During the offseason, when fans finally realized the New York Yankees would certainly be remaining under the luxury tax threshold, many figured some odd moves would be coming.
Things are a lot different when you’re working with a severely limited budget. And the Yankees didn’t have much wiggle room with all the money they already had committed to 2021.
There’s was only so much that could be done after picking up Zack Britton’s option, signing Corey Kluber to an $11 million contract, trading for Jameson Taillon, re-upping with DJ LeMahieu on a $90 million deal, among other moves.
The Yankees, despite heading into a year with significant championship aspirations, couldn’t spend like they’d typically been used to because of the restrictions enforced by ownership. So that forced Cashman to rely on some shaky in-house options and make some tertiary decisions that no doubt had fans scratching their heads.
Now, over three weeks into the season, it’s certainly possible we can see these additions paying off once October rolls around, whether these guys help us get there or are full-fledged contributors during the playoffs.
These three questionable moves could help the Yankees in October.
3. Backing Domingo Germán
Many fans rightfully questioned why the organization had stood in Domingo Germán’s corner as long as it did.
The right-hander was placed on administrative leave in Sept. of 2019 and was subsequently suspended under MLB’s domestic violence policy, which kept him out of action for all of 2020.
Along the way came some puzzling behavior on social media, no apology to the fans or Yankees (until the very last moment, and it was a bad one), and teammates calling out the fact that they weren’t exactly thrilled they had to share a locker room with Germán based on the allegations that had surfaced.
Nonetheless, he’s here, and he’s a Yankee. After two lackluster outings, which led to him being optioned to the alternate site, Germán returned this week and logged a quality outing against the Cleveland Indians in a much-needed victory for the Bombers.
Will he remain the team’s fifth starter? We don’t know. If he does, his presence would give the Yankees good rotation depth in October. If he doesn’t, he’ll at least provide the Yankees with an arm to hopefully eat innings along the way. The pitching staff is going to need all the help it can get in this 162-game campaign. Whether Germán stays or paves the way for Deivi Garcia, his role could end up being important.