Of the big names on the free agent wire back in the late fall of 2010, such as Cliff Lee, Carl Crawford, Adrian Beltre, Jayson Werth, Victor Martinez, Jim Thome, and Carl Pavano, none will be sporting the pinstripes this season. And it is a reason for concern for Yankee enthusiasts.
Their Arch rival Boston Red Sox brought in two of the most sought after players in Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez. The Yankees claimed a washed up Andruw Jones, yet the got him at a surprising bargain at half a million. Former Dodger back stop Russell Martin will be on of the richest backups in the league, set to make five million with the team to spilt the catching duties with 39-year-old Jorge Posada. New York gave Rafael Soriano just over seven million to become a set up pitcher. Though they grabbed him from division rival Tampa Bay, he was regarded as one of the most overpriced players on the market.
Boston Red Sox: uno; New York Yankees: zero. That is; if you are starting with the off season. Between the two, the Bronx Bombers did win the most recent World Series in 2009, but things are brightening up in the New England area.
One facet of the game where the Yankees needed help, but did not get it, was in the rotation. But with C.C. Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, and Phil Hughes at the top, how much more help do they need? They do, and they need a lot. Burnett has not proved he can pitch in the new Yankees Stadium, Sabathia has logged some serious innings over the past two years, and Hughes has not established himself in the long term. The Yankees were look at Carl Pavano, but he returned to the Twinkies. New York gave Cliff Lee a look, but he got away, and they didn't have the prospects to deal for Zack Greinke.
They still have perhaps the best overall infield in the game; rounding it out is Mark Teixeira, Robinson Cano, Alex Rodriguez, and of course, Derek Jeter. But New York is behind the eight ball this season in terms of where they want to be. They've got the firepower to contend with all the mediocre teams in baseball, but powerhouses Boston and the Philadelphia Phillies might have the edge at this point in the 2011 season. They made the ALCS last year, and it will be a challenge to even get back to that. But any Yankee team whose goals are less than a World Series is preposterous. Despite them not achieving their goals this winter, they will be in the thick of things in October like usual.