Hmmm. Who's in the playoffs right now that the New York Yankees could use? Jordan Montgomery is the default option everybody goes to because he was here and ended up being traded for Harrison Bader, who's already gone.
Then there's a long, long list of big-name free agents the Yankees passed on after the 2021 season in favor of Anthony Rizzo, Josh Donaldson and Isiah Kiner-Falefa. You're familiar with all of them. Some guys even predate that terrible offseason.
- Zach Wheeler - Phillies
- Bryce Harper - Phillies
- Kyle Schwarber - Phillies
- JT Realmuto - Phillies
- Trea Turner - Phillies
- Matt Olson - Braves
- Sean Murphy - Braves
- Freddie Freeman - Dodgers
- Carlos Correa - Twins
- Pablo Lopez - Twins
- Jordan Montgomery - Rangers
- Nathan Eovaldi - Rangers
- Marcus Semien - Rangers
But perhaps worst of all? Corey Seager - Rangers. Remember how badly just about every fan wanted the lefty-swinging shortstop after that dismal 2021 season, just before IKF was left out there to die as the starter?
Seager's continuing to thrive, and has quickly helped turned the Rangers around from living in the basement of the AL West to being one series win away from the Fall Classic.
Corey Seager's playoff performance highlighting how bad Yankees' 2022 offseason was
As it pertains to the offseason heading into 2022, the whiffs on Schwarber, Olson, Murphy, Freeman, Correa, Semien and Seager stand out the most. Just imagine how different life would be if one of those guys was thriving in pinstripes each of the last two years.
Seriously, is it hard to picture how 2021 could've been a World Series year if you swap out IKF and Donaldson for, say Schwarber and Seager or Correa and Freeman or Olson and Murphy? Do whatever mix and match you please! The sick part is, the Yankees could've done it! All it would have taken was to non-tender Gary Sánchez and either keep Gio Urshela or find a different trade partner to get his money off the books.
Some, however, view failing to sign Seager as the singular miss that will haunt the team for a very long time considering how underwhelming the next few free agent classes are.
Whether Seager was going to remain a long-term shortstop or not is irrelevant. The amount of flexibility this would've afforded the Yankees, and the leash it could've given them with Anthony Volpe, could've changed the course of history.
The one missing piece from this current "window" of Yankees baseball has been a lethal left-handed hitter with a penchant for delivering in the clutch. Seager, in his first postseason with the Rangers, has lifted them to the ALCS for the first time since 2011 after going 6-for-14 with a homer, three RBI and a stunning 11 walks against the Rays and Orioles. And what do you know! Crushing the AL East. Might've made sense to bring somebody with that kind of mentality/ability to the Bronx.
All that dreaming of what the Yankees' lineup could've looked like with Seager ended up being for naught, but the fans were right. At this very moment, Seager would've been an immaculate fit in so many ways, and could've eventually shifted to third base since -- what do you know! -- there's no long-term solution there either.
It's not outlandish to wonder if Cashman's work during the 2022 offseason completely ruined the foreseeable future for the Yankees.