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Saturday November 8, 2008 10:33 pm

The New York Yankees Offseason Thus Far

Posted by Charles Mitri Categories: New York Yankees,

Mike Mussina

So far the best thing the New York Yankees have done is not to pick up Jason Giambi’s option for ’09. Jason G should be nicknamed Dr. Strangeglove at first base. Chances are he’ll be back in pinstripes but only as a role player and at a vastly reduced salary. Johnny Damon will become the every day DH and spend some time in center - yet to be decided - when the regular centerfielder gets a day off. Damon is still one of the best lead-off hitters in the game - solid on base percentage, hits to all fields, still has the wheels to swipe bases and keep opposing pitchers off balance and even hits a dozen or so dingers over the course of the season.

So like the old Abbott and Costello routine, who’s on first for the Bombers when ’09 gets underway? At this point it’s anyone’s guess. What they really need is an Albert Pujols type (who doesn’t need that, right) - hits for average, hits for power, and owns a pretty good glove. Unfortunately, no prime-time first sackers are making the rounds at the owners’ meeting, but Yanks GM Brian Cashman has all winter to cut a deal.

On the topic of Cashman, his first priority can be summed up in three words - sign Mike Mussina. Regardless of his age, he was the Bombers’ best pitcher in ’08. Eventually Chien Ming Wang will become the Bombers #1 starter, if he can remain relatively healthy for most of the season. Andy Pettitte? Why not? Sign him. He’s not lights out anymore but he still knows how to win games. The Yanks will need all the pitching they can muster as some pitching talent from the minors, such as Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy are not the answers to New York’s pitching woes.

New York’s bullpen will see the development of Joba Chamberlain as their closer of the future. Mariano Rivera will still be an obvious presence out of the pen, but Joba will become the every day set-up man, occasional long relief, and a spot starter. Joba is the new Goose Gossage - big, strong, lights out fastball, and a nasty curve.

Any truth to the rumors that Manny Ramirez will be in left field on Opening Day in the new Stadium? Pray for it. Say what you want about Manny, he’s a Tony Gwynn type of batter with power and, unquestionably, the best hitter in the game today. If Manny’s name comes up at any point, Hank Steinbrenner should just keep bidding until Manny signs on the dotted.



I heard Joba is starting from the get-go, and that the big tickets might be coming to town: CC and Tex.


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