The Yankees' cloudy future

Updated: September 13, 2012, 11:27 AM ET
By Keith Law

The New York Yankees' weak second half has focused attention on the age of the offense, even though younger players such as Curtis Granderson have been just as responsible for the team's struggles. They still may win the American League East despite the soft finish, but their outlook beyond this season is cloudier than it has been for several years, maybe since the mid-1990s. Their salary commitments for 2013 are significant, and while the team is often assumed to have the capacity to handle an infinite payroll, moving any of their large contracts without paying most of the freight would be nearly impossible. Their rotation is a weakness now and in the future, and that lineup is indeed getting old.

But the Yankees' primary problem isn't specifically the team's cost, or even the major league roster's age, but the fact that the farm system is not ready to provide players who are going to help the team in regular roles, either as everyday position players or as rotation members, in 2013 -- or even 2014.