Let's close out this surprisingly quiet (and weird, I think) off-season for the Yankees with the latest from the Bronx. First, Buster Olney is ranking the club as having the overall 3rd-best lineup, the true implications of the A-Rod contract finally hit home, the IRS is looking for Hal's pocket change, Pinstripe Alley looks at the bullpen as a surprising source of strength on the team, and reactions to the Andruw Jones signing range from "meh" to "shrug," depending on where the writer holds words like "value" and "cost."
Olney Ranks Yankees 3rd Overall Best Lineup - ESPN (Insider)
"This may well be the year that Robinson Cano hits third, where he belongs, right behind MVP candidate Curtis Granderson and right ahead of Mark Teixeira. The depth around this group is staggering -- from Alex Rodriguez to Nick Swisher to Derek Jeter to Brett Gardner to the polished Jesus Montero. It's a relentless lineup that generated 50 more walks last season than any other team."
Yankees, Alex Rodriguez have six painful years left on big contract as injuries mount - NY Daily News
"Now the question, after four straight injury-marred seasons, isn’t just whether A-Rod will get near Bonds’ record but whether he can play anywhere near his superstar level of old."
IRS sues Yankees' Hal Steinbrenner over tax refund - BusinessWeek
"The Internal Revenue Service is suing New York Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner over what it calls an "erroneous" tax refund of more than $670,000."
What a Relief: Is Bullpen the Answer to Yanks’ Questionable Rotation? - Pinstripe Alley
"Even if the Yankees enter the 2012 season with the rotation as it exists today, the team's starter do not seem to be in jeopardy of being added to any of the ignominous lists mentioned above. However, the bullpen could end up making its mark with a very positive accomplishment. Undoubtedly, Brian Cashman will continue to search for a quality upgrade in the rotation, but even if one is not forthcoming, the entirety of the team's pitching staff could be more than capable of another very successful season. "
New York Yankees, Andruw Jones Agree To Deal - MLB Daily Dish
After a rough start in 2011, Jones finished the season strong with the Yankees hitting .291/.416/.612 in the second half. Jones, 34, got most of his playing time against southpaws and proved his worth - hitting .263/.367/.553 against lefties. The 34-year-old will have the same role in 2012, coming off the bench and getting starts in the outfield almost exclusively against lefties.
- Yankees re-sign Andruw Jones - It's About The Money
"I’m going to be in the minority on this, but I’m not really a fan of bringing Jones back. Jones is a platoon hitter at this stage of his career who’s good against left-handed pitching, but the Yankees as a team are stronger against southpaws, and while Jones was able to provide good value last year thanks to Jorge Posada‘s struggles against lefties, Jesus Montero figures to slot in as the primary DH this year, which should mean less of a chance for Jones to get in the lineup outside of platooning with Brett Gardner in left."
- Yankees Bringing Back Andruw Jones In 2012 - Baseball Nation | Rob Neyer
"...but $2 million means nothing to the Yankees, even on their tight budget. They had a roster spot to fill and they already know Andruw Jones and there aren't a lot of useful outfielders on the market, so ... this happened. And I'm willing to bet good money that if the Yanks need another $2 million down the road, the Steinbrothers will dig around in the sofa cushions in the rumpus room and find it."
- Yankees Re-Sign Andruw Jones - NYTimes.com
"The Yankees re-signed the veteran starter Freddy Garcia last month to a one-year deal to round out a possible starting five of C. C. Sabathia, Ivan Nova, A. J. Burnett and Phil Hughes. But otherwise, the Yankees have been uncharacteristically quiet this off-season, opting to re-sign free agents who were with them last season rather than test the market."
- New York Yankees Notes: Nakajima, Andruw Jones, Eric Chavez, A-Rod - MLB Daily Dish
After locking up CC Sabathia long-term, the New York Yankees haven't made much noise following the extension. Let's take a look at the latest news out of the Bronx.