Why the Yankees' offseason has been far from disappointing
These aren’t the George Steinbrenner Yankees; they’re the Hal Steinbrenner Yankees. And that has never been more obvious than this offseason, which has featured zero flashy signings by the Yankees (unless you include Pete Kozma). New York isn’t haphazardly throwing money at free agents the way it once did, but that’s hardly cause for concern. In fact, the Yankees’ offseason has been a success. Here’s why the critics should zip it. -- Chris Bahr
This was a playoff team in 2015, and easily could be again
Sure, the Yankees finished six games behind the division-champion Blue Jays last season, but they still earned a wild-card berth. And the AL East appears to be up for grabs this season, with Toronto likely coming back to the pack, the last-place Red Sox much improved, and the Orioles and Rays realistically good enough to contend. It isn’t as if New York is tanking.
Getty ImagesAl Bello
They quietly continue to get younger
In what could prove to be an absolute steal of a deal, New York acquired 25-year-old second baseman Starlin Castro from the Cubs. Flash-forward to the 2017 season when Castro should join shortstop Didi Gregorius (also currently 25) and first baseman Greg Bird (23) in the starting infield. Castro is under team control through 2020, Gregorius (pictured, right) through 2019 and Bird (pictured, left) through 2021. And that’s just the infield. Don’t forget right-hander Luis Severino (21), outfield acquisition Aaron Hicks (26) and prized outfield prospect Aaron Judge (23), among others.
Getty ImagesMitchell Layton
They just bolstered an already dominant bullpen
The trio of (left to right) Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman can mask any rotation deficiencies, effectively turning any game into a six-inning affair. Among relievers with at least 60 innings pitched last season, this trio ranked 1-2-3 in strikeouts per nine innings (Chapman at 15.7, Miller at 14.6, Betances at 14.0). Each also had a sparkling ERA and WHIP.
They are set up wonderfully for free-agent class of 2018
Even fans of small-market teams don’t want to hear about how great things will be two years from now, but the Yankees are positioned to strike big when the likes of Bryce Harper, David Price, Zack Greinke, Clayton Kershaw, Andrew McCutchen, Josh Donaldson, Jason Heyward, Manny Machado, Matt Harvey and Jose Fernandez, among others, potentially hit the market. At that point, Mark Teixeira, CC Sabathia, Carlos Beltran and Alex Rodriguez all will be off the Yankees’ payroll. By not spending now, the Yankees can spend big later.
MLB Photos via Getty ImagesRob Tringali
They have the resources to make an in-season deal
The primary concern remains the rotation, which is loaded with injury/inconsistency questions in Masahiro Tanaka (pictured, right), Ivan Nova, Michael Pineda, CC Sabathia (pictured, left) and even Nathan Eovaldi. If disaster strikes and a need develops, New York can swing a deal or two for a starting pitcher. It could mean sacrificing a prospect or even a bullpen piece, but the Yankees will have the means to make it happen.