In their final year at Yankee Stadium, the Yankees failed to qualify for the postseason for the first time since 1993, ending the longest such stretch in baseball. The Yankees got next to nothing out of Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy, two young pitchers who were to be keys to 2008.
Moving across the street to a new ballpark, the Yankees will reap still more revenue and indications are, unlike the past few offseasons, they intend to flex their fiscal might again.
The Yankees need starting pitching, especially if Andy Pettitte and Mike Mussina don't return. They could use another run producer, perhaps at first base, and would do well to upgrade their defense in center field.
Mussina has indicated to friends that he expects to retire. Pettitte might want two years to come back. Abreu wishes to return and probably will. Giambi would have to take a massive pay cut in order to return.
Two underachieving everyday players -- second baseman Robinson Cano and center fielder Melky Cabrera -- could be had, though both have seen their market value sink after poor seasons. Unlike last year, the Yanks would probably include a prized young starter if they could land a power bat at first or a front-line starter.
Relief prospect Mark Melancon could see some action in the bullpen before long. Outfielder Austin Jackson is perhaps the most intriguing position player, but needs additional time to develop.
The Yankees would be satisfied if some of their other young pitchers (Kennedy, Hughes, etc.) stayed healthy and contributed more at the major league level.
This will be a significant offseason for the Yankees. Given their resources, they'll be able to outspend 29 other teams for free agents. If they choose wisely and fill two holes in the starting rotation and improve their defense in the outfield and at first base, they can be a playoff threat again.
Sean McAdam of the Boston Herald covers baseball for ESPN.com.