Playoff spotlight magnifies yet another Yankees, Brian Cashman free agency blunder

Keep 'em coming!
Division Series - Baltimore Orioles v Texas Rangers - Game Three
Division Series - Baltimore Orioles v Texas Rangers - Game Three / Carmen Mandato/GettyImages

New York Yankees fans already knew this, but it's worth bumping while the Texas Rangers and Houston Astros battle in the ALCS (we'll get to this in a moment). Meanwhile, the Bombers sit at home, wondering what went wrong for the fourth straight year despite the answers being right in front of them.

Hal Steinbrenner says the organization has identified areas of improvement and that changes are coming, but wouldn't elaborate any further. The changes could be small. They could be big. The Yankees are assuring us they know what's holding them back but they won't explicitly tell us.

That usually means they don't actually know and they're just, once again, trying to stave off the growing criticism and frustration from the unrelenting fanbase.

Haven't Steinbrenner and Brian Cashman learned by now, though? Nothing quiets this passionate group until there's tangible action to actively shut them up. And they'd be elated to be proven wrong if it meant the team was successful.

But remember the Yankees "weren't done" after signing Carlos Rodón this past offseason? Many figured a trade was coming, specifically for an outfielder or a special left-handed bat. But why couldn't it have been another bulldog starter with postseason pedigree?

Playoff spotlight magnifies yet another Yankees, Brian Cashman free agency blunder

The Yankees were in talks with Nathan Eovaldi before signing Rodón. Then they ghosted Eovaldi, who very much could've still been signed since he only agreed to a two-year, $34 million contract with the Rangers. Eovaldi has since expressed he wanted to join the Yankees.

"Nate Eovaldi had interest in returning to the Yankees before the Rangers won the bidding. … Aaron Nola and Jordan Montgomery are showing their free-agent value."

Jon Heyman, NY Post

What's the novelty here? He still wanted to come back to New York despite the organization tossing him into the scrap heap when he needed Tommy John surgery back in 2016. He should've had no inclination to show any interest in a team that treated him poorly.

But the Yankees thought they were all good. They thought Luis Severino, who's been injured every single season since 2018, would be fully healthy. They thought Frankie Montas' very famously injured shoulder wouldn't cause any issues. They fully invested in ace-like campaigns from Gerrit Cole, Rodón and Nestor Cortes, believing not one of those players would suffer some sort of a setback.

Instead of trading Severino when he finally put forth a somewhat solid 2022 campaign and getting the value while they could, they put Jordan Montgomery on the chopping block and spurned someone like Eovaldi, whose postseason track record is better than anybody's on the entire roster. This playoff run, Eovaldi has shut down both the Orioles and Rays, totaling 13.2 innings, two earned runs, 11 hits, zero walks and 15 strikeouts.

I think we found one of the problem areas, Hal.