Wednesday, December 26, 2012
The Yankees are essentially fielding the same team from the end of last season, now without the substantial contributions of Nick Swisher, who on Sunday agreed to a four-year, $56 million contract with the Cleveland Indians, and the less substantial, but still important, contributions from Ibanez, who agreed to a one-year contract with the Seattle Mariners on Friday. And while Alex Rodriguez, who is expected to miss half the season after he has surgery on his left hip that is scheduled for next month, is a favorite target of critics, his production last year (.783 on-base plus slugging percentage) bettered that of Youkilis (.745).
On paper, the Yankees, who also lost the defensive-minded but home run-capable catcher Russell Martin, are a worse team offensively than last year.
Is it too late for the Festivus Airing of Grievances?
I’m not that broken up that Ibanez signed with Seattle and it was pretty much a given that Swisher would not be back. Some of the loss of Swisher can be mitigated by a healthy Brett Gardner, even if the shape of the value he provides is different. But I do agree that right now this team is not as good as last year’s, and I’d be surprised if they’ll make a combination of moves that will change that by the start of the season.
But they’ll be a contender, and that’s better than not being one.
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