Did the New York Yankees really need another outfielder this badly? And did they need one with this name? Brian Cashman, you were doing so well up until this point! Why are we erasing any of the good vibes that have been accumulated?
On Thursday, New York signed former San Francisco Giants outfielder Luis Gonzalez to a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training, per MLB insider Ken Rosenthal. The 28-year-old has played in just 107 MLB games and didn't appear in a single one this past season.
He was a former third-round draft pick of the Chicago White Sox back in 2017. Chicago released him in late 2021 and the Giants picked him up, but then designated him for assignment this past August. He's been a free agent ever since.
Back surgery kept him out of action in 2023 and the Giants weren't convinced he could compete with the group of outfielders they had at the MLB level after he returned for 27 games at Triple-A.
The positives? He's a lefty. And the Yankees need a ton of those. The negatives? He will not impact the major league roster, and he has the same name as the man that crushed the Yankees' hopes and dreams in 2001.
Yankees' latest signing is a bad vibes move that elicits 2001 World Series nightmare
The Arizona Diamondbacks' Luis Gonzalez will never be forgiven for his crimes against the Yankees. That bloop walk-off single in Game 7 of the 2001 World Series, as New York City was reeling from the 9/11 terrorist attacks, is branded into every Yankee fan's memory.
So we're not sure why Cashman felt the need to give any more life to it. For as spoiled as this sounds, 2001-2008 was an extremely dark period for New York baseball, and it was kickstarted by Gonzalez's hit off Mariano Rivera. After that, the Yankees got bounced in the ALDS in 2002, got boatraced by the Marlins in the 2003 World Series, experienced the worst collapse in the sport's history in 2004 against their most hated rival, and then failed to make it past the ALDS until 2009.
Acquiring Alex Verdugo was enough of a head-scratching moment. Watching Dillon Lawson depart for the Red Sox was weird, too. Though the Yankees combatted both moves with the Juan Soto trade and Jeter Downs addition, this just shifted everything back in the other direction.
The only legitimate argument for this move? To erase the nightmare of the original Luis Gonzalez by having the new Luis Gonzalez be a hero for the Yankees. But that's a longshot. So we'd love to hear more behind the logic.