The superstar free agent pool has dwindled to the likes of pitcher Dallas Keuchel, as the Manny Machado and Bryce Harper sweepstakes have finally come to an end. The New York Yankees were reportedly interested in signing one of the generational talents to a monster deal, but at the end of the day, it was all smoke and mirrors.
General manager Brian Cashman maneuvered his way into securing two solid veterans for a fraction of the price set for Machado or Harper. The two players he signed, Troy Tulowitzki and Dj LeMahieu, offer great value in the short term.
The New York Yankees were already a great team…
The Yankees were a 100 win team in 2018, something that’s forgotten when big name free agents come dancing around New York. Upgrading the team certainly cost Cashman money, as he spent over $150 million improving the bullpen and infield defense. Both Tulo and LeMahieu add five Gold Gloves to the infield and pitchers Adam Ottavino and James Paxton will provide immediate support to an already solid pitching corps.
But, the most impressive aspect of Cashman’s offseason was the way he used the media to smoke screen other teams. As the news outlets picked up that the Yanks were interested in a big free agent signing, Cashman quietly snuck out the back door and secured players that would help the team win now and not plague them with money issues in five years.
Short term deals can be the best kind:
Tulowitzki is on a veteran minimum deal and LeMahieu signed a two-year, $24 million deal. These short term contracts are all centered around earning a 28th ring for the men in Pinstripes.
When asked if the Yankees were ever interested in Bryce Harper, Cashman simply said, “no.” The general manager has seemingly become frustrated with continuous questions regarding free agency.
â€œIâ€™m closing the chapter on these questions about high-end free agency in the winter,â€ Cashman stated on Sunday afternoon. â€œI feel like weâ€™ve vetted that enough. Sorry. Iâ€™d rather focus on the here and now, and the real, rather than the unreal.â€
With the starting team looking to already be in mid-season form, it’s expected that the Yankees will be a serious World Series contender. Players like Tulo and LeMahieu have already shown their value in spring training, especially the former who knocked a ball out of the park on his very first at-bat with the Bombers. Go figure.