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New York Yankees: Make Early Movement

by Nathan Solomon
Could the Yankees pursue Gerrit Cole this offseason?
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There are a handful of big free agents on the market this winter, and many of them that the New York Yankees would love to sign.

Instead of waiting to the later part of winter to make moves, the Yankees should start taking serious action NOW. With everybody wrapped up in the Astros cheating allegations, there is no better time to recruit free agents and give them offers in pretty lowkey way.

They could try to keep as quiet as possible, but if information leaks out about them making early moves, then it would quickly put pressure on other teams to match and exceed the Yankees offers.

The first order of business would be retaining Brett Gardner and figuring out the whole outfield situation. If they have interest in resigning Cameron Maybin, they could probably hold off a bit on him. He likely won’t sign a contract until February.



Once they get Gardner locked up, it would be time to decide who they are going to offer on. I would love to see them get Anthony Rendon, but the likelihood of him leaving the Nationals is slim to none. So, they should try and make quick offers on Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg.

I hope that Brian Cashman doesn’t try to be cheap again and lowball them. He needs to offer both pitchers solid contracts early into free agency. It puts so much pressure on other teams to match, and it would be very tempting for them to sign when they see a huge offer.

All I’m saying is that if the Yankees start making offers early into the offseason, they may have a better chance to sign the top free agents.

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3 comments

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Martin Hanoian November 19, 2019 - 7:48 pm

Nathan, you are correct that your article wasn’t focused on the economic portion of the deals. Unfortunately, a deal without an economic portion isn’t a deal. Like in the Tom Cruise movie, “Show me the money” IS a part of every deal, especially one in which a free agent is enticed to sign early.

In a vacuum, sure, beat the holiday rush and sign these guys now. But, just like a credit card purchase, no matter how you slice it and how you defer payments, you need to pay up at some point. If these free agents are signed now, you must consider how that affects the future of the team – specifically Judge, Torres, Sanchez and Paxton (and others) and their ability to sign other free agents this year – such as Didi, Cameron, Betances and Gardner – and in future years.

Personally, I think another reliever – such as Betances – is the key to success in 2020. The high leverage relievers were overworked in 2019 and, as a result, if one faltered, everything came tumbling down, especially if the starters didn’t go deep into games. I also want to see what the new pitching coach can do with the talent he has to work with. Sonny Gray had electric stuff. He just wasn’t allowed to throw it. I think he got a raw deal. I also think that the Yankee pitchers are too fixated on pitching to the bottom outside corner of the strike zone. All a hitter needs to do is look out there and serve that pitch into the opposite field. Every so often, Tanaka would miss the low outside area and throw a pitch at the top of the zone and quite often that would result in a swing and miss. He should be aiming up more often. Imagine if Blake can make each Yankees pitcher just slightly better? If he could, who would need a 30M pitcher or two?

I don’t think that Gardner is needed – Tauchman will do just fine and save enough money so hopefully Betances can be signed with a few more millions. Didi should also be signed. I’d rather have sustainable years of Didi, Betances, Judge, Torres, Sanchez and Paxton than signing Cole and Strass with having the former group traded away or unable to be resigned.

You must consider the financial cost both in the near term and in the long term. Any idea that doesn’t is just plain reckless. You have written some interesting articles in the past. Unfortunately, for me, this wasn’t one of them.

I could never be a writer, since a writer has to produce new content frequently, without enough time to think out the entire article adequately. I would feel comfortable producing articles maybe once a quarter or even less often, unless something timely cropped up. But who would read a website that updated just two or three times per year? I don’t envy having to put out articles because your deadline is here and there is nothing great happening to write about and having to “create” something that might catch someone’s eye. I’m glad it’s your job and not mine – grin.

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Martin Hanoian November 18, 2019 - 10:15 pm

Hi Nathan! Well, your article worked. Say something outrageous without thinking of the future ramifications to get some comments. If NYY were to sign both Cole and Stras, they would need to offer them about $65M per year combined. What do you think their payroll would be for 2020? $280M $290M?

What happens when Judge’s salary goes through the roof? Are you going to give him 30-40M per year also? How about Gleber and Sanchez? Do you think that DJ will resign for $12M in 2021? Do you just let them all walk because you can’t afford them anymore? Are you planning on trying to sign Didi or Maybin or Betances or Gardner? What will Paxton’s salary be in the next few years? Jacoby’s salary will be off the books (as will EE’s buyout and Happ’s contract), but the arbitration raises for the other up and coming stars will overwhelm that money in a hurry.

With this type of blatant financial recklessness, why stop there? Why not sign Rendon to a $30M per year contract also? Add Wheeler and Grandal too. Have a cap number approaching $400M per year – Hal can afford it, even with an additional tax hit of about $100M. They would probably create a new tax bracket for going over by that much, making the tax even higher. Why not trade the entire minor league roster for Mike Trout and have him play first base? We need a 30-40M player at every position!

So what if they lose all their top draft picks and most of their international signing money – who needs that when everybody is signed to 10 year contracts and there is no room for anyone new on the roster anyway? Just hope that none of the players start to fade or get hurt in years 5 – 10 – boy will that get ugly. Instead of one Pujols, imagine 6 of him in his later years! Yankee fans will have to get used to being happy with a .500 team for those years. Hal may even start to lose money then.

Please think ahead before spouting off things that are not well thought out with relation to their future consequences. Unless your goal is to waste some of my evening responding to you .

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Nathan Solomon November 19, 2019 - 8:55 am

Martin, the concept of the article wasn’t focused on the economic portion of the deals. I understand that there are and there will continue to be issues with the payroll, but I was focusing on making a point to try and say sign these guys early.

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