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MLB New York Yankees

5 Free Agents the New York Yankees Should Send Packing

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New York Yankees: 5 Free Agents They Shouldn't Retain

Don McPeak-USA Today Sports

The New York Yankees were officially eliminated from the playoffs last night and finally, the tumultuous season is over. It was a year that had so many devastating injuries, some crushing losses, and was ultimately a wash. But, it also had some great, gritty, comeback wins, and showed the organization's ability to put together a makeshift lineup and actually be a contender in the toughest division in baseball.

Now it’s time to focus on making the team better in the offseason and so that they don't have an early exit in 2014 as they did this year. The Yanks have a lot of issues to deal with, plus a lot of players coming off the books. In addition, they want to cut down salary and get under the $189 million luxury tax. That seems very un-Yankees-like, but that is what the head honchos said is their goal for 2014. I’m not buying it, but they’ve been adamant about it, so it will be interesting to see how the organization proceeds with its monetary goals.

There are expendable pieces on the roster that could find new homes next year, especially with Mark Teixeira and Derek Jeter coming back hopefully in full health. Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera will retire at year’s end, which gives the Yankees some additional flexibility with their money, but they were not holding down a significant amount of payroll compared to other stars on the team. Still, there are more players that the Yanks don’t need to retain and shouldn’t want to retain, and letting them go could help them rebuild to be more formidable next season. The following is a list of the players that the Yankees should say goodbye to in the offseason.

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5. Lyle Overbay

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Lyle Overbay was a great pickup for the Yankees this year, especially with Mark Teixeira missing almost the entire season. However, he is strictly a first baseman, can’t hit lefties very well, and Tex is expected to be back in 2014. Also, if the Yanks want a backup first baseman, Mark Reynolds could fill that role. He also has the ability to play third, and should be available around the same asking price.

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4. Kevin Youkilis

Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Youkilis was brought in to play third base for the beginning of the year until Alex Rodriguez came back from injury. Unfortunately, his back never let him get going, and he only played in 28 games this season. In addition, saying his $12 million salary was above market value is an understatement, and he shouldn’t be an option next year at third even with A-Rod’s looming suspension calling for another replacement.

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3. Joba Chamberlain

Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

Joba Chamberlain burst onto the scene in 2007 and was lightning in a bottle coming out of the bullpen -- that, is until midges in the playoffs derailed all his momentum. Since then, he’s had more off-field notoriety than on it, breaking his ankle on a trampoline and yelling at Mariano Rivera when Mo was in the middle of an interview. This year, just seeing him warm up in the pen was cringe-worthy, and he hasn’t made a memorable appearance since he was attacked by bugs.

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2. Phil Hughes

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Phil Hughes has been an overall disappointment in his Yankees career. He was not built to pitch in a small ballpark, and his career 4.82 ERA in the new ballpark is a testament to that. The AL East was also too challenging a division for him, as his lowest ERA against a division rival is 4.62 versus the Tampa Bay Rays.

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1. Curtis Granderson

John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Curtis Granderson had a disappointing year, but it wasn’t his fault — he broke bones in his hand twice by getting hit by pitches. That is way too fluky to say farewell to him just based on those instances, especially because he hit the most home runs in the bigs in the previous two years combined. But, the Yankees have excess outfielders already under contract, and Grandy would probably be looking for a substantial deal. Unless he wants a one-year deal to produce on the field and boost his value, I would rather the Yanks spend their money on their future with Robinson Cano. However, that negotiation is far from being settled, especially with his initial asking price of $305 million over 10 years.