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Yankees Playing Waiting Game In More Ways Than One

Yankees News

New York will go to battle with what they have, almost..

The difference makers are already on the roster. At least that’s what the New York Yankees are hoping for if they are to contend during the 2013 season.

With Ichiro Suzuki and Kevin Youkilis official, New York probably only has two or three signings left before spring training and none of them will be huge contracts.

It’s likely the Yankees will sign at least one more starter, and he will be a veteran on a one year deal who can eat innings.

That has been Brian Cashman’s MO with Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia the past few years.

Don’t be surprised to see another bat signed, one of which will be a righty who can play corner outfield and the other a bat capable of hitting the long ball.

With Ichiro, Brett Gardner and Eduardo Nunez on the roster, New York has all the speed it needs.

With aging bats and the departures of: Nick Swisher, Russell Martin and Raul Ibanez, the Yankees will be more comfortable with another slugger on the roster.

Close but not quite there

Beyond a slugger, a right-handed outfielder and an innings eater, all on one year deals, New York will go to battle with what they have.

As of today, that no longer includes waiver pickup relievers Josh Spence and Jim Miller, who have been designated for assignment.

This all boils down to essentially mean if any of the key players become injured, the Yankees will need help from within the farm system.

As is most recently reported, left-handed relief and right-handed starting depth should find help from Cesar Cabral and Michael Pineda, both reportedly to be ready by May.

Jose Campos and Mason Williams will not see the Bronx next year, but if the Yankees will stay under their $189 million dollar salary cap, both players can make impacts in the future.

Campos is likely to start in A level Charleston, trying to build on just five starts before an injury in 2012.

Campos came to New York in the Jesus Montero trade along with Pineda. Williams is considered a strong bat and a good prospect in the system.

The outfielder will start in high A Tampa fully healthy.

As previously discussed, it’s guys like Ronnie Mustelier, David Adams, Nunez, Brett Marshall and maybe even Mark Montgomery who can make the biggest impact since they are the closest to being Major League ready in 2013, but a player like Tyler Austin is slated to make the biggest impact in the future.

Austin, who started as a catcher before being moved to third base, is now a right fielder, the same position he fielded last season when he broke out as a prospect.

All three positions are a need for the Yankees in the future, but recent talks have included the potential for Austin to be moved back to third base (pending how Adams and Dante Bichette Jr. pan out).

It would not be surprising if, by 2015, Austin was at third and Williams or Slade Heathcott (over a .400 OBP in the winter league) were at the MLB level or included in a major trade.

In Free Agency, the Yankees are at a standstill

It is my belief they are waiting to see where Adam LaRoche lands.

LaRoche, though still unsigned, is still likely to go to Washington who offered him a two year deal (LaRoche wants three) and a qualifying offer.

The only way this unfolds differently is if the Red Sox deal with Mike Napoli falls through, since Boston’s first round pick is protected.

Once LaRoche signs, Mike Morse becomes available and Morse is an ideal Cashman trade chip, something he has indicated could be a route the Yankees go in to acquire their remaining pieces.

Arms like Shaun Marcum, Edwin Jackson, Francisco Liriano and Joe Saunders could be the veteran starters the Yankees look into, but Marcum and Jackson may not be available on a one year deal, Liriano has been awful and may not stick as a starter, and Saunders may get crushed in the AL East, even as an insurance policy.

Cody Ross and Nick Swisher are still available as alternatives to Morse, but neither may be available for one year, as Swisher’s market isn’t likely to shrink that much and Ross is likely waiting for Swisher to sign.

In a lot of ways 2013 is a waiting game for the Yankees.

The franchise is sending off its generation of old players in one more competitive year while waiting for the next generation to stay healthy and surface.

Presently, they have to wait for remaining Free Agents to sign and may have to wait until the season begins before finding out where the necessary depth to win a difficult division will come from.


Vince Mercandetti was born in NY, grew up in NJ and now resides in the Orlando, FL area. He comes from a family of life-long Yankees' fans dating back to when his grandparents went on dates to watch Joe Dimaggio play in the 1940's. A Quinnipiac University graduate, Vince majored in Broadcast Journalism and has been published in multiple online publications ranging from his passion for the Yankees to finance. He has also worked for ESPN, ESPN Radio (in West Palm Beach) and WTNH (An ABC affiliate in New Haven, CT).