What a good offseason the New York Yankees had. However, the good times may only last a season or two before major changes must happen again. While Brian Cashman pulled off a huge deal for Giancarlo Stanton, the fact remains that the Yankees still must pay this guy a ton of money over the next few years.
It just doesn’t end with Stanton (Player Option 2021). What happens when it’s time to pay Gary Sanchez, Aaron Judge, Aaron Hicks, and Luis Severino? What Cashman did was put all his chips on the table now and hope he gets the big prize with another World Series ring. After all, this is still the New York Yankees we’re talking about. Winning trumps everything, including payrolls.
But here is where Cashman may have made his biggest error. Stanton will give the Yankees 40 home runs, 100 RBIs, and a BA of 0.289, but who’s stopping the other team from hitting those same numbers? This offseason was about the Yankees adding another arm to add to their rotation. Before Derek Jeter placed the fire sale sign on the Marlins Park front lawn, Cashman had dreams of Jake Arrieta, Yu Darvish, and Gerrit Cole. Instead, they added more firepower to a roster that didn’t need it.
Then you look at what didn’t happen. Why is Jacoby Ellsbury still a member of the Yankees? With Stanton onboard, the top priority should have been Cashman persuading Ellsbury to accept a trade. Now the outfield is loaded, not only with too many bats but a payroll that could rival the entire Philadelphia Phillies roster.
So what happens if the Washington Nationals cannot come to terms with Bryce Harper? It’s not too much the Yankees could do with Ellsbury still holding the team hostage. There are reports that the Yankees could swap Stanton for Harper, according to NJ.com. Plus, Cashman will need to find a replacement for CC Sabathia, possibly Brett Gardner, and if Aroldis Chapman keeps blowing saves, then a closer might be on the to-do list as well.
The Yankees are straddling the fence of win now and for the future, but these big contracts could turn around and bite them in the rear end. It wasn’t so much the Stanton deal than it was Cashman not getting the players the Yankees actually needed. Pitching was the top item on the offseason list, and the Yankees come out the store empty-handed.