The New York Yankees have fierce competition in the AL East. Only the Baltimore Orioles finished beyond 10 games out of the playoffs. The Boston Red Sox have proven their goals this offseason by acquiring Adrian Gonzalez, and the Tampa Bay Rays are looking to bring back talent from last year’s postseason squad while adding some new pieces.

The only thing the New York Yankees have proven this postseason is they have the money to make any player that whines shut up. Derek Jeter thought he was talented enough to ask for Alex Rodriguez money, and the Yankees did not agree. This fact gave them a way out of a three year trap that will now require Derek Jeter to be the starting shortstop for the New York Yankees for three years.

There is no way to bench him. With the legacy he has built as a Yankee, he has enough leverage to suffice likely three years of the same mediocre baseball he played this year. And with his signing is where the New York Yankees went all wrong.

With plenty of the league’s most promising young catchers in their system, the Yankees could have put together a package this offseason and received a high quality shortstop in return. Instead, their choice was to keep a player past his time who possesses arm will only become weaker than it currently is.

The New York Yankees are looking to improve, but not to become the empire they have been known to be. While bolstering a pitching staff by likely winning the Cliff Lee auction and having Zack Greinke as a backup option are great moves, it is not enough. The Yankees will be left with at least one hole in their rotation.

The current look is projected to be: Sabathia, Lee/Greinke, Pettitte, Hughes, and Burnett. Let’s be serious here, while the front two are impressive, the age question begins with Andy Pettitte. Phil Hughes proved to be a decent pitcher, but still lacks the experience to be a proven pitcher. Lastly, AJ Burnett is one of the biggest disappointments of 2010, where his lackluster performances caused many to question his dominance.

If the Yankees really want to improve, they will go further into free agency and find another pitcher. Easy enough to do. The Yankees retained Mariano Rivera, another plus, but the relief can always improve, especially if Kerry Wood is to leave. 

However, with the current shortstop position, barring injury, they are bound to Jeter as the everyday man. That fact is by no means a good thing.

The New York Yankees’ movement along the free agent frontier right now is by no means encouraging. Going after Carl Crawford will do nothing but force Boston or another team to pay more, while also doing nothing good for their lineup anyway.

If they really want to improve, they should stop overpaying for the wrong players, take a hard look at the faults of 2010, and look to add depth to their shoddy pitching staff. And of course, they won’t overpay for another figure of the past well past their prime.

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