I would point out that:
1. Ryan has not proven a thing under pressure. Closing for the O's is hardly what you would call playoff tested. Still, he is the best option available to replace an overpriced choke artist like Gordon. Let Gordon walk and sign Ryan imo. Younger, better and a lefty to boot.
Also, while you can say the bullpen needs fixing, this seems to be the mantra every year. Since 2002 actually. The list of clowns they have tried to fix the pen is so long you can't possibly remember them all. Why would you expect them to finally get their heads out of the a**es?...the same clowns that got Witasik, Heredia, Gabe White, Embree and others.
2. Pierre could be had cheaply right now. He had a pretty lousy year though and is hardly ideal.
Damon is a FA and will cost about 4 yrs/40M to get. And his arm is lame.
Something needs to be done with CF. Thinking you can get by with scrubs is what Cashman did in 05...with Bernie and later with Womack. It is folly. You do not need a superstar, but a decent player needs to be acquired imo. WHo that is I do not know, but depending on a rookie who just hit AAA is not something that should be done. Someone who can at least play defense and hit 270 20/80 needs to be found.
3. Signing Matsui is a given.
4. Losing Womack, Bernie, Brown, Tino, Bellhorn, Franklin, Proctor, Embree, Leiter, Lawton, May, Nomo, Redding, Sanchez are also givens.
5. The starting pitching will be a major problem in 06 no matter what they do barring some sort of miraculous resurrenge by two guys (Moose and RJ) who are obviously on the serious decline and/or Pavano finding a way to stay healthy. Don't be surprised if they have a rotation of RJ, Moose, Chacon, Wang and Small for most of next season too. Morris or Burnett are the only two name pitchers available and neithe ris a good gamble at this point imo.
6. Why is george waiting to fire Cahman and Stottlmeyer?...they should have been told to get lost last night...actually they both should have been canned after the 2003 WS debacle. And why Conners and Newman are still around is one of the great mysteries of the universe.
7. It may not seem like a priority now, but Giambi remains a bomb waiting to go off...an injury waiting to happen. He should become the DH and the Yanks should look for yet another 1b to fix the problem. Tino Martinez is NOT the answer. It is time to make Giambi the permanent DH and find a permanent 1b that can play every day without you having to worry about his knee giving out. And it can only improve the defense moving Giambi to the DH slot.
8. Posada is on the Piazza track to catching trash. His contract is up after 06 and he likely will not be retained. It would be best for the Yanks to look to deal him now while guys like Ramon Hernanedez and Molina are free agents. Never happen, but is there really a reason why a now mediocre hitting, poor glove, bad-with the pitchers C needs to be retained past his prime?