Unless Arod decides to work out his next contract without Scott Boras we're going to need a replacement.
I've suggested before that the young guns will make up for the loss of Arod.
Now that Jorge is signed, third base is the only offensive question mark. Let's take a look at how good the pitchers need to be put together a .600 winning percentage (97 wins).
Using runs created, I removed Arod's monster season, and plugged in 5 different levels of production.
Bars #1 represents the Yankee offense if they they get no production from the third baseman.
#2 gives a full season to a replacement level third baseman. For the offensive numbers I used 70% of the solid player used for #4. It's worth noting that Wilson Betemit's .226/.278/.417 line as a Yankee was slightly below replacement level.
#3 represents a solid AL third baseman. I averaged the production of the middle range qualified 3Bs (Iwamura, Blake, Inge, Gordon, Glaus, Mora, Izturiz).
#4 represents an All-Star 3B (Lowell, Figgins, Beltre).
#5 is Arod 2007.
Can the young pitchers manage to allow 70 fewer runs than last year's squad (to assist an average 3B)? That would mean dropping the team ERA from 4.49 to 4.38.
Igawa, Clippard, DeSalvo, Karstens and Rasner allowed 114 earned runs in 161.2 innings.
If Phil Hughes can pick up where he left off in September, when he threw 29.2IP, 25H, 10BB for a 2.73 ERA, and pitch 160 innings.
If Kennedy can best Clemens' 99IP, 99H, 31BB, 4.18.
If Joba can be merely great (I've suggested Scott Shields' 2003: 140IP, 1.16WHIP, 2.85ERA). The catch is getting Andy Pettitte to put off retirement one more season, or adding another frontliner (Dan Haren would be nice).