The Holidays are quickly coming upon us. Kids are starting to write their lists to Santa and dreaming of opening gifts on Christmas day. While most are dreaming of Playstation 3's, iphones or money, my wishlist shows something diffrent. And this list is not for my personal enjoyment either. No, I'm not greedy. I would be more than willing to share, provided the Yankees can put these players under my navy blue and white themed christmas tree:
1-Cliff Lee-Seriously, did you expect me to say anyone else? The man is one of the top 4 pitchers in baseball and would look great in pinstripes. The Yankees almost had him in the summer, but Texas jumped in last minute and gave up Justin Smoak for him (I wonder if the Mariners are rethinking on passing Jesus Montero), which worked out great for Texas as he pitched them to their first world series appearance. Dispite being on the shelf, he went 12-9 with a 3.18 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and averaged 7 k's per nine innings. A top three of CC, Lee and Hughes looks pretty nice.
2-Resign our own- Not that I expect them to leave the South Bronx, but resigning Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera are musts. Dispite being 40 years old, Mariano Rivera still posted great numbers going 3-3 with a 1.80 ERA, 33 saves and a 0.83 WHIP. Players know what's coming and still can't hit the cutter. That being said, I would be fine if the Yankees go year to year with him, like they do with Andy Pettitte. A 2 year offer is probably more likey though.
The Captain did show signs of age last year, posting his lowest batting average in years, hitting .270, but did hit 10 home runs in the lead off spot with 67 RBI's and 18 stolen bases while winning another gold glove. His value is immersurable to the Yankees and only the Yankees. I honestly think they will over pay to keep him, but quite frankly, he's earned it. He has one 5 world titles as a Yankee and will become the very first Yankee to collect his 3,000nd hit around June. When most people think of the Yankees, Derek Jeter is the player that pops into their heads.
3-Fix The Bullpen-For starters, the bridge to Mariano has been filled with holes and was very rickity. Kerry Wood, of all people, came in and provided a stable bridge when Joba Chamberlin could not. Mind you, Joba is coming into his third full year into the majors and now knows his place is in the pen. While I am hoping beyond hope that he finds what made him a cult hero before bugs took away his aura in Cleveland, I wouldn't be opposed to trading him either. His value is low, so for now, I'd keep him. Damaso Marte looks like he is out for the year. The Yankees pen will have a returning Alfredo Aceves, Boone Logan, David Robertson, Joba and not much else. For a while, Robertson looked like he was going to be the 8th inning guy, but that didn't happen. Maybe this will be the year he grabs a hold of it. Until then, I wouldn't mind the Yankees sniffing around Brian Fuentes, who was the Angels closer until a mid season trade to Minnesota and didn't allow a run during his time up there or Iron Man Pedro Feliciano. I also think another lefty is needed, so how about Scott Downs? He only held lefties to a .152 batting average. Grant Belfour is another 8th inning option.
4-And Finally, Coming Off The Bench-With Marcus Thames looking more and more like he is going to be playing in Japan next year, the Yankees will have a spot open on the bench. The possibilty of using Juan Miranda in this role is appealing, but highly unlikely. Instead, I would like to see the Yankees sign Bill Hall. He can play almost every position, batting .247 with 18 hr's in 344 at bats. I'd take that from a part time player, although the sentimental side wouldn't mind seeing Melky Cabrera come back either. Maybe coming back and playing along side his best buddy, Robinson Cano, will re-energize the Mellk Man and he can regain the playing form he exhibited as a Yankee.
So, here's to hoping Santa Cashman checking my list and going over it twice, cause another season of Javier Vasquez ould certainly not be nice.