The New York Yankees‘ season ended yesterday with an extra-innings victory against the Houston Astros to complete a sweep, which was less than fitting because the free baseball they played was meaningless and uninspired. The Yanks will miss the playoffs for just the second time in 19 years, even though they fought valiantly despite a turmoil-filled year.
Now begins an offseason that might be more eventful than what took place on baseball diamonds 162 times.
The Yankees have so many issues to deal with now that they are no longer playing baseball. Those include pending free agents, rehabbing superstars and the most interesting storyline will involve Alex Rodriguez, who had his first appeal meeting for his 211-game suspension. Who knows what will happen with A-Rod, but in my opinion, the Yankees should start prepping a new face to take over at third base in April 2014.
The good news is that down the stretch, Eduardo Nunez played third for A-Rod and actually performed well at a spot where he’s unaccustomed to. He made some spectacular plays with his glove, didn’t make many boneheaded errors, and his stick was well above what we’re used to seeing from him.
He batted a season-high .295 with two home runs and eight RBI in the month of September, so maybe those stats can translate to a full season next year if he gets the same playing time that he did to close the season out.
Robinson Cano will be the biggest free agent on the market when the World Series concludes, and he said he won’t take a hometown discount. His first asking price was an absurd $305 million over 10 years, a contract that no one on the planet is worth, especially a player who would be 41 years old when the deal is done.
That, of course, is just a starting point in what should be a lengthy negotiation process, so there will be much more to talk about in the near future.
The Yankees’ rotation might be the biggest problem they have in the offseason, with only Ivan Nova and C.C. Sabathia having spots locked up next year. The free agent pool isn’t littered with top-tier pitchers, and the Yanks most likely won’t have tons of money to spend on those high-caliber players anyway. There are a bunch of young pitchers in the farm system, some who gained major-league experience this year, and that is the direction the Yanks will most likely go.
So, even though the season ended in a way Yankees fans aren’t accustomed to, there are still many storylines to follow until next April, and the Yanks should be in the news like they usually are, even when they aren’t on the field. Only time will tell how they refurbish their roster. However, what is for sure is that the team will look a lot different than it did for the 2013 season.