New York Yankees Avoided Disaster by Passing on Machado/Harper

New York Yankees, Manny Machado

When considering the massive contracts both Bryce Harper and Manny Machado earned, the New York Yankees seem intelligent after walking away from the superstar free agents. Machado’s deal reached 10 years, $300 million while Harper is locked into a 13 year, $330 million deal.

Clearly, both players wanted to stay in one place whether the team was good or bad. Money is often the motive when contracts exceed $300 million. The Yankees simply didn’t need to invest that type of money to improve their team to a point where a World Series appearance was a realistic goal.

Bringing on cost-effective players like Troy Tulowitzki, DJ LeMahieu, Adam Ottavino, and the retention of Zack Britton only help build upon an already solidified roster. The starting pitching was good, not great in 2018, but keeping J.A. Happ in the rotation and helping Luis Severino eliminate his tipped pitches problem will undoubtedly increase the efficiency of the unit. Not to mention the trading for James Paxton.

Yankees GM Brian Cashman made the right moves:

At the end of the day, GM Brian Cashman managed to improve a 100 win team considerably, adding veteran influence in a predominantly young infield, and providing pitching support to the appropriate slots. Everybody loves a massive deal that brings in a generational talent, but we’ve learned the hard way that long-term contracts are slow-killing poison. Just ask Jacoby Ellsbury, Alex Rodriguez, and Mark Teixiera.

However, despite addressing several areas of need, that doesn’t mean that weaknesses aren’t present. The infield is without starting shortstop Didi Gregorius and both Miguel Andujar/Gleyber Torres are raw professionals. The unit will need to focus on reducing error totals to improve runs-allowed efficiency. They ranked toward the bottom of the league in nearly every position (infield).

How did the Yankees’ infield perform in 2018?

At first base, a combination of Greg Bird, Luke Voit, and Neil Walker ranked 21st in the MLB. Second base ranked 23rd with Torres featuring, and third base was dead last as Andujar allowed 15 errors – he gave up a league-high 25 runs due to his struggles.

Bringing in players like Tulo and LeMahieu to increase efficiency is a massively underrated move by Cashman. The duo brings five total Gold Gloves to the unit and a strong base of knowledge to help the younger players develop. The only issue is – the team is in win-now mode and the growth will need to be done in-season.