It’s safe to say if the New York Yankees don’t act this offseason, the fan base’s rage will go from a boil to a fury.
Does “act” mean blowing the competition out of the water, tossing out haphazard high-dollar contracts? Not necessarily.
It does mean securing a star shortstop and not stopping there, though. There are plenty of holes and pain points on this roster that was supposed to run away with the American League last season, and half-measures won’t cut it with the Red Sox ahead of schedule, Toronto threatening to rampage, and Tampa Bay still dominating (the regular season only).
If the Yankees don’t complete the set this offseason, there’ll be hell to pay. At least former GM Jim Bowden set the bar extremely high this week in The Athletic, when he made it clear he believes the Yanks will be looking to plug every hole in an offseason massacre.
Now, the last time Bowden pitched an offseason plan, it literally involved “Miguel Andújar and Clint Frazier for top Marlins starter Pablo Lopez,” a parody of a trade proposal. Everything he says has to be taken with a grain of salt.
If this really is Brian Cashman’s stated mandate for the offseason, though, fans should be optimistic.
Brian Cashman’s rumored offseason could remake the Yankees.
A shortstop and a center field improvement (Starling Marte?) and a catching fix and a starter? Yeah, that’ll work, thanks.
This is by no means an assurance of success, but it’s at least an indicator the Yankees don’t feel settled at many of their critical positions, banking on 100 bounce backs instead of doing the work.
Now, words are one thing. Action is another. And words from a completely unaffiliated source are the least impactful type of words ahead of this pivotal few months.
If the Yankees were truly interested in upgrading at catcher, would they really have allowed the Tigers to move on Tucker Barnhart seconds after the curtain came up? It’s fair to question the lethargy there. However, objectively, there’s much more risk in dumping Gary Sánchez than there is in insuring the center field position and assuming Aaron Hicks will never be healthy/as effective ever again with any consistency.
Marte would be a home run, and would also be a high-dollar addition to an unimpeachable level. If the Yankees walked into 2022 with both Seager/Correa and Marte, you wouldn’t be able to deny they’d made a major effort to overhaul their profile.
Of course, if this slow offseason results in another trickle and an Anthony Rizzo return (first base not mentioned by Bowden, for what it’s worth), you can use this article as yet another disappointing phony blueprint.