Will the Yankees really cry poor and claim DJ LeMahieu AND Zack Britton are too luxurious for their blood?
We thought we knew every trick in the Yankees’ budget handbook by now, but when the team finally made the expenditure we’d all been clamoring for in Dec. 2019 when Gerrit Cole joined the family, we kind of believed those days were over.
No more “The Injured Players Returning Will Be the Real Acquisitions.” No more “We Need the Luxury Tax Money for Spring Training Ballpark Improvements.”
Then, the pandemic hit, and we knew that somehow, even though every person, place or thing on this planet was affected by the economic downturn, the Yankees would pretend they were the only ones suffering hardships, even with an entire league of smaller-market teams around them.
So don’t be stunned when Luis Severino is the deadline acquisition. Don’t feign shock when “the kids are ready” to replace Masahiro Tanaka. And definitely, definitely, definitely stay on your feet when Andy Martino tries to explain that picking up Zack Britton’s option and re-signing DJ LeMahieu is possible, but only if some other core member of the roster gets exiled.
Sure. Yeah. Great.
Britton’s option, which has to be triggered now to ensure he stays in New York at $27 million total through 2022, could also be declined, at which point the man himself would have to quickly decide if he even wants to be here next year. Safe to say, Britton could make more elsewhere with a longer guarantee if the Yankees foolishly decline to keep him in place for the next two seasons.
LeMahieu, of course, will be more costly, but neither will be prohibitively damaging! You can probably get the safe-at-home DJ to re-up for three or four years at $20 million-ish per season. $33 total million, with so much money coming off the books all around the roster, is no reason at all to have to start forcibly trading other pieces to the roster.
Unless they, say, Adam Ottavino. That we could get on board with, honestly.
Get ready for an exceptionally annoying offseason, Yankees fans, where we’ll be forced to choose between integral parts of the roster all for the glorification of Hal Steinbrenner’s massive ego.
Should be fun.