This offseason has been different for New York Yankees fans. Rather than being big spenders, they’ve cut in some places in order to position themselves under the self-imposed $189 million salary cap. Many thought the Yankees would make a splash at the Winter Meetings in Nashville, but alas it was reported that GM Brian Cashman wasn’t able to make such decisions, and as a result, they lost Russell Martin to the Pittsburgh Pirates on a deal that wasn’t very far-fetched. Couple that with signing Ichiro Suzuki to a two-year deal to take over right field duties left vacant by the now-departed Nick Swisher, and you have a recipe of confusion in Yankeeland.
However, if there is one thing Cashman has stressed this entire offseason, it’s been patience. In a recent article from Bryan Hoch of MLB.com, Cashman reiterated that stance and continued by saying that pulling back on the reigns and then striking might be in the Yankees best interest going forward:
“I think patience is a virtue, and it’s something we’ve learned can be used effectively. It’s a harder road to walk, but sometimes it’s not the worst road to walk. Sometimes you’ve got to wait for the right time and the right place to strike.”
This offseason the Yankees have lost out on many free agents that they were previously linked to. Players such as Jeff Keppinger, Josh Hamilton, and Cody Ross to name a few, have signed elsewhere while the Yankees became stingier with their cash. One avenue the Yankees are excelling in lately is their propensity to obtain veteran talent, the seemingly over-the-hill players who play out their last days with the Yankees.
“I think we’ve improved our pro scouting network, and I think we’ve improved our evaluation of statistical data streams. It puts us in a position to make informed decisions and much more comfortable knowing what is really available, and what you can expect from those players if you sign them and what you’d be comfortable paying them.”
Players who fall under this category include Bartolo Colon, Freddy Garcia, Eric Chavez and Ichiro. Each have been good to great while donning the pinstripes. This new approach is likely to continue in the Bronx, as the Yankees look for cheap talent to surround their old and expensive players. One can only hope that the Yankees haven’t gone to the well too many times with re-treads or haven’t gotten too cheap to field a championship ballclub.