Spending doesn’t always equal winning, and the New York Yankees prudent approach has shaped their roster to contend in 2016.
By Patrick Brewer
Despite a quiet start to the offseason, the New York Yankees have quietly put together a respectable offseason. There has been a lot of criticism from both inside and outside New York due to the Yankees lack of big time activity relative to other teams in the division, but either way the Yankees look better on paper than they did one year ago.
The Yankees have made a few notable moves, accompanied by several lesser deals. The common thread throughout this offseason for the Yankees has been making moves via trade rather than free agency. In years past, money was never an issue. Money is still not an issue, but the team is currently being run with a much different philosophy. For now, that strategy seems to be paying off.
This offseason has seen the Yankees make a blockbuster acquisition of Aroldis Chapman for a handful of prospects. Beyond that, the only two other notable moves the team has made were acquiring OF Aaron Hicks for C John Ryan Murphy as well as 2B/SS Starlin Castro for some lesser parts. The Yankees also traded away reliever Justin Wilson, but other than that, will carry over mostly the same roster for 2016.
For a team used to giving out $100+ million contracts, see Mark Texieira, Alex Rodriguez and Jacoby Ellsbury, this offseason has been a lot different. The Yankees have not signed any impact free agents, and have acquired players who only marginally increase the payroll for 2016. For the first time in a long time, the Yankees are operating as if they have a constrained budget. This strategy seems to be all by design.
With a few large contracts coming off the books in the next few years, including Tex, Rodriguez, Beltran, Sabathia, and others, the Yankees are banking on what they have now, waiting to spend until a more opportune time. While holding on spending, the Yankees have been banking on their future, with a minor league system that is better than it has been in years, perhaps even the entire 21st century.
Greg Bird, Luis Severino, Rob Refsnyder and others made an impact in 2015, while Aaron Judge, Jorge Mateo and others are not too far behind. The Yankees are once again banking on younger talent, something that hasn’t been a focus in years. More so than anything else in 2016, the Yankees are banking on depth.
At almost every position around the diamond, the Yankees are banking on depth to carry them to success next season. If any issues arise, whether it be injury or performance, the Yankees have contingency plans for almost every scenario.
What follows is a position by position breakdown of that depth, and what players the Yankees can expect to have on the opening day roster.
All stats included are ZIPS projections for the 2016 season.