Saturday, October 29, 2011


The Yankees 2012 starting lineup is mostly set. Starting around the horn we have ARod, Derek Jeter, Robinson Cano, and Mark Teixiera. The outfield is Brett Gardner, Curtis Granderson, and there’s an opening in right until we hear for sure that the Yankees will pick up Swisher's option. Barring any snafus, Russell Martin will probably be behind the plate again. That leaves a hole at DH.
While the early candidate seems to be Jesus Montero, I think it’s a shame that a 20 something year old is going to be pigeon-holed as a DH. Outside of Edgar Martinez, who else has made an entire career as a DH. The American League is built for the DH and teams need a strong hitter in there.

Now with the Yankees aging roster, the DH spot is heavily going to be used to rest players, therefore using Montero as your everyday DH is not going to be feasible. If Brian Cashman was smart, which we all know he is, he’d sign some much needed pitching and the DH slot will be filled by a rotating cast of characters. That's my take at least.
With that being the smart move, I’m also a firm believer that you can’t turn down a good player if the opportunity is right. The 2 biggest free agents out there are David Ortiz and Albert Pujols. I don’t care what the majority of you and most of my friends think, I would sign Papi in a heartbeat. I'd give him $12 - $14 million for the year and stick him in the 4 hole. In the new stadium, Ortiz is hitting .257, 6 HR, with 17 RBI (.316, 16HR, 35 RBI in the old stadium). I know the numbers are low, but he’s a lefty and lefties love Yankee Stadium, the ball flies out to right.

Lance Berkman has said that Pujols is better than Babe Ruth. I say prove it. If it's true, he could bash his way through history. Now Pujols is looking for a long-term deal and the Yankees have enough of those already. If he doesn’t sign here, I hope he stays in the NL.

Prince Fielder is also out there as well, but he’s in the same boat as Pujols. He wants a long-term deal and plays first base. Like Pujols, I’d take him but only if he’d take 5 years/$75 million.Maybe the solution is what Casey suggested... bringing back Hideki Matsui. (Read WHY HIDEKI MATSUI? WHY NOT? )He’s a good fit here and a fan favorite. Andy Pettitte came back home, Godzilla could too.

Finally, with all that said, the Yankees are about stars. Unless you bring in a legitimate star, the DH slot is worth no more than $5 million a year, maybe $7 million. But on this team of aging veterans, not having a full time DH thus giving them the ability to rest these guys and keep them fresh all year could turn out to be priceless.

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-- Lem Allen, BYB Freelance Writer

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