For a Couple of Dollars More, Maybe This Team Could Have a Bench
For all the spending the Yankees did this offseason, and all the superstars brought it, in this economic climate you'd think they'd have been able to sign some quality bench players to back up, spell starters, and take over in case of injury. Guys like Orlando Cabrera, Mark Grudzielanek, Ray Durham, Frank Thomas, and Nomar Garciaparra are still available and from all accounts available cheaply. Do the Yankees really want to go into the season knowing Cody Ransom, a 33 year old journeyman with 166 games played (career) is a Jeter hamstring or A-Rod HBP or a Cano jammed finger away from being a regular in the Yankee lineup?
Look at the championship teams of recent history, and you'll see how their benches contributed to their success:
Jim Leyritz, Jorge Posada, Charlie Hayes, Luis Sojo, Tim Raines, Darryl Strawberry, Tino Martinez (in NL parks when Cecil Fielder arrived)
Tim Raines, Joe Girardi, Luis Sojo, Chili Davis, Ricky Ledee, Shane Spencer
Joe Girardi, Shane Spencer, Chat Curtis, Luis Sojo, Jim Leyritz, Darryl Strawberry
Shane Spencer, Glenallen Hill, Luis Sojo, Jose Canseco, Alfonse Soriano, Jose Vizcaino
With the exception of Luis Sojo, those were some pretty damned good major leaguers, many of whom would have been starting for other teams.
Compare that to day's projected bench:
Xavier Nady, Jose Molina, Cody Ransom, Melky Cabrera/Brett Gardner, Shelley Duncan
Nady is a capable backup (who actually believes last year wasn't a statistical aberration?), and beyond that you've got The Wrong Molina, a guy with 183 ABs, and the guy who couldn't beat out the other guy who isn't very good.
For about $5M or so, the Yankees could probably sign Grudzielanek, Garciaparra and Thomas, giving them a backup MI, backup 3B/1B (who can still hit), and a pinch hitter extraordinaire (sorry Frank, nobody is signing you now to start).
Here's hoping the Yankees don't regret this.
Labels: lineups, roster moves, the bench
posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 9:28 AM