We have heard about the Yankees’ desire to get their payroll under $189M by 2014 for some time now. Personally, I love it. Don’t get me wrong though, if there is an absolute pressing matter at a certain position, then the Yankees should go out and acquire that player. Signing C.C. Sabathia is an example of a very expensive yet very smart signing during the winter of 2008.
Since the off season began, all I have heard from this fan base is consistent complaining about Free Agent after Free Agent getting passed over by the Yankees. There were a few impact players that could have been had, but their signing would not have made sense. Committing albatross contracts to Zack Greinke or Josh Hamilton would have been bad moves, and re-upping Nick Swisher for four years would have been as well. I love Swish, and besides his postseason performances, am glad he was a Yankee for four years, but it was time to move on. Soriano had an amazing season in 2012 but with Mo coming back and the Yankees’ plethora of high end relief prospects, giving him three or four years would have been a mistake.
The only complaint that had some merit was letting Russell Martin walk. Outside of September, he was a black hole in the lineup and his defense is overrated. I would have understood the reasons for signing him but I also understand the reasons for not doing so. Gary Sanchez is not close to being ready to take over the catching duties, Austin Romine cannot stay healthy, and J.R. Murphy still has to prove himself at AA. As it currently stands Chris Stewart and Francisco Cervelli are the catchers. I’m not thrilled with that duo but I’d prefer that they roll the dice with those two. People tend to forget that the catcher is not known for his offensive prowess. Jorge Posada’s presence in the lineup for so many years has clouded fans’ assessment of the position’s requirements.
Outside of the few impact players, this Free Agent class consists of mediocrity. Could guys like George Kottaras, Scott Hairston, Cody Ross, and Nate Schierholz have helped? Sure. Are they players worth getting upset about signing elsewhere though? No. So for the life of me, I cannot understand why so many fans are. I have heard fans questioning Cashman’s desire to win. I have even heard fans say that the Steinbrenner sons should sell the team. Seriously. Spending a ton of money is not always the answer. Sometimes standing pat is the right move to make. Knee-jerk reactionary spending is the reason that the Yankees are currently in this position.
Personally, I am looking forward to the 2013 season more than previous ones because there are question marks. For me, this makes the season more interesting because we have no idea what is going to happen. I know that no matter how stacked a team is, the unexpected can still happen, but you still have a pretty good idea what will. I hope the days of excessive spending are truly over & this is not just a short-term goal because over the past few years, it does not feel like I am watching baseball. It feels more like a corporation securing highly paid assets to further increase their own revenue stream.