How do the Yankees Fix up the Team for 2012?

This guy must be a Yankee in 2012 or else the bombers are in big trouble

The 2011 season by all accounts was an interesting one for the Yankees. They often defied odds and continued to win games when many thought they couldn’t. Despite this the Yankees still fell short of their yearly goal of winning a world championship. The good news for the Yanks is that they have a lot of talent still, the problem is it’s not spread out amongst positions.

The Yankees clear fault this past season was in starting pitching, despite having a statistically successful year. In the playoffs it was hard to rely on anyone not named CC Sabathia, despite the emergence of many unexpected starters. The problem continues into the offseason as basically the entire starting staff is in flux.

The biggest issue facing the Yanks is CC Sabathia. He can opt out of his contract and is expected to do so. This could be OK as long as he stays with the Yanks. There were fears when he signed that CC didn’t want to pitch in NY, but instead somewhere out west. This fear still looms a bit despite the fact that he has openly said he loves it here. Personally I believe that CC will stay, but I am worried. The new contract that he signs will most likely be 5 or 6 years, which would extend him to age 37 or so.

Beyond CC the worries mount. Youthful pitchers Ivan Nova and Phil Hughes are certainly expected to be part of the rotation next year but both have shown inconsistency or inexperience at times. Ideally you would like these two to be your 4th and 5th starters, or 3rd and 4th at worst.

Then there is AJ Burnett. Oh AJ what do we do with you? Are the Yankees obligated to put him in the rotation for next year? Or with his time dwindling in pinstripes, is it possible they choose to not ride the AJ roller coaster another season? For now you can’t expect him to be anything but perhaps the 5th starter.

The Yankees certainly have other options in the minors, but it seems like in their best interest to make another move or a starter. The options out there will include Yu Darvish, a Japanese protegy who could be coming to the US, CJ Wilson, Roy Oswalt, or perhaps Mark Buerhle. All these options seems interesting, but we’re not sure which will be available and which are actually good viable options. We will look more into this as the offseason gets into full swing.

The Yankees bullpen looks very good right now, but look for them to make a move or two anyway. Perhaps a reliable lefty out on the market, or an affordable former closer who could help them out.

Offensively the Yankees should be picking up the options of Nick Swisher and Robinson Cano. Jorge Posada might have played his last game in pinstripes so the bombers could be shopping for a DH option if they don’t plan on Jesus Montero filling that role. Otherwise it could be role players that the Yankees are shopping for. Guys like Eric Chavez and Andruw Jones were great guys for the bench and hopefully they can find guys like that again for 2012.

For now we must focus on the issues of starting pitching, and at least one solid addition must happen for them to be successful in 2012.

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