Saturday, December 25, 2010

Yankees Scraping Bottom By Pursuing Manny Ramirez

If New York Yankees GM Brian Cashman doesn't turn his team into the best one this off-season, he could turn them into the oldest.  While the Yankees are in desperate of starting pitchers and relievers, reports from the YES Network say Cashman has had internal discussions about signing aging outfielders, Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon.  If you can't beat the Boston Red Sox on the playing filed next year, at least you can break the hearts of the Red Sox Nation by wheeling out a couple of their favorite Idiots in pinstripes.

Cashman seems to be scavenging  the bottom of the free-agent scrap heap looking for players.  The eccentric Ramirez is free after finishing a two-year $45 million  deal he signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers.  He finished last years injury-plagued season with the Chicago White Sox and batted .298 with nine home runs and 42 RBI's in 90 games.

It seems ridiculous for Cashman to be looking at outfielders and a DH, while the real Yankee priorities are starting and relief pitching.  Andy Pettitte  seems to be leaning heavily towards retirement and the Yankee GM has made it clear that Jorge Posada will see way more games as DH than as catcher.  So what's he doing?

The Yankees say they are trying to land a defense-first player to spell regular outfielders Nick Swisher,
Brett Gardner and Curtis Granderson.  That trio is solid, if not spectacular and Ramirez is no defensive whiz.  In fact, Ramirez finished the season in Chicago as the full-time DH.

The talk of pursuing Ramirez could just be coincidental.  Agent Scott Boras represents both Damon and Ramirez, so it seems logical the heavy-hitting righthander's name was just tossed out there during the talks.

Damon, the former Yankee outfielder bats left-handed and appears hopeful of landing a full-time starting position.  There doesn't seem to be any room for the player and fan-favorite anywhere on the roster in that capacity.

Ramirez, on the other hand, is a malcontent and his behavior could be disruptive to the team chemistry.  This would not sit well with the Yankee's Key-Three---Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera and Posada.

If Pettitte bails, it looks like the remaining starting pitcher pool is slim and not particularly reassuring.  Reports say Cashman has asked for the medical records of Freddy Garcia and has inquired about oft-injured Brandon Webb and Jeff Francis.  Any of those moves look intriguing, but it looks like Cashman might have to rely on the inexperienced--but highly touted--Ivan Nova as the fourth starter until he can make a blockbuster move before the July 31 trading deadline.

The Yankees just look and sound old.  Cashman's two biggest off-season moves so far have been resigning the 36 year-old Jeter and 41 year-old Rivera and now he is chasing after other past-their-prime or damaged players.

If Cashman isn't voted MLB's Executive of the Year,  the Yankee GM could end up AARP's Employer of the Year.

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