From the people who brought you “The NL East is Over!” in May, we now have a non-New York Yankees fan telling us what the expectations should be for the New York Yankees. SNY’s Sal Licata has done it again. His sports theater is second to only Stephen A. Smith.
SNY, a television station owned by Steve Cohen and the New York Mets, clearly has its bias. As we all do. But this one’s obvious. Remember the Aaron Judge-Edwin Diaz MVP debate earlier in 2022? How about all the fun-poking at Gerrit Cole for being the “third-best” pitcher in New York?
This time, Licata had an outrageous claim that the Yankees are falling behind the rest of New York’s teams in regard to “exceeding expectations.”
At any other juncture, most Yankees fans would probably agree! But in an offseason where they retained Aaron Judge for $360 million, brought in Carlos Rodón for $162 million, and upgraded the bullpen with the addition of Tommy Kahnle ($11.5 million), how is that “lagging behind”?
Licata obviously — so obviously! — pointed to the Mets and Cohen going nuclear in free agency. That’s $315 million to Carlos Correa (still pending)! $162 million to Brandon Nimmo! $102 million to Edwin Diaz! $86 million to Justin Verlander! $75 million to Kodai Senga! $26 million to Jose Quintana! $14.5 million to Adam Ottavino! $10 million to David Robertson!
Sal Licata ripping Yankees while comparing them to Mets is idiotic
By no means is this a critique of what the Mets have done this offseason … but Cohen spending out of his rear end just to maintain the status quo falls under “exceeding expectations,” Sal?
Correa was the only extraneous addition. Verlander replaced deGrom. Nimmo, Diaz and Ottavino assumed their posts. Senga replaced Chris Bassitt. Quintana replaced Taijuan Walker. Robertson replaced Seth Lugo. Just because the Yankees didn’t have an absurd amount of in-house free agents and few areas to truly upgrade doesn’t mean they’re failing to act properly.
Again, you’d probably be a hero for saying this any other offseason. But retaining Judge was a gigantic move that was far from a certainty. Paying top dollar for Rodón after sitting out on so many free agents in years past set a different tone. The Yankees are already getting ripped by the haters because of Judge’s nine-year deal and giving a $27 million AAV deal to Rodón, who has never pitched more than 178 innings in a season. What, adding Andrew Benintendi on a $75 million deal would’ve changed the perspective here?
Licata claimed the Yankees aren’t living up to the “Yankee Standard” because third base and left field are still technically question marks. He doesn’t think the belief in Oswald Peraza/Anthony Volpe taking over shortstop is good enough. And yet, this roster is right on par with the Mets’ crew! So, what’s worse? Spending shrewdly on known commodities you’re willing to go the extra mile on to ensure continuity and upgrades … or spending recklessly to keep spirits high, without being entirely sold on a better product?
Just because the Yankees aren’t spending like the Mets at this very moment doesn’t mean they’re disappointing. We’ll leave that up to the result on the field come 2023.