With the recent and overpaid signing of ex Red Sox player Jacoby Elsbury to the Yankees, which coincidentally lead to a disgruntled Robinson Cano taking his talents to the Mariners for a staggering 10 year/$240 million dollar deal, the Yankees are still attempting to fill in the pieces this off season, in efforts of getting back to their post season glory days. Now with a pair of signings of McCann and Carlos Beltran (to a 3 year/$45 mil) deal, the boys in pin stripes aren’t done yet with their shopping addiction, and they should be, considering the uncertainty of Alex Rodgriguez next year and losses to both Cano and Granderson, respectively. But to put it in perspective, the organization has already spent more than $300 million thus far, nearly equaling the total amount they spent before the 2009 campaign (they spent $400 mil plus)—which, as we know, was the last time they managed to scoop up a championship for their roster additions. Will the Christmas shopping stop anytime soon? NY Daily News sports writer Mike Lupica shares his thoughts on the Cano departure as well as speculates what he believes the Yankees’ management (and GM Brian Cashman) are cooking up in terms of deals:
The last time they spent this way in a baseball offseason was before the 2009 season, also after they had missed the playoffs. They went out and spent more than $400 million in total contracts to get CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett and Mark Teixeira and won the one World Series they have won since 2000.
You just wonder what the plan is here.
Wonder if the Yankees are entering a cycle where spending like this is just the cost of getting to the next plan, when even better players are on the market than there are this baseball winter.
Listen, if I heard about one National League general manager saying that the Yankees might be a team fighting for wild cards for the next five or six years, you know the Yankees heard the same thing. And weren’t about to let that happen, not with an empire to run, evil or otherwise, not with a television network that needs a team people want to watch, not with expensive seats to fill in their new baseball palace on the north side of 161st St.
So now that Cano is gone and they’ve got an extra $20 million this coming year to spend, there is no telling whom they might go after, for the batting order and for the rotation, especially with the uncertainty about the left side of the infield, with Rodriguez possibly in the wind and Derek Jeter, who will turn 40 next season, coming off the first lost season of his remarkable career. And who knows, maybe all of this works the way all of the changes with the Red Sox worked, and they find the same combination of talent and toughness and chemistry and even magic.
Oh, there was tremendous change for the Red Sox in 2013 on their way to their third World Series since 2004, with Mike Napoli and Jonny Gomes and Shane Victorino and Stephen Drew and David Ross, even if the total value of the lot of them isn’t the total value of the new deal the Yankees just gave their former teammate, Ellsbury.
The real question for the Yankees is this, with their Black Friday-like shopping spree: Can Brian Cashman, with the kind of resources he has this winter, and the added resources he gets if Rodriguez gets shot out of a cannon by the arbitrator Fredric Horowitz, build a World Series team the way Ben Cherington just did?
Or are the Yankees of this decade just going to be a better and far more expensive version of the Yankees of the 1980s, another time when they wandered aimlessly from plan to plan and brought in Jack Clark and Ed Whitson and Dave Collins and Ken Griffey and, well, Yankee fans know that’s the short list.
It all starts this way: The Yankees overpay for Ellsbury, and by a lot, and then turn around and refuse to overpay even more for Cano, their best player last season and one of their best for a while, even if he was as lousy in his last postseason as Rodriguez was, even as Rodriguez was taking all the fire in the world.
Oh Cano — don’t ya know! — is rich beyond avarice, even as he makes the kind of decision that people so often regret, in and out of sports, the one only made for money; one that takes him from the great stage of Yankee Stadium to the one he gets with the Mariners.
Cano’s handlers and sidemen and hangers-on compare their guy to Michael Jordan. Guess what? Ken Griffey Jr. really was the Jordan of baseball when he was young and in Seattle but had to make the playoffs and play the way he did in 1995 to make the country really sit up and take notice. It didn’t hurt that his playoff run started with a thrilling five-game first-round win over the Yankees. People came to watch the Yankees, the way they do, and ended up watching Junior run around the bases the way he did to score the winning run in Game 5.
Perhaps Cano can do the same for the Mariners, even though he has never made you watch the way Junior did in Seattle. That’s his problem. The Yankees have problems of their own.
New plan this winter. But does the plan put them back on top. Cherington made all the right moves and the Red Sox went from last to the top of the world. Can Cashman, who has the same free rein and more money to spend, do the same for the Yankees? The Yankees got more interesting this past week, spent more money. They’ve done that in the past. It won’t be until April when we start finding out if they shook up the American League East the way they want to, or just brought in some fancy new deck chairs.
Source: New York News – NY Daily News