The Rangers and the Nationals are also the front runners in getting Cliff Lee, but the Yankees 7 year contract might be enough to nip this in the bud and get Cliff Lee. If Cliff Lee decides not to join the Yankees, the Yankees might think of Plan “B+”: Trade one of their outfielders for a starting pitcher. The original Plan B was to snag Carl Crawford if Lee said no, but Crawford joined the Red Sox late Wednesday night. One of the outfielders that have teams in a frenzy is Brett Gardner, with his speed and his money friendly price range. Nick Swisher contains power and is in the last year of his 4 year Yankee contract while Curtis Granderson has the speed, the power but his contract is least impressive, since it deals with a lot of money. For Brian Cashman getting Cliff Lee is a major deal, because if he doesn’t then Plan “B+” will look messy, which he hadn’t thought out.
With the whole Carl Crawford deal going around the major league baseball club, the Yankees are certain for one thing. Even IF Crawford did end up in New York, Brett Gardner would stay put where he is despite speculation that he was to be traded to the Royals just to make room for Crawford. If the Yankees had decided to trade Gardner, it would have been a gigantic mistake on their part. For one, NO ONE is faster than he is on Yankees, he had made franchise history by being the 7th person in 70 years to steal over 40 bases, following the ranks of Alfonso Soriano. No one sees more pitches at an at bat than Gardner. He had shown major improvement over the past 2 years, in 2008 have a max number of strikeouts and in 2010 limiting his strikeout count by taking balls that he used to swing at. His arm and his on base percentage are other reasons. Gardner is known to gun down runners while their running and has one of the strongest arms, able to get almost anyone out at home plate if he had to. His .383 on base percentage was team leading percentage, just ahead of Robinson Cano.
So how did Brett Gardner get that on base percentage people ask? He has been walked as much times as buddy Mark Teixeira had. But pitchers aren’t wary of pitching to Gardner because of home runs, it’s because of his speed and him being able to steal second base in a blink of an eye. Even though Crawford would be a good deal for the Yankees, losing Brett Gardner’s amazing defense is not worth the cost, no matter how much Crawford wants. So the Gardner haters better suck it up, because Gardy is here to stay in the big apple.
Just 3 days after the Yankees were eliminated from the playoffs, trades, contracts and releases are flying all over the place, and it may be a little too hard for Hal Steinbrenner to deal with.
Let’s start with the contracts shall we? Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettite’s contract expired on Friday after the Yankees lost to the Texas Rangers, and the head of the Yankees expects to sign all three of them, if Pettite is still interested in playing next year that is. He is back to square one again, trying to contemplate whether to play another season or retire to spend more time with his family. Jeter is expecting a contact raise for him to play for another 4 or 5 years. Jeter is already 36 years old, which means if they extend his contract he will be at least 40 or 41 when his contract will expire again. Mariano Rivera has no problems with being sign, so there’s no drama there even though he is 41 years old.
For Kerry Wood, the Yankees would LOVE to sign him for his amazing pitching performance before the bullpen went to Mariano Rivera, but other teams are interested in him. Another prospect that they are interested in is Carl Crawford who is now a free agent after spending his season with the Tampa Bay Rays. In my opinion, I wouldn’t want the Yankees to sign Carl Crawford for the main reason…he’s a LEFT FIELDER, which defeats the whole purpose of having Brett Gardner there. Gardner brings more to the table than Crawford does. Gardner has a strong arm, is very fast and has the inside swing perfected. The only thing that Gardner can perfect this off-season is his bunting. Another prospect that the Yankees plan on getting is Cliff Lee. After the Cliff Lee deal went out the window in July, the Yankees will try again during the off season. I think if we get Cliff Lee, we will definetley see a 2011 World Series, but I am getting ahead of myself. We would need Cliff Lee to accept the New York deal first. And with Andy Pettite contemplating his decision of returning to baseball, Cliff Lee would be an excellent replacement of Pettite decides to retire.
The Yankees released pitching coach, first baseman and starting pitcher Dave Eiland, Lance Berkman and Javy Vazquez. Eiland had proved he wasn’t capable of commanding his pitchers, Lance Berkman only had July to October on his contract and Javy Vazquez wasn’t the starter anyone had hoped for. He was 10-10 during the whole year which was horrible. We all realize that A.J Burnett was just as bad, but there is a difference between Javy and A.J: A.J had a HUGE contract ahead of him. The Yankees may be out of the 2010 season, but 2011 brings more huge prospects, better pitching and who knows, maybe the Core Four (Jeter, Posada, Pettite, Rivera) will all return next season and help us through a Yankees World Series victory. There not getting any younger you know.