"It's clear he didn't want to be a Yankee," Hank Steinbrenner told the Daily News last night. "He doesn't understand the privilege of being a Yankee on a team where the owners are willing to pay $200 million to put a winning product on the field.
"I don't want anybody on my team that doesn't want to be a Yankee."
It's pretty obvious that the Yankee brass is standing very firm on the issue of not pursuing A-Rod in the free agent market and I think they are right in doing so. Clearly, A-Rod didn't want to be a Yankee because he didn't even give any extension of his current deal a chance.
That's fine. Like Hank Steinbrenner said, I'd rather not have someone playing for this club who didn't want to be a Yankee. I root for the uniform more than any individual player.
Now, the focus should be on bringing back Posada, Mo, and Pettitte next season and fill the offensive holes in the lineup with short term stop gaps until better solutions become available down the road.
It doesn't make any sense to spend money unwisely on free agents like Torii Hunter or Andruw Jones or mortgage the farm for a Johan Santana or Miguel Cabrera. Those kinds of moves in years past are exactly why this team has an abundance of immovable contracts and payroll inflexibility and had a farm system that was bone dry for a number of years.
The Yanks won before A-Rod came to this club and they can win without him. Continuing the youth movement while building a stable of horses and depth in the rotation will make this team a contender faster than any big bat could ever do.
Obviously, today is not a great day in Yankee history. Nonetheless, it's not time to hit the panic button just yet. Better days may be coming sooner than you think.