The morning started with word that the Yankees were nearing a deal with outfielder Andruw Jones, but there have been no further updates. I am sure the Yankees are actively working on their arbitration eligible players like Phil Hughes so that’s probably a bit of a distraction. Nevertheless, I like the idea of signing Jones as the Yankees fourth outfielder. He is not the player he once was, but the last two years he has averaged 280 at-bats and 18 home runs. Not bad for a bench/role player…
With Marcus Thames apparently on the verge of signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers, I think Jones is a better version of Thames…well, at least one that can play the field. I’ve wanted the Yankees to sign Jones the last two years but he signed with Texas in 2009 and the White Sox in 2010. Perhaps the time is now for Jones to finally land in the Bronx.
I liked the Washington Nationals move to acquire Chicago Cubs starter Tom Gorzelanny today. They paid a potentially hefty price, but Gorzelanny is a solid addition to the Washington rotation. Only 28, he is the type of pitcher that I’d like to see the Yankees pursue for the hole(s) in their rotation. I am not saying the Yankees should have pursue Gorzelanny, but I like the idea of pursuing a late 20’s pitcher that has not reached his potential. I know, it’s chasing lightning in a bottle, but it would be great to accurately catch a pitcher on the verge on his breakout season.
I was disappointed to see Jeff Francis sign with the Kansas City Royals but I can certainly understand his logic of pursuing an opportunity that should guarantee a spot in the rotation while playing with less pressure than say New York or Boston. He has a chance to restore the promise he showed a few years ago with Colorado.
When I think about who the Yankees should acquire, all roads keep leading back to Cleveland starter Fausto Carmona. With CC Sabathia as Carmona’s mentor once again, I like the possibility and the promise that Carmona could bring to the rotation. It’s certainly a better prospect than Sergio Mitre. Ivan Nova is going to be a question mark going into the season. The Yankees don’t need two question marks…
Chuck Crow/The Plain Dealer
I am prepared to see reliever Joba Chamberlain go in a trade for a starting pitcher. The Yankees have a few pitching hopefuls that could potentially fill Joba’s role in the bullpen now that the Yankees have signed closing/setup specialist Rafael Soriano. I know that he still has the chance to experience great success in the big leagues but I am starting to realize that he probably won’t be able to realize that potential in the Bronx. More than likely, the Yankees would have to part with one of their catching prospects in any trade. At this point, I am most fearful about losing Gary Sanchez even though he is not as advanced as Jesus Montero or Austin Romine. Sanchez has the chance to be the best of the group. There’s no doubt that Montero will be a great hitter, but questions remain about his defense. Sanchez may not be the hitter that Montero is, but he appears to be a more complete player.
Somehow, I think manager Joe Girardi is going to have a very fun time trying to decide what pitcher to bring in from the bullpen. He’s going to have some options for almost any situation. It sure beats the days of Jose Veras or Kyle Farnsworth.
To go a bit off topic, I was glad/relieved to see the retirement of QB Brett Favre today. Hopefully, and finally, he’ll stay retired. He should start looking into life-after-football opportunities. If he decides to come back to play again, I definitely hope that his days in purple are over. I don’t know who will be the 2011 Quarterback of the Minnesota Vikings, but at this point, I’d take Joe Webb over Favre any day. I don’t want to see someone like Donovan McNabb come to Minnesota but hopefully the Vikings can find a solid QB option to allow Webb (and perhaps another young QB like Cam Newton) to grow and develop.
Note to the St. Louis Cardinals: Please do whatever takes to make Albert Pujols a lifetime Cardinal!
Note to the Chicago Cubs: I know you’re quietly building a play-off contending club, but I see what you’re doing! Let the Cincinnati Reds and the Milwaukee Brewers get all the pre-season championship accolades. The Cubs are shaping up as a clear surprise player for 2011. GM Jim Hendry has to be congratulated for the moves that he’s made this off-season.