The Winter Meetings came to an end on Thursday, the free agents have all declared, arbitration has been extended and denied or accepted. This seems like a pretty good time to take stock.
Here are the key decisions the Yankees have had to make so far this offseason and what they did. The most important thing to note is that the Yanks have made it through the GM meetings and through the Winter Meetings without shipping off a single prospect who fit into their long-term plans. Not one.
- Andy Pettitte - Re-signed for $16M
- A-Rod - Opted out, then re-signed for upwards of $300M including incentives.
- Mariano Rivera - Re-signed for 3 years, $45M.
- Jorge Posada - Re-signed for 4 years, $52M.
- Luis Vizcaino - Let go because he's looking for too much money.
- LaTroy Hawkins - Rumored to be on the verge of signing for 1 year/$3.75M. A great move, in my opinion. Not exactly cheap, but a one-year deal is very little risk and a veteran arm was desperately needed in the pen. I'd bet he out-performs Vizcaino's 2007.
- Tyler Clippard traded for Jonathan Albaladejo
- Jose Molina - Re-signed for 2 years/$4M.
- Dropped from the 40-man roster: Bronson Sardinha and Andy Phillips (Phillips did not accept his assignment to AAA)
If the season started today, the Yankee rotation and lineup would be set, for the most part. The only remaining questions for me would be where does Mike Mussina fit in and what do you do at first. My suggestions would be Mussina as a long man in the pen and spot-starter. First base would be a Betemit/Duncan platoon, straight up. Use Giambi only when a match up favors him greatly.
The main questions left to be answered come from the bullpen. Signing Hawkins would give the Yanks a loose blueprint of Hawkins for the 7th, Farnsworth for the 8th and Mo for the 9th. Far from ideal, but not really that much worse than Proctor/The Viz/Bruney for the 7th, Farnsworth for the 8th and Mo for the 9th, which we started 2007 with.
At this point, these Yankees don't look a whole lot different from the Yanks who put up the best record in baseball after early June last year. Cashman isn't done yet, but keeping the core intact was no small feat, and should be acknowledged.