In a fitting turn of events, Alex Rodriguez watched strike three pass him by to end the Yankees season. The Rangers stunned the baseball world and Yankees fans everywhere after they "manhandled" the Bronx Bombers according to Yanks GM Brian Cashman. Cashman wans't exaggerating either. The Rangers outplayed the Yankees in every facet of the game including outhitting them by a hundred points (3.01 to 2.01). Final score: Rangers ($64,810,570) 4, Yankees ($213,359,389) 2.
The Yankees did lose Mark Teixeira midway through Game 4 but his .000/.176/.000 line in the series wasn't exactly lighting the world on fire. A-Rod wanted no part of defeating his former team, hitting for just a .190/.320/.286 line while continuing his anticlutch ways. Derek Jeter was a shell of his post season self and put up a .231/.286/.423 line. Don't worry though, Minka, the Yankees will still give him a shiny new $20 million per year contract.
Speaking of Yankee off-season spending. The Yankees are sure to open up the YES Network's pocketbooks and attack the free agent market with a vengeance. Cliff Lee should be the top priority but prying him away from Texas will probably start around $150 million. The Yanks will most likely be in on the bidding for Carl Crawford or Jayson Werth. Either one of those contracts should be around $100 million (more than that for Crawford, less for Werth). It makes some sense too considering Curtis Granderson is strictly a platoon player (hits lefties with his eyes closed) and Brett Gardner is, dare I say it, their only everyday outfielder.
Of course, everybody assumes those are the moves the Yankees will pursue. One I haven't really heard about is Rafael Soriano. The Rays closer stayed healthy and was down right filthy. The Yanks could use some more bullpen help after ruining the career of Joba Chamberlain and Kerry Wood is an injury time bomb. Soriano will be looking for closer money and a closer role but I'd bet he'd take a big pile of cash from the Yankees. Even if the Yanks don't pursue Soriano, you can count on their ever expansive payroll to continue to grow during the Hot Stove League. Good news Pirates, more free money!
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