With the Yankees having officially made their big, unexpected moves on Saturday, the dust has cleared and the news will hopefully begin picking up as we steamroll our way toward pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training.
While I leave you all daydreaming about that, here are some morning links to help you procrastinate from work or quench your thirst for baseball knowledge.
New York Magazine continues to examine who is left as an option for the Yankees to use as a designated hitter in 2012. Here are the options as of right now:
1) Leave it open - Fill in various players on the roster on different days and use it as a revolving door type of position. Andruw Jones hit exceptionally well against lefties last year and some players (Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez) will be needing more half-days, if you will, to sneak in a bit of rest during the course of the season.
2) Sign one of the following players - Prince Fielder, Johnny Damon, Hideki Matsui, Carlos Pena, Vladimir Guerrero. The only two viable options in this category appear to be Damon and Matsui, but the Yankees reportedly won't spend much more money than they have this offseason between resigning CC Sabathia, signing free agents, and having to pay more to arbitration eligible players such as Phil Hughes, David Robertson and Joba Chamberlain (with Brett Gardner and Russell Martin headed to a hearing).
In the long run, the Yankees aren't looking for a player to fill the DH spot. Aging stars with unruly contracts that last well past their primes will, with near certainty, be clogging up the DH for a few years. Signing someone to a one-year, $5 million or less deal shouldn't "break the bank" and Hideki Matsui could potentially be a good fit for one last hurrah, especially against righties. Either way, we'll see how it plays out over the course of the next month or two. I wouldn't be shocked if they stick with what they've got as this team doesn't need an elite DH to become much better.
Other various links:
- SB Nation New York breaks down Brett Gardner's and Russell Martin's filed salary amounts for the 2012 campaign. Who do you think will win each arbitration hearing, the player or the Yankee organization (for both Gardner and Martin)?
- ESPN New York's Andrew Marchand has thoughts about Michael Pineda not being a finished product quite yet.
- Did the Yankees hint at Jesus Montero's departure last spring?