When it comes to the New York Yankees and predicting free agent activity this offseason, so far every single prediction has been incorrect.
But some are wrong-er than others, and the latest set of Sports Illustrated’s predictions for their revised top 25 free agents are leaving a little something to be desired.
As you’d expect, at this point, most of the top unsigned names aren’t connected to the Yanks whatsoever — and hey, we’d predict the same thing!
These rankers have Carlos Correa going to the Tigers despite the presence of Javier Baez, something they haven’t wavered on since their initial predictions were published. They’ve got Trevor Story to the Astros, a deviation from their initial prediction of the “Rangers,” which is basically the only team we can confidently say he’s not going to.
The rankings only serve to further bother Yankee fans from there. Carlos Rodón to Boston, Freddie Freeman back to Atlanta, Kyle Schwarber to the Dodgers …
When you finally do arrive at the Yankees, SI’s panel has them receiving a pair of signings. One’s entirely expected: Anthony Rizzo, welcome back to pinstripes.
The other? On paper, it makes no sense. With nuance factored in, it makes somewhere below no sense? The amount of sense “Zack Greinke to the Yankees” makes is buried below the ground.
Sorry, Zack Greinke and the New York Yankees? No.
It doesn’t take much to dispel this fit, but we’ll take a pause and do it.
First, before we examine the mythology, the 38-year-old Greinke was not his old self last year, unable to eat innings as the season dragged on, and posting a 4.16 ERA in 171 total innings (120 strikeouts) before becoming completely unpitchable in October. He’s not exactly a reliable source of above-average innings at this point.
Now, for the more complex stuff. Greinke has long battled an anxiety disorder, and has never been steered towards New York City because of it. Why now? Why would he choose to end his career here? It seems more likely he’d choose simply to end it entirely.
It was just two years ago that the Bleacher Creatures greeted his ALCS start with a sing-song “DONALD!” chant to mock his given name, then got nastier as the booze flowed more freely. In terms of a culture clash, there arguably isn’t a worse one in the game.
Oh, and according to Bob Nightengale, he’d rather sign with a National League team this offseason anyway, for whatever reason.
The veteran has never been one to hold court in the locker room, and has given no indication he’d have any intention of feeding the New York media the juicy nuggets they subsist on. It’s more likely he’d become an immediate pariah rather than a playoff hero, especially based on the steam he lost in his most recent full season. It’s also not something he seems to want to try at all.
But, other than that, spot-on pick, SI.