Much talk has been centered around how the New York Yankees will draw big players to their market with a reluctancy to sell.
A tremendous deal of the New York Yankees’ future is riding on the 2019 free agent class. In a recent column featured in the NY Post, Kevin Kiernan attempted to support a claim that the organization should clean house now in order to prepare for the star-studded open market.
However, the business and purely logical decision directly contradicts his ideology.
While the Yankees certainly are not a 90-95 win team at this point, there is no denying the talent residing on their roster. Throughout sheer underperformance, massive disappointments, and injuries coming with old age, they still have the ability to reel off anywhere from 81-85 wins a year and stay in the thick of the race.
This is no plain assumption. The club can and will achieve a number in the win column that represents that general vicinity.
With that said, why would they mess with the current roster? When looking at the historical nature of the 2019 class, why would you sacrifice wins up until a potential spending spree?
Kiernan’s viewpoint would be completely spot on if, and only if, the Yankees were tied up in their current contractual “mistakes” for years to come. Fortunately for the organization, they are let off the hook right at the time when they are expected to make a forthright push towards championship number 28.
Let’s talk hypotheticals and take their current roster’s outlook when the highly touted free agents are on the table.
Talk about excessive contracts? Combined on face value of their respective deals, $819 million will come off the table with the inevitable departure of CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira, Carlos Beltran, Chase Headley, Alex Rodriguez, and Brian McCann.
Not only are those positional voids that can be filled through expenditures, but they are symbolic of a nice pat on the back from the game of baseball uttering “Hey, now don’t do that again”.
Along with those taxing figures coming off the books, the nature of different aspects of the team will be entirely altered.
The only starting pitcher guaranteed, barring trade, to be in pinstripes entering 2019 is Luis Severino. The only pivotal bullpen arm, out of the three they currently possess, will be Dellin Betances.
Without making one trade and likely achieving two relevant years, the Yankees can be in a position where they are building around the likes of Severino, Starlin Castro, Didi Gregorius, Greg Bird, Gary Sanchez, and Aaron Judge.
That mix of youth and financial ability along with the proper amount of vacancies to be filled with stars will immediately result in the opening of Hal Steinbrenner’s checkbook. He will likely hand a check with many figures to Brian Cashman and simply say, “Have fun”.
Potential 2016 AL MVP Manny Machado will be poised to receive an absurd deal to fill Headley’s spot at the hot corner. Bryce Harper, who has hinted at his love for pinstripes on numerous occasions, will be awaiting the largest deal in baseball history to become their right fielder.
Simply put, the Yankees will spend. They displayed it in 2009 and came out smelling like flowers. They did it prior to 2014 and undoubtedly regret it in hindsight. However, that will not stop them from doing it after another five year interval.
Problems will fix themselves with the nature of contract expiration. Joe Girardi will not have to suffer through 65 win teams when he does not have to.
Following their rampage, they will be able to shoot into World Series relevancy following three years of baseball that most teams wish they could amount to. In other words, the short stint of 81-85 win baseball will seem like nothing.
Given that the moves are made, their offensive depth chart will look like this:
- C: Gary Sanchez
- 1B: Greg Bird
- 2B: Starlin Castro
- SS: Didi Gregorius
- 3B: Manny Machado
- OF: Aaron Judge
- OF: Jacoby Ellsbury
- OF: Bryce Harper
Combine that with one of baseball’s premier starters as your ace along with incremental moves to improve the bullpen and you have something pretty special.
It will not come over night, but it will come. Yankee fans must seek patience given that this is a lose-lose situation for most of the Bronx faithful at the moment. If they perform an overhaul, they get their wish. If they get their wish, they are watching a downright awful team.
How about avoiding both and becoming a championship team three years down the road. Sounds awfully nice, doesn’t it?