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Grading the Yankees Offseason

First Exam - Austin Jackson, Ian Kennedy and Phil Coke for Curtis Granderson. The Yankees got themselves a starting center fielder with a reasonable contract, something they'd been seeking ever since Bernie Williams got old. If Jackson ever panned out to be Granderson we'd have all been thrilled and Ian Kennedy would not have gotten a chance to pitch here, so the price was very reasonable. Grade - A

Midterm - Nick Johnson 1 year deal with an option for a 2nd. It's hard to like this move a lot when superior DH's like Hideki Matsui and Vladimir Guerrero signed for roughly the same amount of money. True, NJ has the added value of being able to play a position, and the Giants were going to give him the same contract or more, but that value is negated by the fact that the Yankees won't use him at 1st. The Yankees could have made better use of this position either by bringing back Hideki or signing Vlad, or by using it for flexibility as they originally indicated. Grade - C-

Final Exam - Melky Cabrera and Arodys Vizcaino for Javier Vazquez. It's easy to see why a GM would make this trade. Cashman got himself a pitcher who pitches 200 innings every year who, despite some struggles in the AL, has always had a high K rate and a solid WHIP. Vazquez greatly reduces the possibiity of Sergio Mitre and/or Chad Gaudin starting games in 2010 which is important. Still, although Melky will never be a star his trade left the Yankees lacking depth in the outfield, and Arodys may be a good prospect, though he is a long way from the majors. The other negative is that the acquisition of Vaz keeps Hughes, or perhaps Joba out of the rotation. Grade - B+

So putting all those moves together gives Cashman a grade of B for the 2010 offseason. Not bad coming off a championship and one of the great offseasons of all-time in 2009. Perhaps the greatest success this offseason was not getting entangled in any long-term albatross contracts. This will allow the Yankees to be major players in a much better free agent market in 2011.

Extra Credit - Johnny Damon is still out there and bringing him back would easily bump this grade up to a B+ or A-. Damon's return would create a lineup without any holes and it would put Brett Gardner back in a role where he can excel - defense and running.

FanPosts are user-created content and do not necessarily reflect the views of the writing staff of Pinstripe Alley or SB Nation.

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