Wrapping It All Up

Well the Winter Meetings have come and gone and the Yankees are not very different from where they were at the beginning of the week. The top pitchers are off the free agent market and the top hitter is as well. Here’s what the Yankees don’t have- a premiere addition to talk about heading into 2012. Barring a run at Yu Darvish (possible, but after their history with Japanese pitchers somewhat unlikely) the Yankees will have a very similar team to the one they had in 2011. Here’s what the Yankees do have- choices, especially with their pitching.

It’s not a shock they are at this point. Here is an article Mitchell sent me the other day which outlines the Yankees plans for the next few years. Here is an interview with Brian Cashman from last night that contains a number of different pieces of information and is worth watching. What they both reinforce is the fact that Brian Cashman isn’t about to overpay for anyone.

Now back to the choices and this is what I think the difference between this year and last year lies with the Yankees. Unlike last year, Cashman isn’t saying “no way” when being asked about the chances for a Banuelos or Betances to pitch in the bigs. Watch the interview and it becomes clear to me that the Yankees are viewing not only spring training, but the entire season as an extended tryout. They are going to be looking for results and if one guy doesn’t deliver, they can exchange him for another guy. What that means is unless your name is Sabathia you don’t have a spot in the rotation. If Ivan Nova pulls a 2011 Phil Hughes, expect to see someone else step in.

So, we can put some names on the 2012 team in pen like Sabathia, Rivera, Robertson and Logan and some in pencil like Nova, Hughes and Wade. It means if one of the prospects can have a big camp, he will probably earn a spot.

Things might change if some of the trade demands from other teams go down, but why would they? Oakland should ask for the sun, moon and stars for Gonzalez. The way the Yankees avoid paying those prices is by developing their own Gonzalez’s and for the first time in a while, they just might have that chance.

Lastly, I couldn’t resist linking to this. I would say this gentleman might have been over-served. I can also not confirm or deny that I might have taken a “swim” in that very pool once.