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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

DID THE YANKEES TAKE A BIG RISK?

I'm a Yankee fan... I find the question of whether or not the Yankees taking a "big risk" this off season to be wildly ridiculous but I also respect Jim Bowden of ESPN. He's the guy who posed the question, read HERE, and has a list of which teams did exactly that this off season.  Look, my take on "risks" is easy, assume every signing a "risk."  You don't truly know who will perform in a positive way all season long... it's a silly question, and it's just something to chat about because the off season has been quiet the past 10 days. 

The only reason why I even bring it up is because of course, the New York Yankees are on that list.  In a nutshell, Bowden is suggesting that the Yankees should have never let Nick Swisher and Russell Martin walk and shouldn't have signed Ichiro Suzuki and Kevin Youkilis in their places.  Well... um... no kidding Jim, but what's done is done.
Look, the way I see this, in any free agent market, players go for the money.  It's not in every case, but it's in alot of cases.  Nick Swisher was in the first Free Agent off-season ever, he had to "go big" and it was evident that the Yankees were not going to play that game.  Swish was wined and dined by Cleveland, he's an Ohio boy and guess what, the timing was right for him.  The Yankees on the other hand had made it clear they were going cheaper, and while they were looking for a power right fielder, Nick Swisher clearly didn't fit their mold anymore.  So yes, they're taking a risk, but how do we know that Ichiro Suzuki platooning all three outfield spots and the Yankees possibly signing another right fielder with alittle pop (which is what Cashman wants to do if you read Feinsand's Tweet from last week) a bad thing? For all we know it could be the perfect fit for the Yanks. And for the record, I don't consider Ichiro a risk... I consider him skilled. He's also an upgrade to Swisher in the outfield, minus the power.
The Russell Martin thing puzzles me and always will.  Usually players want to go to a contender and Martin seemed happy in New York, but he darted for Pittsburgh and the rest of Yankeeland were standing on at the bus stop with mud all over their faces. Maybe one day we'll learn what happened.  I suspect the Yanks didn't want to give him what he wanted.  Maybe I missed it... who knows.
Hey it happens, and it's baseball... but a risk?  How do we know Austin Romine or Francisco Cervelli aren't going to have great breakout seasons?  We don't know.

Youk... yeah, he's the biggest risk out there... but he's also the biggest gamer I've ever seen and I look forward to rolling the dice on him.  I think he'll be a nice fit in New York.

I don't know, I appreciate Jim Bowden a lot, but this is a guess. We don't know if the Yankees will fail because of non-movement on Swisher and Martin.  I guess it's obvious that it's a risk... but it's also baseball, a business and the Yankees know the moves they need to make that are within their comfort zone, that's all.

In fairness, Bowden also looked at the Reds and the Tigers with analysis on risks.

Enjoy your Wednesday.

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