The New York Yankees still appear to be sleeping giants as the off-season begins to dwindle down to its final weeks.
The New York Yankees seem to have all the necessary pieces in place to compete for a ring in 2019, but Brian Cashman and commapny still see room for improvement heading into Spring Training.
Talking to the New York Daily News’ Kristie Ackert, Cashman mentioned how his job is never completely done even with spring training arriving.
“I am doing my job. Whether that’s those two players or other players … we are trying to constantly be open minded to ways to make this work.”
Clearly, at this point, Manny Machado and Bryce Harper are a distant pipe dream but it doesn’t mean Cashman isn’t doing his due diligence.
Prior to the beginning of the offseason Machado’s preferred and ideal landing spot was at 161st St., but since that time New York has proceeded to make small moves to fill holes on what is seen to be a World Series contending team.
“We’ve just got to work within those confines to find the best ways to make it all fit,” Cashman told Ackert. “We like what we’ve done to this point, but we’re never a finished product until, at the very least, Aug. 31.”
With the defending champs sitting right above them in the A.L. East division, the “Yankees of old” would have been all over the two star-studded talents. The difference in 2019 is the priority of keeping the homegrown core safe and sound.
Luis Severino in his first year of arbitration agreed to a four year, $40 million deal, while Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez get set to enter their first years of arbitration following 2019. Simply put, they are in-line for a colossal payday contingent on the arbitrating meetings.
Cashman, unlike in recent years, is prioritizing the future of the team more so than the short-term solutions. Yes, Machado is 26, as is Harper, but they also would set the Yankees back a hefty amount going into 2020.
It may have appeared to be the “year to spend”, but as it sits now, they must realize the future contracts for some of their best homegrown talent might just be more important.
Not to mention, the contracts of Didi Gregorius, Aaron Hicks, and Dellin Betances all come off the books following this season. The Yankees’ front office will once again face a crossroad in extending a player like Gregorius because of his injury and the influx of talent at the middle infield positions.
The Yankees’ roster as it stands can compete for a title. The only hole lies in the spot of CC Sabathia, who following the season will retire. It makes for a potential sixth or replacement starter barring CC can remain healthy for a full season.
They also still have spots on the team that can use an upgrade; mainly the starting rotation. The addition of James Paxton and re-signing J.A. Happ were tremendous lifts, but when you look at Boston you really cannot blame Cashman for fielding and making calls.
On paper, Cashman believes this is a stronger team then he had in 2018, and for good reason. However, he doesn’t believe this roster is a finished product so keep your predictions on ice.