Eric Chavez is gone, Raul Ibanez is at least potentially departing with rumors that the Mariners would like to effect a reunion with their former outfielder. These are not necessarily bad things for the Yankees, because the chances of those players repeating their 2012 successes are very, very low. Still, if both are to be scratched from the Yankees' board, even more questions will be added to the pile. As I reported yesterday, questions are all they have.
It is not too late for Brian Cashman to make some dramatic moves that will cause us all to suffer whiplash, and it won't be late until July 31, 2013 rolls around. Still, the progression is obvious, with the feeling that for the first time in a long time, with over-generous Yankees bucks removed from the equation, players just aren't that motivated to come to New York. Despite the team's obvious advantages - and there still are many - New York is not the first choice for available players, even those who were already on the team. In the past, you could count on the Yankees re-signing whoever they wanted to sign. That is no longer the case.
Now, all of this may have been intentional. No team, even one that has just lost Alex Rodriguez to emergency tire rotation, should be basing its plan to contend on 35- and 40-somethings and all points in between. There is a silver lining in that the Yankees may be getting some medicine they need. I have written many times that an under-observed rule of baseball is that if, as a team, you don't choose when to rebuild, God will choose for you. At the risk of over-stressing a light religious analogy, at some point in a team's life-cycle, at some point "He giveth and he taketh away" starts to lean heavily on the latter part of the equation.
And so go we all, perhaps, but hopefully with less visibility.
Until then, we have the smoke of activity but painfully little fire, at least from the NYY section of the forest. The team is not in free-fall, will not plunge out of competition, but given the many openings on the roster and the way even the supporting players are threatening to get out of Dodge, it may be that ready panaceas will remain out of reach - at least at these meetings.
... And that's true even if they sign Kevin Youkilis.
Kevin Youkilis is being chased by the Indians and Yankees. If money is close, have to think he would pick the Tribe.— Pete Abraham (@PeteAbe) December 5, 2012