Once this season of overachieving retreads and sadly gassed and broken down former superstars mercifully comes to a close, the Yankees go into an uncertain winter with more holes than almost any other team in baseball. They need a third baseman, a shortstop, a catcher, at least one outfielder (probably two now that Ichiro Suzuki looks like he's finally spent) and at least three starting pitchers. And that doesn't include second base, where Robinson Cano has to be re-signed (but at what cost?), first base, where they don't know what to expect from steadily declining Mark Teixeira, who will be 34 and coming off major wrist surgery, and a whole new set-up relief corps for Rivera's closer successor, David Robertson. The worst part of all this is that there is almost nothing coming in GM Brian Cashman's player development department to fill any of these needs. ...
With nothing coming in the farm system, at least in terms of third basemen, outfielders, first basemen, or frontline starting pitchers, the Yankees will have no choice but to go into the free-agent market this winter in hopes of putting together a respectable team for next year. But the free-agent market — where you're almost always overpaying for past performances with another team — is only the way to go when you're looking to fill a missing piece here and there, much as the Red Sox did last winter in adding grinder types, Shane Victorino, Jonny Gomes and Mike Napoli, along with closer Koji Uehara. Whereas the Red Sox had a solid nucleus in Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz and Jarrod Saltalamacchia, in addition to a fertile farm system, the Yankees are looking to construct a whole new team, from top to bottom.
September 22, 2013
Schadenfreude 170 (A Continuing Series)
Bill Madden, Daily News: