Even before the 2010-2011 offseason began, the general thought seemed to be that Cliff Lee would sign with the New York. Unfortunately for the Yankees, Lee shocked the baseball world and signed with his former team, the Philadelphia Phillies. While he did sacrifice money and years to return to Philadelphia rather than to move to New York or re-up with Texas, it’s not like he took a huge discount. Anyway, I respect Lee for signing where he truly wishes to be and I cannot be more satisfied with the way the Yankees handled the situation. Brian Cashman did everything in his power to acquire Lee, it just didn’t work out.
With Lee off the board, people wondered where the Yankees would turn. Many assumed that the Yankees might go after Zack Greinke, a move I would have supported. However, this morning we learned that the Royals have traded Greinke to the Brewers. Before I put the Greinke discussion to rest, I would like to address those who believe he would not be able to handle New York. We know Greinke has a social anxiety disorder, but that’s pretty much all we know about him. To assume that he would not be able to handle the pressure of New York is ridiculous, for all we know he could strive in New York. Considering that we know nothing about him, the odds that he would perform better under pressure are the same that he would cave under pressure. For more on this issue, I highly encourage you to read Joe Posnanski’s piece of Greinke. It is a must read.
Anyway, with both Lee and Greinke off the board, where should the Yankees turn next? After studying the market, it seems that there are really very little viable external options left. Of course things could change and someone like Felix Hernandez or Matt Cain could become available, but what are the odds of that happening? Right now, I would want the Yankees to stay patient, they have specific needs and there is no reason to waste resources on players who don’t quite fit their needs. Of course, that may be hard to digest considering that the rotation now consists of CC Sabathia, Phil Hughes, A.J. Burnett, Ivan Nova, and Sergio Mitre. But remember, if Andy Pettitte re-signs with the team, the only difference between the opening day rotation of 2010 will being the subtraction of Javier Vazquez. There is no reason to panic, spring training is months away, things will change. As fans we need to remain patient and have trust in the team’s management, as hard as that can be for some.