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As Free Agency Kicks into Full Gear the New York Yankees Have Many Decisions to Make

November 5th, 2012 at 12:40 PM
By Chris Ruck

This past weekend Free Agents across the MLB were officially allowed to start signing.  The New York Yankees enter the offseason with 12 free agents on their roster.  After getting swept in the ALCS by the Tigers' in horrific fashion, many Yankees fans are calling for a major roster overhaul.

'Nick Swisher' photo (c) 2009, Keith Allison - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Free Agents were eligible to begin signing at 12:01 AM Saturday, November 3rd.  The 12 Yankee free agents and their 2012 regular season statistics include:

Nick Swisher – 148 GP, .272 B.A, 24 Home Runs, 93 RBI's, 75 Runs

Eric Chavez113 GP, .281 B.A, 16 Home Runs, 37 RBI's, 36 Runs 

Andruw Jones - 94 GP, .197 B.A, 14 Home Runs, 34 RBI's, 27 Runs

Raul Ibanez - 130 GP, .240 B.A, 19 Home Runs, 62 RBI's, 50 Runs

Russell Martin - 133 GP, .211B.A, 21 Home Runs, 53 RBI's, 50 Runs

Ichiro Suzuki -  67 GP (with NYY), .322 B.A, 5 Home Runs, 27 RBI's, 28 Runs, 14 Stolen Bases (Lead Team)

Andy Pettitte - 12 Games Started, 75.1 IP, 5-4 Record, 2.87 ERA, 69 K's

Mariano Rivera9 Relief Appearances, 8.1 IP, 5 Saves, 1-1 Record, 2.16 ERA, 8 K's (Missed season with torn ACL) 

Pedro FelicianoHas not thrown one pitch in two season as a Yankee due to shoulder injury

Freddy Garcia17 Games Started, 13 Relief Appearances, 107.1 IP, 7-6 Record, 5.20 ERA, 89 K's

Hiroki Kuroda – 33 Games Started, 219.2 IP, 16-11 Record, 3.32 ERA, 167 K's

Derek Lowe – 17 Relief Appearances, 23.2 IP, 1 Save, 1-1 Record, 3.04 ERA, 14 K's

Mariano Rivera, to the joy of most Yankee fans, has announced he will not retire, and come back for at least one more season in Pintstripes.  

With that said, 11 players remain as question marks.  Who should take a hike?  Who should the Yankees keep?

Many have accepted the fact that Nick Swisher will most definitely not be back for the 2013 season.  His Agent, the notorious Scott Boras, has said publicly that Swisher is looking for a "Jayson Werth type" deal. Werth signed a seven year 126 Million Dollar deal with the Nationals in December of 2006.  

Little, or in one case none, production from Andruw Jones, Freddy Garcia, and Pedro Feliciano generate no reason to bring them back.   Garcia's ERA was astronomical and the Yankees should have no trouble finding an ample replacement.  Jones has proven to be over the hill, and the Yankees could desperately inject some youth into their lineup.  With Gardner back and healthy for the 2013 season Jones will likely have no spot on this roster.  

Andy Pettitte is still mulling over the option of retirement.  If he decides not to retire, the Yankees should without a doubt resign the nifty Left Hander. He proved, though in limited action, he can still be an effective, and at times, dominant, pitcher in the MLB.

Other players who the Yankees should focus on re-signing include Ichiro Suzuki, Eric Chavez, Russell Martin, Hiroki Kuroda, Raul Ibanez, and Derek Lowe.  

Ichiro was extremely productive at the plate since joining the Yankees and also provided excellent speed on the base paths.  He was also one of the top hitter's for the offensively absent Yankees in the postseason.  Ichiro still plays great defensively as well.  

Eric Chavez filled in for Alex Rodriguez at Third Base very well throughout the season.  With so many question marks surrounding Alex heading into 2013, it will be crucial to have someone available for this role again.  Russell Martin, despite his low batting average, was one of the better power hitting catchers in the league blasting 21 home runs.  His true value however, comes from what he does behind the plate defensively. 

Raul Ibanez was the hero of the postseason for the Yankees, and you always want to keep players around that can perform in the clutch. Ibanez excels in the pinch hitting role, and can be a great tool off the bench for the Yankees in 2013.  

Kuroda was arguably the Yankees most consistent pitcher this season, and he continued his success into the postseason.  It is a no brainer he is the number one guy the Yankees need to concentrate on brining back. Derek Lowe worked well out of the bullpen in the short amount of time he spent with the Yankees.  You can never have enough effective long relievers coming out of your pen over a 162 games season.

The offseason will be an interesting one indeed for the New York Yankees, as we may see a large roster turnover.  Who would you like to see the Yankees sign this offseason?

Tags: Andruw Jones, Andy Pettitte, Baseball, Eric Chavez, Freddy Garcia, Hiroki Kuroda, Ichiro Suzuki, Mariano Rivera, MLB, New York, New York Yankees, Nick Swisher, Pedro Feliciano, Raul Ibanez, Russell Martin

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