Perhaps the biggest news to come out of the GM meetings is the Astros’ sale and impeding move to the AL West, which will even the number of teams in both the American and National Leagues, and also increase the number of interleague games to be played. Although baseball purists may not necessarily be a fan of such a development, the Yankees have traditionally played well in interleague baseball, so the move may not be entirely unwelcome.
Discussion of the Day: Outside of the pitching rotation, what area of the Yankees’ roster do you believe needs the most improvement?
Behind Enemy Lines: Joe McDonald wonders if the door is open for John Farrell to return to Boston. Dale Sveum, who many thought the favorite to take the Red Sox managing job, opted instead to join the Cubs’ organization, meaning the Red Sox are still without a manager.
1) Andrew Marchand writes that the Yankees will need more from Phil Hughes in 2012.
Hughes disappointed in 2011, posting an ERA over 5.00 and pitching himself out of the postseason rotation. The one-time top pitching prospect has yet to fully realize his potential as a starter, but entering his age-26 season, it’s hard to argue that the Yankees should expect that much more development from Hughes. That said, with a thin free agent pitching market, the Yankees’ best chance at shoring up their rotation will come from within the system, and Hughes has at least shown flashes in the past that he can be the starter the Yankees need.
2) Wallace Matthews considers whether Yu Darvish will be worth the risk the Yankees would have to take to bring him to the U.S.
The Yankees have had bad luck with bringing pitchers over from Japan in the past. Darvish’s resume is impressive, but no matter how good any other baseball league might be, nothing can substitute for actual major league experience. Given the amount of money the Yankees would have to commit to a Darvish signing, the risk involved might ultimately not be worth the possible benefit.
Cespedes has been making the internet rounds and may, in fact, become the most vaunted international signing of the 2011-2012 offseason. The Yankees will have a hole to fill in the outfield within the next few seasons; although no one knows for sure if Cespedes is good enough to make an immediate impact in the majors, the potential seems to be unquestioned and the Yankees have been known to go hard after international free agents.