Hitting One Out of The Ballpark ……
Although we are a mere two and half months away before Spring Training starts the world of baseball still remains in place where deals are still being made between the teams , albeit that many of these transactions are not really thought of as ground breaking or for that part truly major. However, any time the New York Yankees tend to be involved in any such deal fans of the game tend to have their interest piqued by a deal .
Slide show for your perusal .
Obviously with the death of the late George Steinbrenner a great deal changed within the organization with the Steinbrenner family still retaining control of the team . Hank and Al Steinbrenner , along with their sister Linda Steinbrenner-Swindall are the main proprietors as custodian and owners of the ball-club. They in conjunction with GM Brian Cashman have looked to bolster the competitive edge of the organization .
There’s no doubt that 2011 was a major disappointment for the New York Yankees with the team missing the postseason having failed to either win the AL East or gaining the lone wildcard berth within the AL . If anything there was more to excited about concerning the team with short-stop Derek Jeter joining the 3,000 hit plateau and supplanting himself atop of that list within the Yankees’ organization of the team’s heralded greats . Beyond that it 2011 was a year of missed opportunities for the team and a failure of any leadership being shown a number of seasoned veterans on this roster .
There’s no denying that the main issue for the New York Yankees was the lack of pitching depth on the roster this past season . Beyond CC Sabathia the problems that the team faced were remarkably glaring . Phil Hughes , AJ Burnett failed to live up to the expectations in spite of the monies spent on the roster . Once the behemoths of the game in this specific criteria given the largess of the big market teams such as the Philadelphia Phillies , Boston Red Sox , Los Angeles Angels and the beleaguered Los Angeles Dodgers .
For Yankees’ manager Joe Girardi and his coaching staff this season will be one where the team will have to be assertive in every aspect of the game if they are to succeed within their division and the AL as a whole . Certainly the team now maintains the offensive output we have come to expect with the likes of Robinson Cano , Alex Rodriguez , Mark Teixiera and Curtis Granderson guiding the team in the aspect where they still remain strong.
In this off-season it was thought that the New York Yankees might have made a big splash by trying to land one of the eminent free agent pitchers on the market but it would appear that the front office felt it prudent to follow a much tamer route . In doing so the decision to trade catcher Jesus Montero (four player deal) a young player that many felt had a bright future within the organization bringing a great deal to the game with his defensive and offensive productivity . In a surprise move the organization has traded their young catcher to the Seattle Mariners in exchange for the young pitching sensation Michael Pineda while having also signed former Dodgers’ starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda to a one year $10 million contract . As to whether or not the duo can add to the productivity of the pitching rotation remains to be seen but it is clear that Girardi and Cashman felt this has to be the first of a slew of moves that will be made by the team this off-season with the hope of contending for the World Series this upcoming season .
The New York Yankees I believe will be hard pressed to contend with the pitching rotation of their divisional rivals the Tampa Bay Rays whose roster of starting pitchers might be the envy of MLB . The Rays behind the arms of David Price , James Shields and Jeremy Hellickson spearheads what manager Joe Maddon and his coaching staff will pin their hopes to this season as they once again challenge the likes of the New York Yankees , Boston Rex Sox , Toronto Blue Jays and Baltimore Orioles within their division.
With Pineda coming to the New York Yankees where he will no doubt be the number two starter behind CC Sabathia and in no discerning order Phil Hughes , A J Burnett , Ivan Nova and Freddy Garcia vying for the remaining places to fill out that starting day roster . If this Yankees’ team cannot get itself over the hump then there is liable to be a major upheaval at the end of this season . With the money being spent by this organization on the staff in question if they cannot make a seriously contend then not only will the upheaval be amongst the playing personnel but quite possibly we may well see Joe Girardi’s tenure with the Yankees being brought to an abrupt end .
So All Star first baseman Prince Fielder still remains the marquee free agent still unsigned and that is even with the player’s agent Scott Boras signalling the fact that his client is worth his weight in gold . Well with the price of gold simply skyrocketing nowadays because of the inclement cycle within the economy I am not so sure that the asking price of a first baseman being signed to a multi-year contract as envisaged by Boras can be now commanded in today’s present economic environment . And that is with due respect to the contract signed by Albert Pujols with the Los Angeles Angels which was presided over by team owner Arte Moreno .
