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December 11, 2005

No Activity > Bad Activity
by SG

The New York media is growing restless, with story after story after story after story about how "quiet" the Yankees are being this offseason. I appreciate the media's desire for a story, because it's pretty freaking hard to write about the Yankees when they're not doing anything to address some pretty critical areas of need. Luckily we don't get paid for blogging and don't have deadlines, so we can skip a day or two here and there.

None of us will be comfortable until we know how the Yankees plan to address center field, but speculating is all good and fun. However, I want to applaud Brian Cashman and the Yankee organization for their restraint so far in what is a pretty lackluster free agent and trade market.

To keep the Yankees' lack of activity in perspective, let's go back to about one year ago, when the Yankees made a flurry of moves in a four day span.

December 8, 2004: Womack gets $4M; Wright $21M

December 12, 2004: Pavano accepts Yankees' $39 million

Suddenly, not being active in the offseason doesn't seem like such a horrible thing, does it? If you start to get impatient about the lack of activity this offseason, just think back to a year ago.

There's some minor news as the Yankees are trying to fill out their bench, which has been a horrible weakness over the last few years, and one of the most egregious examples of the Yankees' fiscal inefficiency. The Yankee bench of Ruben Sierra, John Flaherty, Bubba Crosby, Matt Lawton, Rey Sanchez, Andy Phillips, Russ Johnson, Mark Bellhorn, Melky Cabrera, Felix Escalona, Wil Nieves, Kevin Reese, and Mike Vento combined for a VORP of -23.7, which means their bench cost them roughly two wins over what a bench full of replacement players would have. Again, this is inexcusable for a team with the financial resources of the Yankees.

Anyway, according to this article in the New York Post, the Yankees are close to bringing back Miguel Cairo in a utility role. Cairo reverted back to mediocrity after a suprisingly good 2004 for the Yankees, but with the Yankees infield he won't be playing all that much unless there are injuries. Cairo is one of my guilty pleasures, a player who I know is not good in a statistical sense, but is just fun to watch. He does a good job of making pitchers throw pitches and he's a pretty good defender at 3B, 2B, and SS.

Also interesting was an item buried at the end of the article about the Yankees being interested in Eduardo Perez. I guess they don't trust Andy Phillips after all. Perez does hit lefties very well, plus getting him onto the Yankees will probably lower Randy Johnson's ERA by half a run or so.