Larry Mahnken and SG's

Replacement Level Yankees Weblog

"Hey, it's free!"

The Replacement Level Yankees Weblog has moved!  Our new home is:

Larry Mahnken
Sean McNally
Fabian McNally
John Brattain

This is an awesome FREE site, where you can win money and gift certificates with no skill involved! If you're bored, I HIGHLY recommend checking it out!


Disclaimer: If you think this is the official website of the New York Yankees, you're an idiot. Go away.

December 3, 2003

by Larry Mahnken

I think it's safe to say that the reported Gary Sheffield signing came as a surprise to nobody. As the season wound down with the Yankees running Karim and the Gang out in right, we were all pretty sure that the Yankees were going to chase Vlad Guerrero or Gary Sheffield, and as soon as it became apparent that the Yankees weren't going to let Vlad use them to raise the price for the teams he actually wanted to play for, the Sheffield signing was a forgone conclusion. There's not very much the Yankees have done this offseason that's surprised anybody, it appears that they're going to try hard to resign Pettitte, maybe sign Bartolo Colon, as well as bringing back Gabe White and Felix Heredia. The signing of Tom Gordon is a good one, in my opinion, if a little pricey. He'll do for the Yankees what they had hoped Jeff Nelson and Armando Benitez would do, get crucial outs in the seventh and eighth along with Steve Karsay. Paul Quantrill was also pricey, but still good. The Yankees are putting together the most expensive bullpen ever, but at least they'll have pitchers that Torre will trust and use, and will almost certainly get good quality out of them.

The Aaron Boone contract seems pretty ridiculous considering his performance this season, but he was likely to get at least that much in arbitration, and since the Yankees need a third baseman next season, and he's about the best available right now, they had to make that move. As for Enrique Wilson signing for $700,000--well, there's a lot of guys out there who can play three infield positions without any particular skill, and hit from both sides of the plate with even less, and those other guys will play for the minimum. Well, it's the Yankees, not the Royals, and George didn't really need that ivory back scratcher.

No bold move appears forthcoming, though there are rumblings about a Jeff Weaver for Kevin Brown trade. Much like the Schilling trade, there is a tremendous upside to that trade, Brown was a fantastic pitcher last season, and while he won't be putting up ERA's in the low 2.00's outside of Dodger Stadium, he's still likely to be very good. But then, like Schilling, the downside is that he might not be very good, or he might be very good, but be hurt so much that it's not much help. A lot of power pitchers have done well into their forties, but when you start reaching the age of Schilling and Brown, the likelihood of their falling off dramatically increases dramtically. Doesn't mean it will happen, but it's something that has to be considered. Still, I'd make that trade--Jeff Weaver is toast in New York.

One of the interesting aspects of this offseason is the limits the CBA places on the number of Type-A and B free agents a team can sign. If I'm reading the CBA correctly, that means that the Yankees can sign or re-sign 8 Type-A and B free agents. Sheffield, Gordon and Quantrill are Type-A free agents, as are Pettitte, Wells, White, Nelson and technically, Roger Clemens, while Sierra, Heredia and Osuna are Type-B Free Agents. It seems likely that the Yankees will go up to that limit.

At this point, the Yankees' 2004 roster is:

SP: Mike Mussina
SP: Jose Contreras
SP: Jeff Weaver
SP: Jon Lieber
SP: Jorge DePaula

RP: Paul Quantrill
RP: Felix Heredia
RP: Tom Gordon
RP: Chris Hammond
RP: Steve Karsay
RP: Mariano Rivera

C: Jorge Posada
1B: Jason Giambi
2B: Alfonso Soriano
SS: Derek Jeter
3B: Aaron Boone
RF: Gary Sheffield
CF: Hideki Matsui
LF: Bernie Williams
DH: Nick Johnson

B: John Flaherty
B: Enrique Wilson
B: Karim Garcia
B: David Dellucci
B: Juan Rivera

There are rumors that the Yankees are interested in Kenny Lofton--a foolish move, in my opinion--but other than that, it seems unlikely that any other moves will be made to the lineup or bench, leaving the Yankees with a weak bench and a horrible defense once again, but a killer lineup. The rotation clearly needs work--re-signing Pettitte helps, signing Colon or trading for Brown will do that, and the bullpen looks very strong, and will be even stronger if White comes back, though one will have to wonder how all these relievers will get work. That's a very, very good team, but for all that money, you'd think they would be better.