I have no doubt that Fielder will find a team with the Washington Nationals said to be looking for a first baseman who can provide the team with the added offensive power it seeks. Prince Fielder for his part had a successive season with the Milwaukee Brewers and was amongst the most productive first basemen within the game in 2011 . GM Mike Rizzo and team owner Theodore “Ted” Lerner need to make a big splash given the lack of real excitement to had at the team’s ballpark (Nationals Ballpark) this past season. They simply failed to contend within the NL East and even with the team’s drafting of Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg who were expected to bring some added excitement because they were viewed as a major draw . And will attendance for the team’s home games have been in line with the league average it has to be said if there is not a viable and competitive product on the field of play then there is no real chance of success for this organization.
As it is , the Washington Nationals face a tough task within the .NL East where they will have to contend with the Atlanta Braves , Miami Marlins , Philadelphia Phillies and New York Mets . And amongst those teams it has been the Marlins who have been the most active bolstering their roster with some major acquisitions which has seen the team’s payroll has increased exponentially . A far cry from where organization was amongst the lower tiered pay-rolled teams in in MLB recent years. Marlins’ GM Michael Hill , alongside Larry Beinfest , David Sansom and team owner Jeffrey Loria with a new ballpark set to be opened to the public on Opening Day the organization wanted to bring a great deal of panache and publicity to the newly revamped team . That inaugural opening should bring about a great deal of interest to the Miami Marlins as no doubt some major league dignitaries will be on hand when the team takes to the field in its inaugural game .
How do you view the New York Yankees’ acquisition of Michael Pineda and do you see the team vying for the World Series this upcoming season ? As to the other points raised within this piece what thoughts do you have ? By all means do leave a comment as you see fit .
Picture and slide show details below .
(1) TAMPA, FL – FILE: Jesus Montero (83) of the New York Yankees poses for a portrait on Photo Day at George M. Steinbrenner Field on February 23, 2011 in Tampa, Florida. According to reports on January 13, 2012 the New York Yankees have traded catcher Jesus Montero and pitcher Hector Noesi to the Seattle Mariners for pitchers Michael Pineda and Jose Campos . Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images …
(2) Michael Pineda (36) of the Seattle Mariners poses for a portrait at the Peoria Sports Complex on February 20, 2011 in Peoria, Arizona. According to reports on January 13, 2012 the New York Yankees have traded catcher Jesus Montero and pitcher Hector Noesi to the Seattle Mariners for pitchers Michael Pineda and Jose Campos. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images …
(3) Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Hiroki Kuroda delivers to the Colorado Rockies during the first inning of a baseball game in Los Angeles. A person familiar with the deal tells The Associated Press on Friday, Jan. 13, 2012, that Kuroda, a free agent, has agreed to a $10 million, one-year contract with the New York Yankees. The person says the deal is pending the 36-year-old former Los Angeles Dodgers starter passing a physical . AP Photo/Danny Moloshok ….
(4) Jorge Posada , Mariano Rivera , Derek Jeter, and Andy Pettitte of the New York Yankees pose on the pitchers mound after winning the last regular season game at Yankee Stadium 7-3 against the Baltimore Orioles on September 21, 2008 in the Bronx borough of New York City. According to reports on January 7, 2012, Jorge Posada will announce his retirement in the next couple of weeks. Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images ….
(5) Jeremy Hellickson (58) of the Tampa Bay Rays pitches against the New York Yankees on September 21, 2011 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. Getty Images North America / Jim McIsaacs ……
(7) Milwaukee Brewers’ Prince Fielder grounds out during the eighth inning of Game 6 of baseball’s National League championship series against the St. Louis Cardinals Sunday, Oct. 16, 2011, in Milwaukee. The at bat could be the last as a Brewers for Fielder. Now an unrestricted free agent the player still remains unsigned and there now seems to be wavering interest in Prince Fielder’s undoubted talents . AP Photo/Jim Prisching ….