For those critical of the New York Yankees' offseason who considered it an act of the organization "running it back" with the 2022 roster, please get a new pair of glasses. Or a new brain! Or maybe just a clue.
By no means did the Yankees turn the baseball world upside down this offseason. But they did re-sign Aaron Judge to a $360 million deal and named him Captain, both of which were intrinsic to the success of the franchise. They re-signed Anthony Rizzo right off the bat and squashed the Houston Astros rumors. They added another one of the biggest free agents available in Carlos Rodón. They effectively addressed the bullpen by bringing back Tommy Kahnle.
What else did you want them to do? OK, one of the top shortstops would've been nice, but after they bailed on last year's class, it just wasn't happening this year. How would that make sense, especially after Oswald Peraza and Anthony Volpe took the necessary steps forward in 2022?
Ding them all you want for not getting a left fielder, but insiders have assured us that the starting left fielder isn't currently on the roster. And they were never paying $75 million for Andrew Benintendi. Sorry, folks.
Judge is back. DJ LeMahieu is apparently healthy. So is Jose Trevino. We've got a full season of Harrison Bader on deck. A new shortstop will probably be here Opening Day from the minor-league ranks. The rotation is the best it's ever been (on paper). The bullpen is getting reinforcements. So how are the Yankees on par with what the Royals, Pirates and Rays did this offseason?
The Athletic gives Yankees a "B" for their offseason grade
The problem isn't necessarily that the Yankees got a "B." Like we said, they didn't exactly blow the doors off. They did what they had to do and added two key players, which is more than most other teams can say. The problem is ... the writers grading the Pirates, Rays, Royals, Astros and Blue Jays!
The Astros lost the reigning AL Cy Young winner and three others in Aledmys Diaz, Trey Mancini and Christian Vazquez. They added Jose Abreu and overpaid Rafael Montero. That's a B+? The Blue Jays completely downgraded their outfield by swapping out Teoscar Hernandez and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. for Kevin Kiermaier and Daulton Varsho. Signing Chris Bassitt was good after Ross Stripling left. They added Brandon Belt. They're trying to lowball Bo Bichette in arbitration. That's a B+?
The Rays signed Zach Eflin and extended a few players. Not bad. But certainly not impactful? And remind us what the Pirates and Royals have done/how it's relevant? Their moves don't even dictate a "B" for their low standards.
While the Yankees "maintained the status quo" and then some, the manner in which they did so was momentous. Judge was the biggest free agent on the market. Rizzo was another coveted option. The Yankees paid both and both wanted to stay. Rodón wanted to be a Yankee despite many other suitors. The Yankees shut the door and got a deal done. Kahnle turned down more money from the Red Sox to come to New York.
Call it a B, sure. It might very well be. But their B isn't even close to the same as the others in this curved grading system.