splits time with Jorge next year, but in two years he should be the Yankee starting catcher. That leaves Posada to either accept the DH role or move on, not a pretty scenario.
     There is not a Yankee fan alive that is not eternally grateful to the core four. They have been great Yankees and class athletes. They have made Yankee fans all over the world proud. They are champions. They are also not as young as they used to be. There will come the time that they must be replaced, That time is coming soon. The only question is , how much are you willing to pay for the past?
Enhanced by Zemanta

No comments:

Post a Comment