Most Yankee fans, such as myself, were questioning what direction this team was going to head in the offseason. The original rumor Robinson Cano was going to be looking for a 10yr 300 million dollar contract and the realization that this team had numerous holes to fill was going to be a difficult undertaking for upper management. Now that Cano has signed his 10yr. 240 million dollar contract with Seattle, let’s take a look at what the Yankees have done with that money already.
The Yankees signed catcher Brian McCann a career .277 hitter with a strong command over his pitching staff to a 5 yr. 85 million dollar deal. That should be important over the next 5 years as the Yankees HAVE to get younger, and that includes pitching. Speaking of pitching, the Yankees resigned, though not official yet, Hiroki Kuroda to a 16 million dollar deal for 1 more year. They also signed super utility man Kelly Johnson to a 1yr. 3 million dollar contract who could play second where Cano has departed but Johnson can also play in the outfield which makes him very valuable to Joe Girardi. Then just yesterday, the New York Yankees signed outfielder Carlos Beltran to a 3 yr. 45 million dollar contract to replace Robinson Cano’s spot as the power bat in the middle of the lineup. Then of course there is the signing of former rival outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury to a 7 yr. 148 million dollar deal. Ellsbury will give speed, contact, a little power and defense to a team that desperately needed a spark at the top of the lineup. Well they got it! If you combine the salaries of all these players against the contracts signed by 2 former Yankees, Cano and Curtis Granderson (4yrs. 60million), the Yankees still have money on the table! Five players in exchange for a superstar and a fantastic player in Granderson, but still… this is fantastic business! This is how you reload and still do it within the confines of your salary restrictions.
Granted there are still questions to be answered, some not even within the Yankees control. Specifically if Alex Rodriguez will be suspended giving the Yankees a chance to use that money to improve their roster. Also Kelly Johnson is not the answer at second base. There should be a push to improve that position by the winter meetings and then there is the pitching staff. CC and Kuroda are a pricey but very good start to a rotation, but what then? Is Michael Pineda finally healthy? Even if he is that’s only 3 starters. Are they really intending on playing David Phelps in the rotation? He played admirably last season but I would be concerned if he could handle a full season. Still the recent moves by the Yankees are very encouraging. This is a trend I hope to see continue in all of baseball. Let’s step away from the long term deals that never seem to work out for the franchise. Let’s bring down the price of some of these superstars and the only way to do that is to refuse to pay a ridiculous 300 million dollar request. It might be time for the football playoffs, but the New York Yankees are stealing the headlines in New York once again.