The New York Yankees had their chances this offseason. They really did. And we told you. How many times did we tell you? We don’t want to be those guys, but there are a number of players elsewhere we had suggested that are, of course, doing better than most players on the Yankees right now.
With all of the injuries (which were to be expected!) and continued struggles (which were also kind of to be expected!), the Yankees are really hurting for reinforcements right now and fans are calling for heads despite the fact New York still has a winning record.
But it’s not good enough. It’s never good enough, unfortunately. For what’s projected, prognosticated and expected of this team, possessing a bottom-of-the-league offense and lack of depth in the starting rotation just isn’t acceptable.
OK, so Hal Steinbrenner has general manager Brian Cashman under a strict budget, huh? Well guess what?! There were plenty of free agents out there who didn’t carry a prohibitive price tag. And even if they did, all that meant was trimming the fat elsewhere.
But some of these decisions would’ve meant cutting ties with players the organization still believed in or didn’t want to judge based on the shortened 2020 campaign. Unfortunately, the Yankees aren’t bold like that.
Maybe sometimes it’s good to be bold! Hopefully this serves as a lesson for next time around … whenever that may be.
These four offseason signings the Yankees passed on could’ve saved the 2021 roster.
4. Michael Brantley
The Yankees have now missed out on Michael Brantley twice. They could’ve signed him after the 2018 season to add another lefty and heavy contact bat the lineup, but instead they let him sign with the Astros at just $16 million per season.
Think that’s too much? Well, it’s not. In 235 career games with the Astros during his age-32 to -34 seasons, he’s slashing .308/.366/.489 with 137 runs scored, 30 home runs and 127 RBI. This year, though he’s just hit the IL, he’s hitting .305 with an .801 OPS. Twenty-five runs scored, three homers and 15 RBI.
Guess where his average would rank on the Yankees? First. Guess where his OPS would rank? Third. And most importantly, he would’ve offered versatility since the Bombers are struggling to find lefty at-bats after Aaron Hicks’ season-ending injury in addition to the lackluster play from Brett Gardner and Rougned Odor. Remember Jay Bruce? HA! Mike Tauchman is in San Fran. Mike Ford is back at Triple-A.
Once again, Houston re-signed Brantley to the same two-year contract this offseason. And they have the top offense in MLB.