Jobu profiles some guys he’d like the Yankees to sign.
I’m finally starting to come back from the sadness of the end of the Yankees’ season. Hurricanes tend to put a different perspective on the importance of sports and entertainment, right? Anyway, There’s a lot of free agents and free agents to be out there. Here’s a couple of guys I wouldn’t mind having on the squad. I hope Brian Cashman feels the same way.
1. Torii Hunter, RF
The one big negative for Torii Hunter is his age. Hunter will turn 38 about half way through the 2013 season. I know what you’re all thinking… the Yankees have enough guys on the wrong side of 30 already on the roster, right? I can’t argue with that. What I can argue about though, is how well Hunter would fit on the team.
The Yankees are pretty heavily left-handed, especially in the outfield with Brett Gardner and Curtis Granderson in left and right (really hoping they do decide to switch those two). Hunter was very good last year. In 140 games, he hit .313/.365/.817 with 16 HR, 92 RBI and still showed enough legs to nab a base every once in a while too (9). He might not have the range to play center anymore like when he was known as Spider Man, but he can play a very good right field too. An outfield of Granderson, Gardner and Hunter would probably be one of the better ones in the league.
The only issue I have with bringing Hunter in is that it might make it difficult to bring back Ichiro Suzuki. I loved what Ichiro did for the Yankees during his time here. In 67 games after the July trade, Ichiro basically revitalized his career, hitting .322/.340/.794 with 5 homers and 14 steals. I loved the 1-2 punch of Ichiro and Jeter too. I think they can bring both guys back and find enough at bats for both of them to be happy (they have that whole roving DH thing going for the rest of their old guys), but it will depend on what each player wants to do with their twilight years. I say make it happen.
2. Koji Uehara
You can never have enough weapons in the bullpen. While the Yankees had a great bullpen in 2012, it was pieced together by a few guys you wouldn’t have expected to be quite so good. Cody Eppley was solid, as was Clay Rapada. Derek Lowe came up big down the stretch too. Boone Logan was great, but also pitched in more games than anyone else in the league, which could lead to struggles or burnout in 2013. The Yankees should have Joba Chamberlain back at full strength and David Aardsma should be back as well, but like I said, you never know.
Anywho, there’s a couple guys I think the Yankees should target this off-season, but Koji Uehara might be my favorite of the bunch. Uehara, who first came stateside from Japan in 2009 with the Orioles, has been pretty great since he was moved to the bullpen early in his first season in the bigs. The righty has put up a 2.36 ERA with 11..4 K/9 and a 10.76 K/BB ratio since 2010. You can’t really argue with those numbers at all. Last season, he put up a 1.75 ERA and a ridiculous 14.33 K/BB ratio while with the Texas Rangers.
The only problem with Uehara is that he’s probably going to get hurt at some point or another. Injuries limited the 37-year old to just 37 games last year, and he didn’t pitch from June 9th to August 26th. That’s not really acceptable, but if you have an otherwise solid bullpen, which the Yankees should have, he’s the type of guy that could be a real difference maker down the stretch (after he comes back from whatever he injures). If you can get him to sign a shorter, incentive laden deal, then he could provide a huge payoff.
We’ll be back in the coming weeks with my other evil plans for the Yankees 2013 rotation. Hopefully this tides you over until then.
Featured image courtesy of: Getty Images
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