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“New Look Yankee’s” Back and Better Than Ever

By: Jason A. Cohen

By now everyone not living under a rock is aware that for the first time, since 1993, the New York Yankees did not make the post season.Coming off an injury reddened season in which the team looked old and over matched, the Yankees knew they must make big moves in order to over take the Boston Red Sox and the upstart Tampa Bay Rays. Going into the off-season, the Yankees moved swiftly to resign their general manager, Brian Cashman. With his return, Cashman swore to do his best to place a championship caliber team on the field.

The free agent class boasts considerable talent for the Yankees to begin their facelift. With pitching being the primary focus stated by the Yankees top level executives, Cashman worked long and hard evaluating the talent to determine the best course of action. Having nearly $88 million coming off the books in the form of expiring contracts, the Yankees sought to replace the production of Mike Mussina who announced his retirement after a remarkable 20-win season and possibly Andy Pettite, who remains a free agent after turning down a one year offer. Bobby Abreu who hit .296 with 20 homeruns and 100 RBI, and Jason Giambi, who returned to his roots by signing a contract with the Oakland Athletics are the positional players that the Yankees had to replace.

Although Mussina, Abreu, and Giambi will be missed, the Yankees are confident their signings of C.C. Sabathia and A.J. Burnett, to lucrative deals, will provide them with an improved starting rotation and certainly help make up for Mussina’s production. With a provisional starting rotation of Sabathia, Burnett, Wang, Chamberlain, and Hughes, barring any further signings, the Yankees like their odds against the perennially competitive American League East.

The Yankee lineup will be significantly improved as they welcome new switch-hitting first basemen Mark Teixeira, who has a career .290 average with 203 homerun and 676 RBI in his seven years with the Texas Rangers, Atlanta Braves, and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The addition of Teixeira will provide the Yankees with a rock solid competitor who has thrived as a hitter and whose defense has people saying he will be the Yankees best first basemen since Donny Baseball. He will protect former Rangers teammate, Alex Rodriguez, who will bat third or clean up in the “New Look Yankee” lineup. Abreu’s production will most likely be replaced by the duo of Xavier Nady, who will be the regular right fielder barring any further player movement, and Nick Swisher another off-season acquisition via trade with the Chicago White Sox, who is capable of playing multiple positions.

With these significant moves, Brian Cashman has further solidified the Yankees as a perennial playoff and championship team for years to come and it would seem as though winning number 27 is no longer a question of if, but when. As the 2009 season draws upon us, the Yankees have done a lot to improve upon their roster from a season ago. They have picked up good character players who are still relatively young and who will make the transition from the old Yankee Stadium to the new Yankee Stadium a seamless one. One thing is for sure, the Yankees are back!

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