Following the stunning news of Cliff Lee signing with the Philadelphia Phillies the Yankees still have a hole to fill in their starting rotation even if Andy Pettitte comes back. They could go to the trade market, the free agent market, or they could go young with Ivan Nova. I’d go with Nova, but we’ll see. But those aren’t the only moves that need to be made.
Not only do the Yankees need to get at least one other starter they still have holes to fill. They need to finish out the bullpen, bench, and figure out who the starting catcher is.
With the Yankees signing former Dodger catcher Russell Martin they have a solid everyday catcher. Marin had good seasons with LA in 2006-2009 but struggled in 2010. He should be rejuvenated playing in a big time market on the east coast. He has a very good arm. He, unlike Francisco Cervelli and Jorge Posada, can throw out base runners consistently. It’s a nice sign by Brian Cashman and it could spell the end for Jesus Montero, who could eventually be traded to a club with an elite starting pitcher. Remember he was offered for Cliff Lee when he was in Seattle and Roy Halladay when he was in Toronto. Also this move keeps Austin Romine in the minors and Francisco Cervelli to the backup catcher spot.
In the bullpen they re-signed Mariano Rivera. A slam dunk move. They released standout reliever Alfredo Aceves. The Yankees are reportedly willing to sign him to a minor league deal and an invitation to spring training. The Yankees then re-signed Sergio Mitre who had a 3.33 era in the regular season. The Yankees also let go long relievers Chad Gaudin and Dustin Mosley to the Nationals and Padres, respectively. Also, the Yankees signed one of the best lefties on the market in former Met Pedro Feliciano. That’s a very good move because he’s a lefty that can get lefties out; he’s pitched in New York, obviously. And if used right he’ll be a great asset. The Yankees could still sign one more right handed reliever now that Kerry Wood recently turned down a two year, 10 million dollar offer from the Yankees and Red Sox to sign with the Cubs for one year and one and a half million. They could make a splash and sign closer Rafael Soriano to be the setup man until Rivera retires. Or they could sign former Ray Grant Balfour. That’s a more likely option.
And finally, the Yankees need to fill out their bench. You know Francisco Cervelli will be there and either Ramiro Pena or Eduardo Nunez will man the pine. But that leaves two spots there. I argued that the Yankees should resign Melky Cabrera. But that’s a moot point because he signed with the Kansas City Royals. They could sign former Yankee Jerry Hairston. As we saw in ’09 he can play infield and outfield at a solid rate, and he’s cheap. Also the Yankees could sign Marcus Thames. But he was used mostly as a DH. That won’t work this year because Jorge Posada will be the primary DH. I say they will sign another power bat just incase.