The Yankees failed to reach the playoffs for just the 2nd time in 19 years in 2013. But that doesn't mean that they can't make the playoffs next year as many people think, while getting younger at the same time. With the right moves, the Yankees can not only be contenders in 2014, but for years to come.
First, the Yankees should give J.R Murphy and Austin Romine the chance to be the two catchers. They can compete in Spring Training to see who will be the starter and who will be the backup. Romine has proven to be a better hitter over the last few months of the season, and J.R Murphy has shown the ability to get on base in the Minors.
Second, the Yankees should try to resign Robinson Cano, to a contract worth no more than $115 million dollars over the span of 5 years. If he doesn't accept this, then they say their farewells, because they need to get younger, but still productive and him wanting an albatross contract won't help at all. Also, Cano isn't worth a $25 million dollar contract because he is 31, and even if this year's WAR, ( Wins above Replacement, which is a method used to evaluate a player's value to a team based on how much better they perform compared to the average player), says so, he won't be able to keep that WAR level to this year's standard. Plus, he will decline which in turn will cost the Yankees as they would be paying for yet another washed up player. Add on to that the fact that his WAR fluctuates every season, from 8.2 in 2010, to 5.4 in 2011, then back up to 8.5 in 2012, and down again to 7.6 in 2013, so the Yankees can argue that they don't know how valuable he will be next season as far as WAR goes. Additionally, the Yankees can argue that Mike Trout only gets paid $510,000 dollars, yet posted a WAR 1.62 points higher than him. Also, Carlos Gomez gets paid $4.3 million, yet posted a higher WAR than Cano, as do Andrew McCutchen, Josh Donaldson and Clayton Kershaw. So, the Yankees can make an argument against Cano's wanted salary.
If the Yankees are unable to get Cano back, then have a competition between David Adams and Corban Joseph, the winner once again being the starter at second and the loser the backup. David Adams was a good hitter in Triple-A and Corban Joseph is a good player.
Third, the Yankees should trade for either Asdrubal Cabrera or Elvis Andrus. We already know the memo with these guys and plus they're only 25 (Andrus) and 27 (Cabrera).
Fourth, the Yankees should hand the 3rd base job to Ronnier Mustelier. He can hit, has speed and provides versatility, as he can play the outfield and infield.
Fifth, the Yankees should sign Alex Castellanos. He was designated for assignment by the Dodger after they acquired Mike Baxter off of waivers. He has All-Star caliber numbers in the Minors and has played about 7 positions there, so he brings flexibility.
Sixth, the Yankees should trade for Will Venable. He has good speed, (he stole 22 bags in 2013), good power, ( he hit 22 homers while playing half of his games in Petco Park, a notorious pitcher ballpark), and is one of the best defensive outfielders in the game today.
Seventh, the Yankees should bid about $70-75 million dollars for Masahiro Tanaka. Then, if they have won the bidding war, they can sign him for $12 million over 6 years. We all know about him by now, but just in case you don't, he is expected to be on par with Yu Darvish.
Eighth, the Yankees should give Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances in this pitching circle. I believe it's time to see what we have in the Killer B's, as many scouts and fans still like their repertoires.
Ninth, if the Yankees feel like they want to, they can always see what they have in Brett Marshall and Francisco Rondon in Spring Training as well.
So, to conclude, with these moves, the Yankees set themselves up for a future dynasty in the Bronx, while also staying well below the proposed $189 million dollar payroll for next season.