The Yankee season ended sooner than many people hoped, so it is now time to start looking forward to the 2012 season. This week, we'll look at five big decisions the team has to make as they prepare for the offseason.
We've been peering into the crystal ball all week, but we're ready to make the strongest prediction yet.
You aren't going to go 48 hours this offseason without hearing someone churning the rumor mill and coming up with a tidbit that has the Yankees trading Manny Banuelos or Dellin Betances.
The player will probably be a starting pitcher, robust of salary and advanced in years, because the Yankees still need to find better depth on the mound.
If by some chance the serious bid of the Rangers or some other team should take CC Sabathia away from the Bronx, you can cut the time of that rumor cycle down to about six hours.
If you're lucky, you might even hear the odd suggestion that the Yankees put one or both of the pitchers in the mix for a rotation spot next season.
That would be the best way to handle the two phenoms who have impressed just about everybody that has seen them pitche over the last couple of years.
The Yankees have been burned time and again when they've made moves to bring in veteran starters with hefty contracts not named Sabathia, so why not see what the young pitchers can do.
The biggest argument against it is that young pitchers can and will struggle as they develop into big league contributors. That's very true, but if the Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain sagas have taught us anything it is that promising young pitchers can turn out to be duds even if you do everything possible to shield them from the rigors of life in a big-league rotation.
This isn't a plea to just plug the two kids into the rotation and let them pitch until their arms fall off. It is merely a suggestion that the Yankees not talk about giving them a chance to compete while simultaneously rigging things so that they have no chance to actually contribute.
And don't just stop with the two Killer B's. Let Adam Warren, Hector Noesi and David Phelps get a real shot at the rotation as well.
Between those five pitchers, the Yankees should be able to fill the fifth spot in their rotation while finding out which of these pitchers have the stuff to be longtime members of the rotation.
The team got lucky with Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia this season, but the scrap heap is called the scrap heap for a reason. It would be a welcome development for the Yankees to take a look at the future instead of rubbing pennies together in hopes of recapturing faded glory.