YANKEES: OFFSEASON OUTLOOK

The Yankees need to make  additions to their roster, while sorting through several high-priced injury question marks on their roster as they try to rebound from two consecutive years outside the postseason.

GUARANTEED CONTRACTS

Masahiro Tanaka:  SP: $133MM through 2020 (Tanaka can opt out after 2017)

JACOBY ELLSBURY  OF: $126.8MM through 2020 ($21MM club option for 2021, $5MM buyout)

BRIAN McCANN C: $68MM through 2018 ($15MM club option for 2019, can vest to become player option)

ALEX 9SLIME-ROD) RODRIGUEZ 3B: $61MM through 2017

CC SABTHIA , SP: $48MM through 2016 ($25MM vesting option for 2017, $5MM buyout otherwise)

BRETT (JUNIOR) GARDNER  OF: $48MM through 2018 ($12.5MM club option for 2019, $2MM buyout)

MARK (MR. CLUTCH) TEXIERA  1B: $45MM through 2016

CARLOS BELTRAN OF: $30MM through 2016

MARTIN PRADO IF: $22MM through 2016

BRENDAN (MR. STICK) RYAN SS: $2MM through 2015 ($2MM club option for 2016, become $1MM player option if declined)

ARBITRATION ELIGIBLE PLAYERS

SHAWN KELLY RP (5.128): $2.5MM projected salary

ESMIL ROGERS  RP (4.087): $1.9MM

IVAN NOVA SP (4.024): $3.3MM

MICHAEL PINEDA SP (3.099): $2.1MMDA

DAVID HUFF (WITH HIS FANCY STUFF)  RP (3.062): $700K

DAVID PHELPS  SP/RP (2.156): $1.3MM

Contract Options

ANDREW BAILEY  RP: club option for 2015, dollar value unknown

Free Agents: CHRIS CAPUANO, STEPHEN DREW, CHASE HEADLEY, RICH HILL, HIROKI KURODA, BRANDON McCARTHY, DAVID ROBERTSON, SCOTT SIZEMORE, ICHIRO SUZUKI.

After the Yankees missed the playoffs in 2013,  they spent over $500 million  on new contracts for free agents and re-signed talent.  It does not like “keep in your pocket” Hal, wants  the Yankees to go for another  spending spree. One reason, last year’s big signings Beltran and McCann),  performed poorly.

A huge  issue facing the Yankees is that many of their highest-paid players cannot  counted on to stay healthy or play up to their usual standard in 2015. CC Sabathia returns  from knee surgery and has already suffered a decline in performance in recent years.  Mark (Crybaby) Texiera,  managed to play in 123 games last year but his wrist problems will always require a backup option.  McCann and Beltran could’ve might have had off-years, or they could possibly be on the decline as well.

And then there’s the  loveable Juice-Rod,  returning from his year-long suspension is anyone’s guess.  My read, he’s done!  Slime-rod, has two bad hips.  When he left, A-Roid, was not able to catch up with the fastball.  The Yankees are quietly hoping to re-coop on his contract, if he has too hang it up!    The plan for Slime-Roid seems to be a rotation between DH, third base and first base to spell Teixeira.  This is one of the craziest ideas I have heard.    They have interest (bla bla bla bla bla,)  in bringing back Chase Headley

One possible solution would be to pencil in Prado in as the third baseman and to acquire a stopgap option to play second or give prospect Rob Refsnyder a chance to win the second base position.    Prado’s versatility is a nice tool for the Yankees to have, and since he posted an .877 OPS in 137 PA after joining the club at the trade deadline, his bat may have awoken after a rough first half with the Diamondbacks.

Beltran’s elbow injury both kept him out of RF and likely played a big role in his struggles at the plate, if Beltran can return, he could be back to his usual productive self.   The Yankees will definitely look to add a backup outfielder who could regular playing time or at least would be Beltran’s late-inning defensive replacement.  Someone like Gerardo Parra,  (who the Brewers could non-tender or look to trade) would be a nice fit in this role.

The Yankees need a shortstop.   They could   look for an established veteran (who might be more used to the pressure) to play the position for a few seasons until a younger option can be groomed or acquired.

If New York chooses the veteran route, there are free agent shortstops like Asrubal Cabrera and  Jed Lowrie could be available.   Stephen drew  could be re-signed at a relative discount price, though it’s hard to see the Yankees handing Drew the starting job coming off his poor 2014 season.

If the Yankees choose  a younger player  at short, they could talk trade with the Diamondbacks or Cubs, each of which have a surplus of young shortstops.  Chicago’s surplus, Starlin  Castro and blue chip prospects Addison Russell and Javier Baez.      if The cubs were  willing to make a deal, the Yankees may not have the prospect depth to meet the enormous asking price the Cubs would demand for any of those players.  Swinging a deal for one of Arizona’s slightly lesser-regarded young shortstops (Didi Gregorious, Nick Ahmed, Chris Owings) might be a  more do-able option.

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