Tuesday, November 14, 2006

MLB: The New New York Yankees

By Steve Cernak

Rumor has it that teams are contacting the Yankees about SP Carl Pavano, the player the Yanks paid $20+ million to rehab “injuries.”

This follows a couple of great trades from the Yanks perspective. GM Brian Cashman has done a great job in his first off-season with complete behind-the-scenes control.

RF Gary Sheffield was traded for SP Humberto Sanchez, RP Kevin Whelan and RP Anthony Claggett. Considering the Yankees have RF Bobby Abreu and need to find the young and gifted Melky Cabrera ABs, the Yanks did well acquiring Sanchez. He is one of the best pitching prospects in all of baseball.

Cashman traded SP Jaret Wright and $4 million to Baltimore for RP Chris Britton. What is amazing about this deal is Wright could be bought out for $4 million. The Yankees got a nice, young player for what they would have spent in a buyout.

Most baseball observers expected the Yankees play to pursue SP Daisuke Matsuzaka. Instead, the Red Sox committed $40+ million for the right to negotiate with Matsuzaka. Now, they’ll pay him what he wants, which I’m sure everyone in Yankeeland is ecstatic about. Does anyone remember Hideki Irabu, the next Roger Clemens? Everyone expects greatness from Matsuzaka, but what if he isn’t? Likely, Matsuzaka will perform at a high level, but $90+ million to find out?

While the Yankees arch nemesis makes the power moves the Yankees typically do, Cashman directs his team to make quality baseball decisions. He stockpiled young arms to break in at the major league level while the devastating Yankee lineup will protect the pitchers.

Talk about a great Yankee off-season that is so untypical of George Steinbrenner’s teams.

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