We're going to be forgiving of the Yankees for ~2.5 seconds. This roster is deeply flawed. Even Brian Cashman, in a moment of peace in a dark room, can probably acknowledge that.
Therefore, the last thing anyone should want to do is spend too large a chunk of Hal Steinbrenner's money this offseason with a much more enticing free agent class on the way next year. You don't want to Giancarlo Stanton yourself again before you enter a room full of Bryce Harpers.
The 2023-24 offseason looks bleak enough if we accept Juan Soto's rumored presence on the trade market as fact. If the Padres hold onto Soto and try to run things back, the free agent class behind him looks hyper-weak. Cody Bellinger's salary has floated into the rumored "$250 million" range, which doesn't make sense in a vacuum, but does compute when you realize he's competing with JD Martinez, Justin Turner and Matt Chapman. The pitching stars -- Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Aaron Nola and Blake Snell -- will steal the offense's thunder, but that doesn't help a run production-starved team like the Yankees.
In essence, the Yankees need to fix so much that they might (ducks as a mob throws garbage at my Subaru [I duck even though I'm inside the car]) be better off attempting a few classic Cashman heists (Max Kepler? Shōta Imanaga?) rather than blowing the entire budget at the top of the market.
Next winter, though? A 2009-esque splurge would be completely appropriate, especially if a series of patchwork "mentorship" moves don't spur on a youth movement and make the Yankees competitive in 2024.
5 2025 free agents Yankees should go all in on
The Yankees always need pitching depth, no matter how strong the rotation looks, right? Even Brian Cashman himself said it during Tuesday's semi-unhinged rant. The staff seems strong (enough) at the moment, but trees will fall down. Arm injuries will linger. Hell, Gerrit Cole might even opt out after 2024.
If he does, the Yankees probably need to prioritize bringing their ace back while they navigate the rest of the market. But if Cole stays put and asks for a copilot, Burnes will certainly be the best available -- and his contract could start with a "3".
Burnes might also hit the trade market in the coming weeks. His agitation with the Brewers last winter was well documented, following a nasty an unnecessary arbitration bout. After being blindsided with Craig Counsell's defection, he probably wants out (and would entertain a reunion with his ex-manager, you'd think).
If Burnes makes it to free agency next winter, though, the Yankees should be players for the barrel-chested throwback strikeout artist and Cy Young winner. He'll be 30 next fall.