Dec 16, 2007

Poll closed

According to you, Arod was the most important player for the Yankees to re-sign (48%). Hard to argue with that - the reigning (thrice awarded) MVP, 'best player in baseball' and eventual home run king.

Pettitte came in second (21%) - the rotation needed a lefty and a certified 200+ innings. The only other available pitchers to fit that role are Johan Santana and Erik Bedard, both of which would require a boatload of young talent to acquire.

Rivera and Posada rounded out the poll - my vote went to Rivera because the bullpen is our weakest area right now (although Cash has done a decent job patching it), and without him we would not have a reliable closer (Farnsworth is the closest thing!). It would probably require overpaying for Francisco Cordero (in terms of money) or Huston Street (in terms of prospects) or moving Joba into the closer role which would have long term adverse consequences: he wouldn't continue improving his curve and changeup and his innings would drop to about 70 (both making a transition back to starter that much more difficult), we would lose a quality starter (perhaps forcing Moose into the rotation or an expensive trade for Santana), and last but not least would be a waste of Joba's immense talent. That being said, three years, $45 million for Mo is way too much but it had to be done for the short and long term success of the team.

Posada isn't someone to sneeze at either. A catcher who hits like he does is extremely valuable. And who would take over if he re-signed elsewhere? Jose Molina (64 OPS+) or Paul Lo Duca (99 OPS+) - both over 30 as the everyday catcher? Frankie Cervelli from Tampa (.274/.375/.388 career in the minors)? P.J. Pilittere from Trenton (with an even worse .266/.322/.360 career minor league line)? Posada has a 124 OPS+ in the majors. Huge difference.

Really, all of these guys were important to re-sign so choosing one over the other is nitpicking. But Arod is the youngest with the highest (and most likely to reach) upside. Thanks for voting and look for a new poll later today.

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