Winter Report Card: SI.com grades the Yankees offseason as a D+, citing a lack of clear upgrades from last year's team. While resigning Nick Swisher wasn't necessarily the right move, not replacing his production is a mistake. Signing Ichiro Suzuki to an unnecessary two year deal, failing to find a platoon partner for him, and not replacing Russell Martin with a viable veteran starter are all reasons for the low marks. While the Travis Hafner signing was (cautiously) praised and the pitching is still solid, the reliance on old players is not a good thing. The Yankees' average age in 2012 was 32.7 years old, the oldest in the AL by three years, and they still managed to get older. How would you rate the Yankees offseason?
Who Will Curtis Granderson Be in 2013?: The Yankee Analysts examine Curtis Granderson's 2012 season and look to what his 2013 will be like. They conclude that his walk rates and strikeout rates will regress to their career norms (more walks, less strikeouts). His 2012 was not all negative as he saw a rise in his line drive rate; however, that was lost in the shuffle because his batting average on ground balls fell off a cliff. If he can shorten the gap between his xBABIP and BABIP numbers, he can improve his overall numbers. He's going to have to watch out for the shift in that case. Don't be Mark Teixeira, man! Granderson has stated that he would be open to moving to left field and has interest in signing an extension. One should probably happen, one should definitely not. Would you extend Granderson?
A Profile of Slade Heathcott: MLB Scout Bernie Pleskoff has good things to say about Slade Heathcott, who he thinks will be a major player in the future. He is an speedy, intense and even reckless young talent who can steal bases, put the bat on the ball and chase down any fly ball. His arm plays well in right field, but he lacks the power that most teams want in a corner outfielder. Pleskoff believes that Heathcott is best off as a center fielder instead of fellow prospect Mason Williams. We have time to see what happens, but what are your thoughts?
The Most Important Yankees: ESPN's Andrew Marchand identifies the five most important Yankees for a the 2013. To have a successful campaign this year Robinson Cano will have to continue to be the only Yankee who is currently still improving. Mark Teixeira will need to stay healthy and not tail off in order to make up for the lacking defense on the left side of the infield and aging lineup. CC Sabathia needs to keep being CC, Mariano Rivera will have to be Mo even more now that Rafael Soriano is not on the team as a backup, and Derek Jeter will need to keep his game up on offense and defense. I'm glad the season is starting so I can stop linking to these hastily written, overly simplified, and terribly done countdown articles. I guess I could ask who is the most important Yankee this season?
The Worst Contracts in MLB: Jonah Keri of Grantland lists the Top 15 worst contracts in Major League Baseball and Alex Rodriguez is obviously number one, finishing in front of names like Carl Crawford, Ryan Howard, Jayson Werth, Vernon Wells and some other less obvious names. Mark Teixeira also gets an honorable mention, putting two Yankees on the list. Thankfully, the Yankees weren't the only team with two players mentioned, and the Los Angeles Dodgers took home the trophy for bad contracts with a total of four.
Spring Training News: Several players showed up a day early on Monday, but while pitchers and catchers start Spring Training today, the position players have another week. Dan Johnson, Curtis Granderson, Derek Jeter, Phil Hughes, David Robertson, Joba Chamberlain, Michael Pineda, Clay Rapada, David Aardsma, and Melky Mesa are already working out. In very important news Derek Jeter has started running. Take that haters!
Numbers Issued: Kevin Youkilis will be wearing #36, Travis Hafner will be issued #33, Matt Diaz gets #22. Numbers 6, 20, 21, and 51 are still being held up. The numbers are starting to reach triple digits. Which of these numbers would you retire? Would you retire #13? NoMaas seems to think Girardi should give up #28 in favor of #189. Thoughts?