You may have noticed I have been quiet this week. That’s because I have been away from the action and on the road. Luckily, my colleagues here at Yanks Go Yard had knockout Winter Meetings coverage, so I was able to keep up with all the days’ news and events with their nonstop, around the clock coverage. It seems there wasn’t much to keep up on from a New York Yankees standpoint. In fact, Brian Cashman and myself had something very much in common this week: neither of us contributed squat to the Yankees.
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That’s not fair to Nick Noonan. That was the lone “big” move the Yankees made during the Meetings. With glaring holes that only grew bigger at third base, second base, right field and the starting rotation, the Yankees lone move was to sign a 25-year-old utility man with 105 career at-bats. What is going on, New York? The Bronx is boiling and I need to blow some steam.
WHY WERE THE YANKEES SO QUIET AT THE WINTER MEETINGS
I guess there were positives to take away from the Winter Meetings. The biggest news for the Yankees was that they didn’t re-sign David Robertson. The Yankees brought in Andrew Miller for $10 million cheaper and their bullpen won’t miss a beat. Both moves are a bit peculiar. Miller is a nice piece and the Yankees had to know they weren’t going to make a move on D-Rob, but with Jacob Lindgren waiting in the wings, you have to wonder why they brought aboard a lefty arm for four years.
Robertson was a guy who had a nice amount of saves and a great amount of strikeouts, but walked a lot of batters for a “lights out” closer, blew five saves and had an ERA over three. Even if the Yankees are now closer-by-committee, D-Rob was expendable and they won’t lose a step.
Making no moves in the outfield is understandable. Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury are locked in, and unfortunately so is Carlos Beltran. Having already re-signed Chris Young as the fourth outfielder, there wasn’t room for another outfielder to simply sign to the squad, but it seemed like some improvement was needed there. That, however, was the least of the Yankees concerns.
Not doing anything to beef up the infield (no disrespect Mr. Noonan) was also a bit perplexing but they have their hands tied with the long term deal that Alex Rodriguez signed. The big move made Friday before the Meetings officially started was a good one. Bringing in Didi Gregorius officially (hopefully) ended the Stephen Drew era before it really got any speed. It built false encouragement that Cashman and the Yankees were heading to San Diego ready to make some big moves, but alas, the Yanks have the same infield issues as before.
It appears evident now that the Yanks will allow Rob Refsnyder and Jose Pirela to duke it out for second base, which I love. They seem intent on not giving Chase Headley four years, so they are hoping a platoon of Martin Prado and A-Rod can hold things down at the hot corner. Again, it would have been great to see an upgrade, but with the money they have allocated and the fact that they actually have some major league ready prospects, this isn’t the end of the world.
Nor did anything come out of the Rule V Draft. Well, as far as draft picks. The good news is that Kyle Roller and Mark Montgomery weren’t snagged up, so the Yankees have a chance to keep them in the system. Montgomery had a down season, but he showed some stuff in the past. Roller keeps a legitimate back-up first baseman at the ready. Neither should be considered elite prospects but both are nice to have around.
The really discouraging part was that nothing was addressed in the starting rotation. Not even a full year removed from losing 80 percent of their starters, they sat back and watched two of the unsung heroes who stepped in leave. C.C. Sabathia, Ivan Nova and Michael Pineda are huge question marks with their health. Masahiro Tanaka has health issues as well, but I personally think he will be okay.
Whether this new fiscal responsibility is the New Yankees Way or not, Max Scherzer, as much as I want in pinstripes, was not the only alternative. If the Yankees don’t want another $200 million dollar contract on their hands, that’s fine, and we as Yankees fans will have to deal with it, but there were plenty of other lower budget options that Yankees fans may not have liked, but would have sufficed. Mat Latos was traded to the Marlins for Chad Wallach and Anthony DeSclafani. I’m not saying the Yankees would have wanted to deal an Ian Clarkin or Gary Sanchez type to get a Latos, I’m simply saying there were solid options available that were of lesser cost to bring in to the system.
We, as fans, watched the Yankees leave San Diego with very little resolution as to where this team is heading in 2015. We have to hope that with Brandon McCarthy and Shane Greene now off the roster, it meant that they were opening a hole to back a big splash at Max Scherzer, or at the very least James Shields (please be Scherzer). Whatever the case is, Brian Cashman, who has taken years of abuse for the wrong moves, is about to take some for making none.