Every New York Yankees fan knows the reason behind this team's struggles, and it's the manner in which the roster was constructed. It all started with the Giancarlo Stanton trade in 2017 and it's continued with ill-advised moves, such as the Josh Donaldson trade, the extensions for Aaron Hicks and Luis Severino, and the continued faith in Gleyber Torres, among many other things.
It's all become more and more evident with Aaron Judge out of the lineup. The Yankees rank 30th in every major offensive category without the reigning MVP, and flashes of competence here and there won't change the overall opinion of the team.
It feels like each and every offseason we can pinpoint a handful of specific moves that have either set the team back or didn't properly prepare them for October baseball, which is disheartening because last year's 99-win team shouldn't have turned into whatever this is. Then again, fans all saw the fatal flaws with the 2022 squad, so are we really surprised?
General manager Brian Cashman did it again, though, and every dope on their couch can easily pinpoint what offseason decisions have cost the Yankees so far during what was supposed to be a promising 2023 campaign.
4 offseason decisions the Yankees are paying for right now
Expedited Decision on Anthony Volpe
Though many of us were in support of this and Volpe has since turned it around after having his boys over for some chicken parm, the Yankees once again failed to execute. If they believed in Anthony Volpe that much, they'd better have had the proper system(s) in place to ensure his development and growth at the next level.
A somewhat promising April has led to Volpe somehow becoming one of the worst full-time players in baseball up until a couple weeks ago. Is it Dillon Lawson's fault? Is it the front office's fault for jumping the gun too early on Volpe, who had limited Triple-A experience? Or is it simply the history of this team's inability to maximize the talent in their farm system and have it translate to big-league success?
The problem with the Volpe decision was that the Yankees knew they were putting themselves in a difficult position. They wouldn't be able to go back on it and option him to Triple-A. They resigned themselves to the reality that they'd be stuck with him even if he was batting .186 with a .605 OPS in mid-June (which he was!)
Fans are holding out hope Volpe is a franchise cornerstone, but perhaps a little more tact/preparation here could've saved the Yankees in both the short- and long-term. On the bright side, his chicken parm turnaround has been remarkable. Now we just need to see him build off of that over the next few months to avoid the difficult questions popping back up.