Yankees' winners and losers from MLB free agency

Championship Series - New York Yankees v Houston Astros - Game Two
Championship Series - New York Yankees v Houston Astros - Game Two / Rob Carr/GettyImages
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The 2022 New York Yankees season began at an historic pace and ended with an historically embarrassing whimper, as a team that was supposed to challenge the 116-win 2001 Mariners for the regular-season wins record ended up challenging the 116-win 2001 Mariners for "most disappointing postseason."

At least the team didn't enter the free agency cycle with a primary objective that could make or break them for a decade to come -- oh, wait! Aaron Judge, the face of the franchise, nearly leapt to San Francisco (or maybe San Diego) before a last-minute charge from Hal Steinbrenner.

After that was handled, everything came into place quickly -- except a left fielder.

All told, the Yankees brought Judge back and named him captain, and also re-signed his pal Anthony Rizzo to maintain leadership. They imported the most electric left-hander on the market in Carlos Rodón and fortified the bullpen with old friend Tommy Kahnle. Still, somehow, things feel a bit incomplete. Where was the patented Cashman trade? The electric arm buried on someone else's roster? The godforsaken left fielder?!

This offseason has brought mostly wins for the Yankees, but there are still a few losers on the roster.

Winners and Losers From MLB Free Agency: Yankees Edition

WINNER: Oswald Peraza

For the second straight season, the Yankees passed on a shortstop frenzy in free agency to take a chance on their young talent instead.

Last year, the "stopgap" period lasted far too long, and Isiah Kiner-Falefa manned the position solo for nearly the entire season. This year? The shortstop contracts New York passed on were crazier (Xander Bogarts' deal?!), and the internal shortstops were deemed far closer to the show. It's apparently Oswald Peraza's spot to lose in spring training, making him a de facto offseason champion.

LOSER: Aaron Hicks

The spotlight on Aaron Hicks was already glaring in the Bronx at the tail end of last season, growing brighter when he dogged it on a dropped fly ball against the Rays, allowing additional runs to score. However, it seemed like it might dim a bit after his unfortunate ALDS injury, which seemed to officially signal the end to his relevance.

Not so. New York's front office hasn't replaced him, letting Andrew Benintendi walk while hyping up his potential rebound.

You thought Yankee fans had turned on Hicks when he made gaffes down the stretch in 2022? Imagine next Opening Day when he's hailed as the solution in left. The pressure will be crushing.