Yankees being credited for smart minor-league deals is the wrong look for New York

New York Yankees v New York Mets
New York Yankees v New York Mets / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages

Well ... yay? At least all the guys the New York Yankees paid pennies for are keeping the team afloat while a combined ~$136 million in the form of Giancarlo Stanton, Anthony Rizzo, Josh Donaldson, Carlos Rodón, Luis Severino, DJ LeMahieu, Harrison Bader and Frankie Montas are doing next to nothing. That's a win, right?!

There's undoubtedly an importance for teams in the offseason to make smart additions in the form of minor-league deals. Look around the league. You'll find very few rosters that don't have a minor-league offer with a spring training invite still with the big-league club.

But these moves are supposed to be supplementary -- they're not supposed to carry you. And while Brian Cashman deserves credit for signing all of Jimmy Cordero, Jake Bauers, Ryan Weber, Nick Ramirez, Willie Calhoun, Billy McKinney and Ian Hamilton, it shouldn't necessarily be celebrated. Not yet.

He's the general manager of the New York Yankees -- not the scrappy Arizona Diamondbacks or the strapped-for-cash Guardians. He's supposed to be hitting home runs with his big-money signings/trade acquisitions, and those are the ones that deserve credit when they come to fruition.

The under-the-radar ones certainly shouldn't be overlooked or go unacknowledged, but they typically require zero heavy lifting and come with no pressure attached. They should be easier. Hell, they are easier.

Yankees' minor-league signings were great but also ... who cares?

So, while we appreciate MLB Trade Rumors (with their 770K followers!) giving our team props, it's the wrong kind of props. We should be talking about Stanton's 20 home runs; Rizzo serving as the de facto captain admirably with Aaron Judge out; Rodón and Montas revolutionizing the starting rotation; Severino enjoying a resurgent year as he heads into free agency; LeMahieu's return to LeMachine; Donaldson doing anything ; Bader being an everyday difference maker.

Instead, we're talking about how the bottom of the lineup is out-performing the top of the lineup since Judge's injury; how badly Hamilton is missed in the bullpen; how gambling on Cordero's Tommy John rehab was genius; and how Bauers, McKinney and Calhoun are saviors because Cashman forgot to sign left-handed bats. Again!

Maybe this all turns around this weekend at Fenway (this article was written before the series started). But even if it does, the Yankees have gone far too long of a stretch relying on fringe major leaguers rather than reaping the benefits of the players they paid to make up the veteran core of this team.

The yin and the yang isn't supposed to work this way. Not in New York, at least.