Friday, January 13, 2012

Why The Yankees Will Continue Their World Series Drought

Despite their recent additions, the Yankees will not win the World Series.

The Yankees made some headlines today after being quiet for the majority of the offseason.  Seattle finally received the Yankees' highly touted catching prospect Jesus Montero, after he was rumored to be traded to Seattle in exchange for Cliff Lee two summers ago.  That deal fell through, this one did not.  Montero was dealt for Michael Pineda, a 22-year-old phenom pitcher, in an attempt to bolster the Yankees' starting rotation.  A rotation that already includes the dominant C.C. Sabathia, and Ivan Nova who is well on his way to being a household name.  The most important thing is that the Yankees added more youth, something they certainly lack.  That lack of youth will eventually be the achilles heel of this team.

Of their starting infield, only Robinson Cano is under the age of 30, with Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter 35 and 36 respectively.  There's no way around it, that's old for a position player, especially a shortstop.  Granderson and Swisher are both 29, with Gardner at 27.  More important than their age though, is their energy, and that certainly seemed to lack while watching them the past few years.  They almost looked slow and lethargic at times, which helped in the portrayal as them being an old team.  They seemed to be missing excitement, a spark, the energy that a lot of younger players bring to the table.  I'd be foolish to say the Yankees are in rebuilding mode, like any great franchise they reload.  But will the current injection of youth be enough to salvage some old and seemingly tired legs?  A-Rod, Jeter, and even Teixeira for the better part of the last year don't seem to be the players they once were.  I have no idea the state of their catching position.  If it's still Russell Martin, he's a scrub.  Cano and Granderson (Yes, the player every Yankees fan whined about when they traded away Melky Cabrera), are both very good, but they're going to be asked to carry a lot of the load if the Yankees want to have, by their standards, a successful season.

The rotation will be good though, assuming everyone stays healthy.  If this kid is as good as advertised, a Sabathia, Nova, Pineda top three should be relatively fear-inducing.  Their other move of the day, signing Hiroki Kuroda, should give them a solid fourth starter, and leave Phil Hughes, Freddy Garcia, and A.J. Burnett fighting for that last spot.

Yes, the Yankees will still make the playoffs, and be a very serious contender.  In order to do that they'll need the rotation to come up big and carry them.  If not with dominant stuff, with energy.

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