Yankees Briefing 10/29/2011

Major League Baseball has officially moved the start of free agency to 12:01 AM Sunday, and while the biggest names -- Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder -- might not suit the Yankees' current needs, free agency can provide surprises that are almost just as entertaining as the season itself.

Discussion of the Day: Are you happy with the expectation that Brian Cashman will return to the Yankees?

Behind Enemy Lines: Gordon Edes profiles Ben Cherington, the new GM of the Red Sox. Cherington was considered the favored candidate after Theo Epstein resigned to go to the Cubs.

1) Andrew Marchand takes a look at some free agent signings that have had less than stellar results.

With the possibility of CC Sabathia opting out of his contract, Yankees fans might find themselves worried that the Yankees will end up overpaying for Sabathia’s decline. However, unlike some of the other names on Marchand’s list, Sabathia has stayed healthy throughout his career, and while there will be worries about Sabathia’s workload, he has yet to show they are warranted. It is possible, if not likely, that the Yankees will pay too much for Sabathia, but given his All-Star and playoff credentials, he might be the one free agent the Yankees can get away with paying too much.

2) Mike Jaggers-Radolf writes that Robinson Cano is overrated.

Jaggers-Radolf’s opinion will no doubt be considered controversial, as Cano is undoubtedly one of the Yankees’ best offensive players, and in 2010 was an MVP candidate. Jaggers-Radolf postulates that saying Cano is overrated doesn’t mean the second baseman isn’t good, just that he’s simply not as great as some are advertising. Cano may be in line for a substantial raise, so whether or not he is as valued as advertised is certainly topical, but the term “overrated” itself has connotations that may lead readers to think that Jaggers-Radolf is stating that Cano is not a good second baseman.

3) Mike Axisa considers the success of the Yankees’ bullpen underbelly in Hector Noesi, Cory Wade and Luis Ayala in the 2011 season.

Heading into the 2011 season, the Yankees’ bullpen was supposed to be excellent, behind Mariano Rivera, Rafael Soriano and Joba Chamberlain. When Chamberlain and Soriano got hurt, everyone else in the bullpen needed to step up – and for the most part they did. David Robertson’s season rightfully received the most notice, but the Yankees relied heavily on the work of Ayala and Wade, especially. Ayala and Wade were cheap pickups while Noesi remains a prospect as a starter, indicative of how an effective bullpen need not be an expensive one.