The New York Yankees signing of Andy Pettitte is not a big surprise, as Pettitte is the Brett Favre of MLB, with a little less diva. Pettitte’s signing locks up three veteran starters for the Yankees and he is a warrior that makes the team better, but is better good?
Pettitte is a Yankee legend and a leader who brings a lot of experience to the team, but father time is catching up with him, as it is to most of the Yankee roster. Pettitte returns to a solid veteran core with CC Sabathia and Hiroki Kuroda. After those three, that’s where the questions start. Michael Pineda, who sat out all of 2012 with a major shoulder injury, may not be available until later than expected, possibly as late as the second half of the 2013 season. Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman, in a recent interview said, “We have to keep him off our radar for now.”
Pineda was expected back for spring training, but that doesn’t look promising and even if he comes back, he has proved nothing as a Yankee, getting more arrests in New York than wins. He was arrested in August for a DUI and with all that he has shown so far, he may not even have a spot in the rotation, if and when, he gets healthy. The Yankees took a chance on Pineda and lost top catching prospect Jesus Montero, a player the Yankees surely wish they had now, as they search for a reliable catcher.
The last two moves the Yankees have made have not been shockers, and most likely the next will be no surprise either as it is all but done, they will also sign Mariano Rivera this week. These signings are going to help the team, but a surprise wouldn’t hurt as it is that time of year.
The Yankees of course are better with these players, but better than what, last place? The Yankees are in a very competitive AL East and making a little ripple is not going to be enough to get them higher than at best, third place.
None of the Yankees recent signings are bad, they will help but they don’t make the Yankees any younger. Cashman has a plan for 2014, so getting younger would make more sense; his one-year contracts to older players don’t make sense. These are moves teams make when they are a player away from making a run. Unfortunately for Yankee fans, the simple fact is they are old and not just a player away from winning anything. Having Pettitte back is great because he is an all-time great, but the team needs to make a giant splash, not a bunch of little ripples.
What these moves look to be is a manipulative plan by management to convince the fans that the 2013 Yankees are close to being a playoff team. With so many aging superstars and guys coming back from injuries, it is hard to imagine the Yankees are close right now.
As the teams in their own division are getting much better, the Yankees are staying the same, which would be great if they were staying the same with players closer to 25 than 45 years old.
In addition to looking for good free-agents, the Yankees are also keeping a close eye on the progression of Derek Jeter, the ultimate sportsman, another true Yankee, but it is time to face the reality that he is not invincible. Jeter is coming off a broken ankle and no one in the Yankees organization is being completely upfront about when he will be back, which could be a huge unexpected problem. Even though he is the warrior of all warriors, there are things in life a player just can’t beat and that’s age.
With these signings, and the signings expected to come soon, the Yankees brass, it seems, wants to put a team on the field that has the name, the stats, and the rings to fill the seats; another thing they all have in common is they are old – in baseball years.
So far the 2013 Yankees are a facade created by Cashman and Hal Steinbrenner to convince fans they are doing all they can. What the Yankees are actually doing so far is giving the fans all the names, the problem is this isn’t Old-Timer’s day and unless the Yankees get younger, bringing back all these Yankee greats may look good, but looking good doesn’t win titles.