The New York Yankees are in first place in the month of June. This shows us two things; they are a solid baseball team and they know what it takes to win. Still, this Yankee team is far from complete. They are going to need to make a big splash come the trade deadline if they want to add championship number twenty-eight.
One suprise has been the productivity of the starting pitching. Bartolo Colon is pitching like he did when he won the Cy Young award, and Freddy Garcia has been consistently getting guys out. I have faith in Colon to keep it up- but what happens if he doesn’t? Ivan Nova has looked great at times and terrible other times. How can you rely on him when he has been incredibly inconsistent? You have potential question marks at your #4 and #5 spots in the rotation. This rotation is far from complete, and don’t be banking on Phil Hughes returning and making a significant impact if he ever comes back.
In order for the Yankees to have a complete rotation, they need an ace to go along with Sabathia, or at least a solid #2 pitcher. The pitcher the Yankees should be targeting is Felix Hernandez. With the talents the Yankees have in their farm system, in the words of the Godfather… lets just say they could make an offer they can’t refuse.
Of course there are other pitchers the Yankees coul target. Fransisco Liriano is a name that has been talked about for months. Although Liriano has not been that effective this year other than his no hitter earlier this season, he could be a solid number #2 or #3 for the Yankees- considering AJ Burnett has had a fantastic turnaround season thus far. They could also look at guys like Ryan Dempster, Mike Pelfrey, and Derek Lowe; all guys the Yankees could use in order to complete a rotation that is still not 100% completed.
The next part of the Yankees that is still not complete is the lineup. WHAT?! Yes, the Yankees lineup is still not complete as of right now. They obviously do not need another star in the lineup, but they do need role players. Andruw Jones has been good so far, but can you trust him to pinch hit in late September?
The Yankees need some help out their in the outfield. We have seen how bad Nick Swisher and Brett Gardner can be at the plate, and the Yankees also need some help on the bench so they do not have A.J Burnett pinch running in a baseball game. Look at a guy like Jonny Gomes. He hit 18 HR and 86 RBI last season. In a place like Cincinatti, it should not be hard to pry Gomes away. Also look at a guy like Juan Pierre. While he may be 33 now, he still has his wheels. His 68 steals were tops in the AL last season. He also should not be hard to get from the White Sox for a few prospects. How about a trade that brings Pierre and Mark Buehrle? Do not put it past Brian Cashman.
The bullpen is one area that I think the Yankees are complete in. Soriano has been a major bust so far, but I believe he will get back to pitching the way he can. Robertson has been fantastic this season, and Mariano Rivera is, well- Mariano Rivera. If there is one area the Yankees can fix in their pen, it is getting a better lefty specialist. I simply don’t trust Boone Logan in any big spot, and the way Girardi mixes and matches with right handers and left handers- they could use a shut down left handed specialist
The Yankees and their fans should be very pleased with the fact that they are in first place with the trade deadline almost a month away. The Yankees are a solid baseball team and a contender- no doubt about it. However, if the Yankees want to raise another banner next April, they will have to realize this team is good- but yet not complete.