Hal Steinbrenner spoke to the media on Tuesday and offered little assurance things would be different for the New York Yankees in 2024, outside of him saying the organization is going to do everything in its power to right the ship.
How many times does that need to happen, though, before there's a realization that the people trying to constantly fix what's wrong on are the problem? They're the people creating these massive problems in the first place. And not only that, they never have solutions!
Some of it's bad luck, yes. The injuries. Running into the a modern day dynasty like the Houston Astros during this promising window. Running into a powerhouse Red Sox team that came and went in a single calendar year.
Most if it has been self-inflicted, however. Cutting payroll at the most inopportune times. Passing on trade candidates in fear of having to surrender too many prospects. Not going after obvious fits. Trading away good players after misevaluating them. Not signing enough left-handed bats. Acquiring aging veteran after aging veteran.
Bad luck is bad luck. It'll always exist. It'll always play a role in derailing any team's potential World Series run. But it's not an unbreakable constant, unless you give it life by dubbing it a "curse," like the Red Sox and Cubs did. The constants are the practices in place that inform decision making.
Yankees rumored offseason plans have encouraging (and worrisome) details
That's why changes are an absolute necessity this offseason. Like, changes that signify a complete 180. Not dipping toes in the water. Not half in, half out. Not "trying" something new with an ancient regime that can't seem to figure anything out.
Sadly, though it appears we're going to get a two-pronged approach that won't help much at all, per the latest from Jimmy Hascup of NJ.com.
"Teams don’t expect the Yankees to spend like the Yankees of old, but of course, will engage with Shohei Ohtani just in case he changes his mind and shows the slightest bit of interest.- Jimmy Hascup, NJ.com
The biggest change, rivals say, may be their willingness now to part with prospects for immediate help.
They’re expected to have serious trade talks with the Padres about (Juan) Soto to see if there’s a potential fit now, or in the future."
The Yankees' lone advantage is spending like the Yankees of old. It's the only way they can right all their wrongs. And while Steinbrenner is right in his belief that teams do not need a $300 million payroll to win a championship, teams that misallocate about $150 million worth of money do actually need to spend upwards of $300 million.
The Yankees' willingness to part with prospects never should have been something that's held them back because they've never truly had prospects to value. The Yankees don't produce homegrown, in-house talent. The most influential three names since the Core Four are Brett Gardner, Aaron Judge and Anthony Volpe, who just played his first MLB season.
So, what? They're now going to throw caution to the wind to acquire the best player of a generation in Juan Soto? Cutting edge. Finally! They cracked the code.
Maybe they can take some advice from Aaron Boone, because it's all right in front of them. Trade prospects. Spend money aggressively for the right guys or the guys you want. A healthy mix of that will get you where you need to be, but a half-assed approach won't, especially when that approach features an element of the game Cashman and his front office were never good at.