I read on one blog today (by Steve Huffman) who floated the idea of the Yankees’ signing Trevor Hoffman to set up Mo Rivera. At first glance, it sounds ridiculous, and most likely would result in yet another unsuccessful attempt by a past-his-prime player to recapture past glory in the Bronx. But the need for a dependable and reliable setup reliever, with closing experience, is very strong. After all, Mo isn’t getting any younger and the chances of injury increase exponentially each year. The pressure and need for the setup guy to close will be stronger in 2009 than in any prior years. So, it makes sense that the Yanks should explore all reasonable possibilities. While many would prefer to see Joba fill that role, I’d still like to keep him in the rotation to explore his potential as a future ace. If the Yanks manage to re-sign Andy Pettitte and Phil Hughes subsequently pitches lights-out in training camp, then perhaps Joba to the pen makes sense. But for the right price, maybe a year or two of Trevor Hoffman does make sense as the Yanks prepare to transition the closing role from Mo to Mark Melancon over the next several years.
I keep hearing people say that the Yanks should trade Xavier Nady because he has the most value, but I am not so sure that I agree. Yes, he’d probably bring more than the others due primarily to contract situations. However, I still like Nady’s potential and I would like to see a full season in the Bronx. Clearly, Hideki Matsui is on the downslope of a good career, and I’d like to see if perhaps the Giants still have an interest in a package deal for him. I know that you’d have to include strong prospects, but maybe something could be put together for Jonathan Sanchez to fill the #5 spot in the rotation should Andy decline the $10 million offer. Matt Cain would be great, but there’s no way that the Giants will let him go and it would definitely take more than Matsui and prospects to get him.
Granted, there will not be any more major splashes this off-season, but I think Brian Cashman will continue to be quite busy as he attempts to fill the remaining holes on the roster. The Yankees need to be prepared for possible injuries to Matsui, Rivera, and Posada, among others. DJ is entering the phase of his career where a very strong backup or up and coming shortstop is needed. What happens if Cano continues his career regression?
The Yankees have filled the obvious holes, but the biggest moves that will define the 2009 team, albeit with much lesser names, have yet to be made, Should be fun times ahead when the Yankees’ offices re-open next week…
Happy New Year to all!