While the biggest offseason story right now might surround Theo Epstein's possible departure as Red Sox GM, the Yankees certainly have offseason concerns of their own -- not the least of which is more pitching.
Discussion of the Day: Do you think the Yankees should re-sign Freddy Garcia? Why or why not?
1) Wallace Matthews argues that Alex Rodriguez is an albatross for the Yankees.
Indeed, an immovable contract coupled with declining age and production was probably going to become a problem eventually; the fact that he was injured for most of 2011 has thrown into sharp relief the perils the Yankees risk when he plays without being totally healthy (from July 9th to September 2nd, a period in which Rodriguez appeared in only four games for the Yankees, the Yankees went 32-18 ( .640 winning percentage) while hitting .285/.361/.462/.823 as a team. That time period includes games against both the Red Sox and Rays, so it’s hard to argue that the Yankees had the benefit of an easy schedule). Rodriguez, when healthy, is still a productive ballplayer at what is becoming a premium position, but if 2011 is a foreshadowing of the next six years, the Yankees may be in for a bumpy road indeed.
Garcia, signed last offseason to a one-year deal, was consistent, putting up respectable numbers, even if he wasn’t necessarily ace-caliber. As a back-of-the-rotation pitcher, Garcia has been consistent for a few seasons now, and, having shown that he doesn’t have trouble pitching in the AL East, it seems hard to argue for the Yankees not to bring him back, especially in a season where the free agent market for pitchers is notably thin.
Montero is easily the best prospect the Yankees have, putting up quality numbers in his September call up, and while the adage says that one should never judge a player based on a September performance, Montero certainly has shown the potential to be one of the best homegrown pure hitters the Yankees have had in a long time. There are needs the Yankees have, but unless they were to trade Montero for a pitcher such as Felix Hernandez or Clayton Kershaw (neither of which is likely without significant other concessions), it’s unlikely the Yankees would be happy with their return.
Notably, CC Sabathia and Rafael Soriano can opt out, while the team holds a player option on Nick Swisher. If Sabathia were to opt out of his contract, he'd command interest from around the league, but it's unlikely any team would offer him more than the Yankees. On the other hand, Soriano's year was such that it seems unlikely he would get a better contract on the open market. As for Swisher, there doesn't seem to be a decent reason not to exercise the team option-- Swisher is an above-average hitter, and the Yankees don't have to spend a fortune to keep him.