We're all quite aware that the Yankees failed to land their prime off-season target when Cliff Lee opted to sign with the Philadelphia Phillies.
The Red Sox made a significant splash, and moved to strengthen their team considerably with the acquisitions of both Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez. Two brilliant moves that will serve to make Boston a formidable foe over the course of much of the upcoming decade.
Although some Yankee fans might disagree, it's not imperative that the Bombers dive headlong into the free agency scrum every off-season, chasing the marquee names with offers of massive sums of money. Cliff Lee would have been a brilliant addition to a shaky rotation, but now that he's no longer available, the Yankees must move on.
While the big-time free agents have mostly signed on with new teams, there are surely a host of other players that could help solidify the Yankee squad as they look to progress further than they did in the 2010 playoffs.
Though the rotation was initially said to be the area of greatest concern, those that observe the Yankees regularly, know that the bullpen leading up to Mariano Rivera could use a fresh arm or two to for
This off-season, there has been no shortage of quality arms available, as several top relievers entered free agency.
However, day by day, their ranks are diminishing, as active teams are moving quickly to patch the holes in their respective squads.
Already, shut down set-up man, Joaquin Benoit, who could have been a perfect arm to hand the ball off to Mo, signed a three year deal with Detroit.
The suddenly incredibly active Red Sox just inked Bobby Jenks, former White Sox closer, to a two year deal to join their list of hard-throwing late inning options.
Scott Downs, a man the Yankees were intimately familiar with due to his years in Toronto, recently signed a three year deal with the Angels. Over the last four seasons, Downs has been a highly effective lefty for the Blue Jays, just the type of pitcher the Yankees could use.
Matt Guerrier just signed a three year deal with the Dodgers. Former Yankee Kerry Wood, a man who may have resurrected his career with the Bombers in the second half of 2010, opted to return to the Cubs in a set-up role, precisely where the Yankees could have used him.
Rumors have circulated around Rafael Soriano, but the Yankees are unlikely to want to pay him the type of closers' money he has earned, in order to utilize him as a set-up man. There is also the chance that he is not interested in anything less than a closer role.
It has been reported that the Yankees may be finalizing a deal with long-time Met, Pedro Feliciano, a veteran lefty that would be a perfect addition to the bullpen, so that Boone Logan isn't the sole left-handed option for Girardi. While his addition could be great for the team, he is not a dominant eighth inning option that the Yankees crave and desperately need.
The Yankees still have a few quality arms that could help serve in that role, but they each come with their own questions. Joba Chamberlain and David Robertson are both highly capable pitchers that could take control of the set-up role, but neither has exhibited the type of consistency necessary to be a reliable option.
It's very possible that Brian Cashman has a move up his sleeve that the media hasn't caught on to yet, but with each passing moment, Spring Training gets closer, and the available options dwindle.