We’re all focused on the present. The Yankees have a bunch of pending transactions. They’ve made an offer to Derek Jeter; they’ll probably do the same to Mariano Rivera and Cliff Lee shortly. I’m sure there are other signings and trades that the front office is mulling over right now, too. But what about next year? There are some interesting personnel decisions to be made in a year’s time. Let’s run down some of them.
The biggest one involves CC Sabathia. While his contract does run to 2015, CC does have an opt out clause he can use after the 2011 season. No matter what, I think CC is going to exercise this option. I can see him hanging on if he has a bad year just because his value will be a little down. However, if he has an average CC year, I think he’ll opt out. If he does, the Yankees could just let him walk, or try to renegotiate at a lower AAV. While he’s been nothing but reliable in his career, CC will be approaching his mid thirties. Maybe the Yankees will want to let someone else pay for Sabathia’s decline phase.
Jorge Posada’s four year deal is up after 2011. Hopefully, this one won’t be an issue. Jorge will ride off into the sunset (hopefully to a sunset in Cooperstown) and Jesus Montero (happy belated birthday, Jesus!) takes over. Whether or not he retires, though, I’d bet on 2011 being Jorge’s last year with the Yankees. The only way I see him coming back is if he really mashes the ball as a DH and Jesus Montero can handle catching 120+ times a year, letting Jorge DH full time.
After 2011, Robinson Cano has a $14MM club option with a $2MM buy out. This is going to be a tough one. Cano just had his best season and it’s unlikely for him to repeat it. He’s still the best second baseman in the A.L., though. Unless he just tanks or gets injured, I’m relatively sure the Yankees will pick up Robbie’s option.
Like Cano, Nick Swisher has an option for the 2012 season ($10.25MM) with a $1MM buy out. The OF FA class of 2012 doesn’t look particularly strong and Swisher’s got a skill set that should age well. He’s also gotten himself into very good shape and doesn’t have a body that is likely to break down. I’d bet on the Yankees picking up that relatively cheap option and keeping Nick on patrol in YSIII’s right field.
This isn’t worth discussing much, but let’s give it one sentence. Damaso Marte has a $4MM option for 2012 with a $0.25MM buyout; it will be bought out.