Wednesday, October 31, 2012


It’s that time of year again ladies & gentlemen! As soon as Miguel Cabrera froze on an 89 mph fastball right down the middle from Giants’ closer Sergio Romo, the off-season had officially begun around Major League Baseball. Gotta love it!

With so many questions the Yankees have, you can argue that this is the biggest off-season since the off-season leading up to 2009. So, without wasting any more time, here’s BYB’s first installment of free agent and trade rumors leading up to the 2013 campaign. I'll have quite a few of these, so as you read them, share them, let's get the conversation going.

Shin Soo Choo: With Nick Swisher all but gone, one of the questions the Yankees have is who will play right field. In the free agent market, there are guys like Josh Hamilton, BJ Upton, Michael Bourn, Shane Victorino, Cody Ross, Torii Hunter, and many more. Those players are nice, but for my money Shin Soo Choo makes the most sense, though unlike the names mentioned, Choo would have to be traded for, but it’s worth it.

Choo currently has one year left before he hits free agency after next year, so theoretically it won’t take a king’s ransom to acquire him. He’s a Scott Boras client, so things could get tricky in trying to extend his contract if New York acquires him, but anything is possible. Either way, Choo would be a perfect Nick Swisher replacement. He’s a very underrated, five-tool type of player. The 30-year-old batted .283/.373/.441 with 16 homers and 21 stolen bases in 686 plate appearances. He also has a cannon arm and plays a solid right field. You may be wondering “What about Ichiro?” but don’t. I have a plan where the Yankees can have both Ichiro and Choo in their 2013 outfield. I’ll elaborate in another post for another day about Choo. Look for it.  Oh and by the way, read BYB's piece about Casey's thoughts on right field too in SWISHER VS. ICHRIO: THE RIGHT FIELD DEBATE.

Anibal Sanchez: I know starting pitching wasn’t a problem in the postseason, It was actually a huge strength, but you’d be foolish to not try to upgrade, and Anibal Sanchez would do just that. Sanchez is coming off a season in which he pitched to a 3.86 ERA in 31 starts for the Miami Marlins and the Detroit Tigers. He’s been a rock over the last three seasons, pitching to an even 3.70 ERA in that span while logging at least 195 innings each season. Like Choo, I’ll have a separate post just for Sanchez. Stay tuned.

Scott Hairston: Another hole the Yankees will need to fill is a power righty bat off the bench. After a strong 2011, Andruw Jones crapped out in 2012 and because of it he’s been shown the door (at least so we think). Scott Hairston would be a great addition to fill Jones’ void. Hairston mashed left-handed pitching last season batting .286/.317/.550 with 11 homers in 199 PA’s. However, after a strong 2012 with the Mets, batting .263/.299/.504 in 134 games, Hairston may be looking for a full-time role, but we’ll see about that. Hairston isn’t the only candidate to replace Andruw Jones as the power righty off the bench, so I’ll have a separate post highlighting some other candidates.

--Jesse Schindler, BYB Lead Staff Writer
Follow me on Twitter @SchindlerJesse

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