The New York Yankees were last year’s star in the Winter Meetings, This year, with only one day left for the meetings and the Yankees have made no reported moves. Any news out of the Yankees front office has been hard to come by. Even their top priority of re-signing DJ LeMahieu doesn’t seem to be moving along, not even a snippet of news saying that they may be close to a deal.
This has been a tranquil time for the 2020 baseball Winter Meetings, but especially quiet for the New York Yankees. Yesterday Chris Flexen, a right-hand pitcher, is signing with the Seattle Mariners. Chadwick Tromp, a catcher, is signing with the San Francisco Giants. And more bad news for the Yankees for if they wanted to do anything about a new catcher, James McCann is probably off the market as he reportedly is close to a deal with the crosstown New York Mets.
If one is a true optimist, you will assume that there will be some news forthcoming from the Yankees on the many needs they have to address on this last day of the Winter Meeting. There is some good news for Yankee fans, the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday signed a new first baseman. That may lessen their play for DJ LeMahieu. But the Yankees still badly need a number two starter in their rotation and at least one or two relievers to help out with a far from the perfect bullpen. In fact, going into this upcoming season, the New York Yankees bullpen may be as weak as it has been in years.
If you are a pessimist, you will feel that the Yankees have missed the opportunity to acquire the best free agents out there. Several of the Yankee’s pitching prospects were kicking the tires on are already off the market, signing with their new teams. One specifically that seemed to be the main target, Charlie Morton, signed a new contract for $15million and is now an Atlanta Brave. The only thing good to be read from that deal is that the Yankees will no longer have to face him several times a year when they play the Tampa Bay Rays.
If the Yankees do nothing, fans will blame general manager Brian Cashman and say he is losing his touch after doing nothing before the trade deadline. One must remember that Cashman is not a God; he is just an employee and can do no more than what Hal Steinbrenner allows him to do. At this point, unless there is some dramatic change, it appears the Yankees will be going with the same team they had last year that went short and exited the postseason early.
Plan B would, of course, be going with their young pitching prospects and maybe re-signing Masahiro Tanaka, even though that is no surety either. The shame of the whole situation is that last year they did go out and get the best pitcher in baseball, Gerrit Cole but so far have failed to give him the support behind him to make a successful run at a championship. This writer does not make good business sense and is a poor return on a huge investment.