Thus far, the baseball offseason has been mostly quiet – with CC Sabathia’s re-signing and Jonathan Papelbon coming to terms with the Phillies probably the biggest on-field stories (the kidnapping of Wilson Ramos is of course another matter entirely).
Discussion of the Day: Do you think the Yankees should sign Mark Buehrle? Why or why not?
Behind Enemy Lines: Gordon Edes writes that Papelbon will be missed in Boston, but not that badly. Relief pitching is arguably the most volatile position in baseball, and the price Papelbon commanded from the Phillies means that signing him may not have ultimately been financially worth it for Boston.
Bullpens are the most volatile part of the team, and it’s unlikely that whatever bullpen a team starts with in April is the bullpen they will end up with in November. Still, if there has been a hallmark of Joe Girardi’s tenure as Yankees’ manager, it is probably his ability to meld the team’s bullpen, regardless of the pitchers in it, into one of the better ones in the league. As far as 2012 is concerned, so long as Mariano Rivera remains healthy, he should remain the closer and the same might be said of David Robertson and the eighth-inning role. Outside of that, the Yankees’ bullpen is harder to predict, but already being able to slot a closer and set-up man is a bigger head start than a number of other teams currently have.
2) Eric Schultz at The Yankee Analysts considers that Jorge Posada might not be done.
Posada won’t return as a Yankee, and retirement would seem looming, but Posada, as Schultz argues, could still provide some value with his bat. Posada is an arguable Hall of Fame candidate, and teams looking for a DH could find some use for him, but Posada struggled against lefties and whether or not a team is willing to use a platoon at DH may be another matter altogether.
Goldman argues that though Buerhle has been successful over the course of his career, the success is atypical given the way he gets it – ie, not with strikeouts – and that there’s reason to believe it may not continue. The Yankees need pitching help and the free agent market, pitching-wise is thin, so finding an available pitcher more talented than Buerhle may not be possible. Still, the Yankees were able to make a significant run in 2011 with an unlikely rotation including Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia, so just because there is no ace on the market doesn’t mean that the Yankees are necessarily in trouble.