The Yankees, oh, they're in trouble.
We already knew the franchise was changing, having pledged — with a straight poker face, and then stunningly backing it up with an underwhelming series of signings this offseason — to get under the payroll luxury tax ($189 million) by Opening Day 2014.
But the immediate concern is their 2013 outlook, which suffered a significant blow with outfielder Curtis Granderson lost for 10 weeks, until at least May, after getting hit by a pitch in his spring debut.
Granderson reacted to the news of the busted right forearm with class, offering an "aw-shucks" type of quote. But you can bet the Steinbrenners reaction was far different, and four letters shorter.
The Yankees already were concerned with injuries, to third baseman Alex Rodriguez (hip), who may or may not play at all this season, and shortstop Derek Jeter (ankle), whose comeback from the injury suffered in Game 1 of last fall's ALCS against the Tigers is hardly yet complete.
New York also suffered three big losses in free-agency — the sad-sack Pirates, of all people, outbid the Yankees for catcher Russell Martin (replaced by Francisco Cervelli), outfielder/designated hitter Nick Swisher (replaced by crap-shoot Travis Hafner) moved on the Indians, and reliever Rafael Soriano landed with the Nationals. The latter, despite a dazzling 2012, actually is the least of their worries, assuming closer Mariano Rivera is fully healed from the freak ACL injury that cost him most of 2012.
Replacing Rodriguez, for the time being, at third Kevin Youkilis, who's uber frail and past his prime.
The Yankees have been the toast of the American League East for nearly two decades now, having won it 13 of the last 17 years, including in 2012. But the face of the division is changing, and it's poised to be tougher now, with the sudden resurgence of the Orioles, and the go-for-it attitude of the Blue Jays, who made a series of monster trades this winter. And the Rays, probably the best-run organization in the game, always are going to be in it.
From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130228/OPINION03/302280301#ixzz2MCr2dMre
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