MLB New York Yankees

5 Free Agents New York Yankees Must Retain

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New York Yankees Must Retain These 5 Free Agents

Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees scratched, fought and clawed all season, battling injuries and setbacks the entire year. Although they are still alive mathematically, the Yankees' postseason hopes are kaput at this point. It’s nothing to be ashamed of; analysts predicted that the Yanks wouldn’t make the playoffs before the season began, and no one imagined how many different players they had to substitute just to fill a lineup card. With all of the men that were minor leaguers, backups, or unemployed, it is a tiny miracle that the Yanks were in the running for almost all of the 162-game season.

But now that the season is starting to come to a close, it’s time to look into the offseason and what will happen with a roster that had so much turnover this season. A lot of the faces that were on the big screen will be on the open market when free agency begins. The Yankees are already losing Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte to retirement, but many other important pieces will not have a contract to play in the Bronx, and there are players that they cannot let go.

With a surprisingly good season for all of the mishaps that occurred, there are guys that the Yanks have to try and get back for the 2014 season. There are some huge names as well as some unheralded parts that don’t get the notoriety, but are nonetheless crucial to a successful season. In addition, the Yankees have said that they want to get payroll under $189 million, but who knows if they’ll follow through with that -- they are the Yankees, after all. Still, it's an interesting rift in what should be an eventful offseason in which the Yanks will surely look like a different squad come April 2014. The following is a list of the players that they can’t let go from their current roster.

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5. Mark Reynolds

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Mark Reynolds has the ability to play third and first base, and is a right-handed power bat that the Yanks didn’t have an abundance of this year. He’s a cheap option for a team trying to cut spending. With Alex Rodriguez’s future in question and Mark Teixeira returning from injury, he’s a veteran who has value coming off the bench or making spot starts.

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4. Boone Logan

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Until recently, I never would have thought of Boone Logan as a pitcher that fills a need for the Yankees. However, he has been effective when healthy this year, and has the ability to get both lefties and righties out. With all the bullpen problems that transpired to finish off the season this year, and no other proven lefty specialist on the roster, the Yanks should try and retain Logan.

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3. Hiroki Kuroda

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With Andy Pettitte retiring, C.C. Sabathia being ineffective this year and Phil Hughes also becoming a free agent, Hiroki Kuroda has to return to the Yankees. For the majority of the year, he was one of the best pitchers in baseball and could have gotten some Cy Young consideration before his slip-up in the last two months of the season. In addition, the only starters that are locked in for next year are Sabathia and Ivan Nova; the other candidates are young and mostly unproven arms, so Kuroda should be targeted for a return to the Bronx.

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2. Joe Girardi

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Sure, Joe Girardi is just a manager, but the way he pieced together a broken season this year is nothing short of remarkable. He should be getting plenty of Manager of the Year consideration, but there are also other options for him to look at. The Chicago Cubs are his hometown team, and he also played for them. There is also the thought that they might have a more promising future than the Yanks. However, with the way he controlled a unpredictable situation this year, the Yankees need him to man the ship once again.

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1. Robinson Cano

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Robinson Cano is the best player on the team and the best second baseman in baseball. He is the present and has to be the future going forward for the Yankees, who will be faceless once Derek Jeter retires like his fellow “Core Four” members. Although Cano will undoubtedly be looking for a monster contract and the Yanks seem to be going the frugal path, Cano should be an exception.