When I got off the plane from New York, I wondered if I might be kicked out of the Indianapolis airport for not wearing a Peyton Manning jersey. They were everywhere. It’s a nice airport, though. Not that it matters, but it’s a nice place.
Now that I’m here, I’ll say that I tend to agree with Sam’s picks for the most important things the Yankees need to accomplish during these Winter Meetings.
The rotation should be the highest priority of the offseason, but that’s a multi-step process. The Yankees have to check on Andy Pettitte, evaluate the trade market for Roy Halladay (and maybe some others), make a decision on Chien-Ming Wang, figure out how much John Lackey will make on the open market and possibly kick the tires on some risk/reward types like Ben Sheets and Rich Harden. A rotation solution might present itself in these next four days, but I wouldn’t be shocked if it were slow to develop. Here and now, the Yankees rotation priority is surely keeping a pulse on the Halladay situation.
In theory, left field could be solved quickly. If this free agent market is deep at any one position, it’s left field (the third base crop was pretty deep, but it’s becoming thinner by the day). Bringing back Johnny Damon makes a lot of sense — he fits well in that lineup, serves as a nice bridge to the potential emergence of Austin Jackson — but only on a short-term deal. If that’s not going to happen, the Yankees have to move on. They owe it to themselves to check on Matt Holliday and Jason Bay, though I don’t see either one coming to New York (not to the Bronx anyway).
Everything else is secondary, even designated hitter and certainly the bullpen and bench. Indy might be a good place to check on what it will take to bring Hideki Matsui back — apparently that conversation is going to happen — but the rotation and left field should be the Yankees priorities.