Armchair GM: 2012 Off-Season

brian-cashman-divorce-628x352Well, here it goes. I wrote the introduction, if you want to call it that, a couple of days ago basically just explaining what this will be and what I’ll be doing. So you can go there if you don’t understand this armchair GM concept at all.

The best time to get this started, probably would have been right after the season started, but we’ll just have to make do with starting now.

So, the Yankees have already resigned Rivera, Pettitte, Kuroda, and Gardner. They have also sat back and watched several names come off th

e board, without making an offer to any of them. So far it looks as if the Yankees don’t have any real plan, although Cashman is usually known for waiting until the market plays out to go after his players. So from here on out this is what I would do, if I were the GM of the New York Yankees.

Sign Kevin Youkilis to a 1 year $10M contract. With A-Rod being out, we need someone who can take over until he gets healthy, and then be able to spell him

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at 3rd base to keep him fresh throughout his recovery. Also, there is no guarantee that Rodriguez will even be able to play this season, so Youkilis would provide insurance there as well. I’m not trading for Chase Headley for two main reasons; 1) His value is too high right now. Coming off the season he just had, he would require probably 2-3 top prospects at least to acquire. I’m not ready to pay that price yet. 2) We still have A-Rod. By trading for Headley, we are essentially condemning A-Rod to a DH role for the next 5 years. He may not be the greatest, but we need him to be in the field to keep the DH open for other aging players.

Sign Ichiro to a 1 year $5M base contract with incentives up to a total value of $6.5M. Although he has been declining over the past two seasons, he showed he can still play at a high level when we traded for him last summer. His defense and speed will add another dimension to this team that has been lacking in years past. Although, this creates a problem of a lefty-heavy outfield, which I will solve next.

Trade Brett Gardner, Zoilo Almonte and Chris Stewart for the Cincinnati Reds’ Drew Stubbs and Ryan Hannigan/Devin Mesoraco. The reason I have the option of either catcher there is because I would put whichever one isn’t going to be their starting catcher in the deal. Both are good enough to be starters, but Reds’ manager Dusty Baker has been known to favor veterans over rookies, so Devin Mesoraco would most likely be the guy we get. Brett Gardner gives the Reds the speedy leadoff hitter they are lacking while waiting for Billy Hamilton to develop. Almonte isn’t a household prospect name, but he is a very solid player with pretty good upside. He hit almost .280 with 20 HRs in AA this year. Chris Stewart is included to give the Reds a defense oriented back-up catcher, since this trade would leave them with just one catcher on the 40 man roster. Stubbs would fix our lefty-heavy outfield problem and provide some RH power along with Youkilis, and Tex. Overall, I think both teams win with this trade.

Trade David Aardsma and Dellin Betances to the Diamondbacks for Willie Bloomquist. Kevin Towers has major love affairs with relief pitchers, and Aardsma is a perfect candidate to be a bounce back, great late inning pitcher. There really isn’t any room in our bullpen for him. Dellin Betances certainly took a big step backwards this year, but he could be converted into a relief pitcher also, or he could be worked with to turn his SP career around. Both players have pretty good upside, and Bloomquist will be a better utility player than Jayson Nix.

Sign Adam Kennedy to a 1 year $2M contract. He can help fill in at the infield positions and specifically third base against righties, to give Youkilis, who does not hit righties as well a couple of days off here and there. He can also be a good left-handed bat off the bench late in games.

The rotation and the bullpen look good already. Nova and Phelps will fight it out for the 5th spot. I am comfortable with either one of them going forward. I don’t think it is necessary to bring in anybody else. Our waiver claimed relief pitchers should fight out for one of the remaining bullpen spots. With Rivera and Chamberlain coming back next year and the return of almost everyone else, there isn’t a need to make a major move here either.

Now with all of the major hole filled (RF, 3B, C) I need a bench. Cervelli will most likely win out the back-up catcher position due to his prior experience and the fact that Romine needs at least half a season more at the AAA level. He also brings an upbeat personality into the club house. As a fourth outfielder, I am signing Raul Ibanez to a 1 year $3M contract with incentives up to $5M (based on plate appearances). He can play both corner outfield positions and can DH against lefties. Nunez will make the roster to help fill out the bench. He has a good bat, but we are going to have to live with that shaky defense. Finally, to finish off the bench, Willie Bloomquist has experience at several positions and can handle a bat very well.

So here’s a look at my 25-man roster:

SP

C

CC Sabathia Devin Mesoraco/Ryan Hannigan
Hiroki Kuroda Francisco Cervelli
Andy Pettitte

IF

Phil Hughes Mark Teixeira
Ivan Nova/David Phelps Robinson Cano

RP

Derek Jeter
Mariano Rivera Kevin Youkilis
David Robertson Eduardo Nunez
Joba Chamberlain Willie Bloomquist
Boone Logan

OF

Cesar Cabral Drew Stubbs
Jim Miller/Josh Spence/Cody Eppley Curtis Granderson
David Phelps/Ivan Nova/Adam Warren Ichiro Suzuki
Raul Ibanez
Willie Bloomquist

So that wraps up this off-season installment of Armchair GM. How do you think I did? What would you do differently? More importantly, I guess, is what Brian Cashman will do to bring the Yankees back to the World Series in 2013
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About baseballss2

Die-hard Yankee fan for as long as I can remember. I enjoy writing about them and keeping you guys updated.
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