Well, the Yankees were swept by the Detroit Tigers in the ALCS this week and now have to figure out what to do to improve the ballclub in 2013. One of the players they will have to make a decision on is third baseman Alex Rodriguez. ARod had a very disappointing post season, so much so that manager Joe Girardi pinch hit for him in two games, and benched him in two other games. Bret and I published the Pros and Cons of drafting ARod in 2013 here and here. I think the Yankees will do their best to deal him this offseason, eating up to 90% of his salary in doing so, but he does have a no-trade clause which may prove difficult to get past. They could provide some incentive for him waiving it by guaranteeing some performance clauses in his contract.
The Yankees will exercise Robinson Cano's $15 million option for 2013 this offseason, but he will be a free agent after the season. Joel Sherman from the NY Post wrote that Cano is seeking a 10 year deal, and with Scott Boras as his agent, I would not be surprised if he elects to become a free agent rather than sign an extension during the season.
Cano is the top fantasy second baseman in baseball and has averaged 25 home runs, 100 runs and 100 RBI in his 7 year big league career. Boras will do his best to get sign him with the highest bidder, but I could see the Yankees stepping up this offseason to sign him before he becomes a free agent. Cano turns 30 tomorrow, so it would surprise me to see him getting a 10 year deal.
Yankees starter CC Sabathia has a scheduled visit with Dr. James Andrews, a name that every GM shakes in their shoes when they hear his name. Sabathia pitched well after returning from the DL until he imploded in game 4 of the ALCS. He apparently changed his pitch selection after returning from the DL to lessen the impact on his left elbow.
The Diamondbacks freed up some room in their crowded outfield yesterday as they traded strikeout prone outfielder Chris Young to the A's in a three team deal involving the Marlins. Here is what each team received in the deal:
A's: Chris Young
Marlins: Yordy Cabrera
Diamondbacks: Heath Bell, Cliff Pennington
This deal for Young results in the A's having a surplus of outfielders now. Along with Young, they have Yoenis Cespedes, Coco Crisp, Seth Smith, Colin Cowgill and Josh Reddick. I see Beane making another deal involving an outfielder this offseason. Young's already lowered fantasy value takes a hit with the move out of Chase Field and into the O.co Coliseum.
This deal also reduces the chances that the Diamondbacks will trade outfielder Justin Upton this offseason. I think the team should keep Upton as I think he will rebound in 2013 and be the outfielder we all thought he would be in 2012.
The Marlins made a great move ridding themselves of most of Bell's contract in the deal with the Diamondbacks. The team is only responsible for $8 million of the remaining $18 million over the next two years. Unless the Marlins sign or trade for a closer this offseason, it appears Steve Cishek's fantasy value just skyrocketed as a result of this trade. In 68 appearances out of the pen in 2012, Cishek went 5-2 with 15 saves in 2012, tossing 63.2 innings, striking out 68, walking 29, with a 2.69 ERA, 3.22 FIP, 3.81 xFIP, a 1.30 WHIP and a 52.4% ground ball rate. If he can improve his 4.10 walk rate, he could be a very useful closer heading into 2013.
The Diamondbacks received Heath Bell in the deal and unless they decide to deal closer J.J. Putz, Bell has no value whatsoever in 2013. Add to the fact that setup man David Hernandez is a better option to close than Bell and it is very apparent that Bell is nothing more than an overpaid 7th inning pitcher going forward.
The Diamondbacks also received shortstop Cliff Pennington in the trade, and this should quiet any talk that the DBacks will pursue Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus this offseason. Pennington provides NL-only league owners with another speed option at shortstop and nothing more.