It’s quite possible the New York Yankees spend outside of their means this offseason. They need to keep Aaron Judge on a deal that will more than likely exceed $330 million, and then upgrade around him after that. Even owner Hal Steinbrenner admitted that as truth.
But the Yankees aren’t going to black out and wake up with multiple $30-$40 million AAV commitments in their bed (on their payroll). The “extra” spending will undoubtedly be calculated, just like the “aggressive” spending always is, regardless of the payroll flexibility.
So when you’re hearing the Yankees have “checked in” on guys like Trea Turner, Carlos Correa, Xander Bogaerts and Jacob deGrom, please view that as nothing more than general manager Brian Cashman doing his due diligence to merely see what the pricing is compared to the second tier of free agents in the same pool.
Most recently, the Yankees requested deGrom’s medicals, which appeared to be a step further than merely gauging loose interest, but it’s important for fans not to get too caught up in any of this.
The Yankees, last offseason, were hesitant to spend more than $213.5 million on Judge after citing his injury “history” … and now all of a sudden they’re going to pay a pitcher in deGrom, who famously can’t stay on the field, a similar AAV? It’s just not happening.
Yankees Rumors: Interest in Jacob deGrom is nothing more than background work
The Yankees “checked in” on Correa last offseason and deemed him too expensive. The Yankees were “in” on Justin Verlander until he wanted more than what they offered. They were even discussing Marcus Semien, but wouldn’t give him a seven-year contract, which is what he was searching for.
Now, with the payroll already at $215 million before a potential commitment to Judge, another starting pitcher, bullpen help and a left fielder, on what planet does anybody think they’ll be able to “get their way” in talks with deGrom, who might command up to $50 million a year? There will more than likely be upgrades, but not of this magnitude, especially for someone like deGrom, who has made just 37 starts since the beginning of 2020 and doesn’t do much to change the Yankees trajectory at this very moment.
Plus, deGrom still “remains a priority” for the Mets, who were believed to have violated the CBA in speaking with the Yankees about possibly pursuing Judge in free agency. Don’t you think, if that happened, there was some sort of “mutual” agreement on a fellow franchise legend like deGrom?
But last of all … the Yankees probably need starting pitching the least. And if they need any kind of starter, it’s someone who will be somewhat cost-effective for the next 4-5 years since they’re slated to lose Luis Severino and Frankie Montas after 2023. Another question mark in the health department for the top-end of the rotation won’t maximize the Yankees’ needs.
The Yankees almost need to be “involved” on the deGrom front to be considered a big-market team. And that’s probably the extent of it, so don’t be holding your breath waiting for this to happen.