Merry Christmas to all. While some of you have family and friends over, I am doing productive things around the house and decided that a break is sorely needed. While sitting and relaxing,the latter of which is a rarity, I was reading some sports related articles and was thinking about some more improvements for the Yankees. My thoughts then turned more specifically to the need to infuse the team with some MLB ready talented youth.
We all know that the Yankees remain an older team and have no major league ready high end prospects. However, that does not mean the Yankees cannot add some youth for the fans to get excited about, and possibly start the Yankes next core of players that fans can cheer for the way we have cheered for other players who, for all intents and purposes, were what fans felt like real Yankes. In that regard, while the additions of players like Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran are all nice, though some may beg to differ, I do not imagine that most fans will embrace them the same way we embraced Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada, Derek Jeter, Bernie Williams, and Mo. Personally, I want to cheer for at least a few young guys who make their marks in the majors as Yankees.
The Yankees still have a couple of major holes that need to be filled and can be done so satisfying the need and desire for some players that the Yankees and fans alike can grow with. The three biggest needs are second base, third base and a top of the rotation slot. The answers to each in order would seem best as follows; Nick Frankln, Aledmys Diaz, and Masahiro Tanaka. While the former would need to be acquired via trade, the latter two can be had by merely spending what it takes.
With respect to Franklin, he is one of three second basemen on his team, a team which has a lot of needs despite a good farm system. While I cannot assume what is would take to get him, I believe it Is a reasonable assumption that he can be had. With respect to the same, while he was a good prospect, he was never that top, cannot miss prospect. For said reason, the Yankees should,have pieces good enough to land him, something they could not likely to for a better ranked prospect or young stud. It might take a combination of a top prospect and a major leaguer plus more but it would be worth it. Franklin is projected to be a player like Michael Young though with possibly more power. As a perennial all star candidate in his prime, what more could the Yankees want in a 22 year old addition to the team and what prospect could they possibly trade outside,of Gary Sanchez that anyone would feel has a nice probability of that kind of upside. And no, the Yankees have not filled that need. Yankee fans would love,to,have th next Michael Young virtually start his career with the team. As a rookie last year, he would be remembered as a Yankees if he succeeds here. Plus, what a nice irony it would be if a former Seattle prospect becomes a star replacing the star who left the Yankees for Seattle. That, in itself, would make the acquisition worthwhile.
Aledmys Diaz was a shortstop in Cuba and will only be 23 years old. He could be the future shortstop for the Yankees and/or the initial replacement at third base for Alex Rodriguez. Even with Rodriguez potentially returning to the Yankees at some point, we all know that Jeter's days are numbered, even though it is Rodrgiuez' at we really wish was done. While Diaz does not come with the same recognition as Jose Abreu or sone other players before him, he is purported to be solid defensively and offensively. I have seen him referred to as Jhonny Peralta type. Minus his recent PED ties, I like the idea of a Peralta type player. While by no means sensational, Peralta is a borderline all star and easily an above average player. As such a young addition, like Franklin, the Yankees could look forward to watching this guy for,years if he pans out.
We just recently learned that Masahiro Tanaka will be posted by his Japanese team, albeit begrudgingly. While scouts have varied between ranking him as between a #3 starter and an ave who could be better than Yu Darvish, any of those projections equals a win for the Yankees by acquiring him. Compared most often to Kuroda, what Yankee fan would not be excited to watch tha tout in a 25 year old. Further, the marketing formhimwould likely be awesome. It would be like getting hiders Matsui again. The fans loved Matsui and embraced him like a real Yankee to a large extent. Notably, while Matsui was not quite Fodzilla for the Yankees, his contributions to the team and his likability were without doubt.
Between these 3, none of whom would be older than 25 when the 2014 season starts, the Yankes would have aded the potential significant contributor for years to come. Furthermore, it will give the Yankees a bridge until some other prospects develop which could potentially add to the core, whether it be from AA or A Ball.
Who likes these additions as much as I do?