The Yankees have a sickening amount of money on the injured list

aaron boone, yankees
Apr 24, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone walks off the field after checking on starting pitcher Jhony Brito (not pictured) during the third inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees, with a staggering active payroll of $281.4 million, have an unfortunate amount of that total – $88.36 million to be exact – languishing on the injured list. This colossal figure not only reflects a worrying lack of player reliability but also a concerning health management issue within the roster.

Anticipating the Return of Key Players

Despite the alarming number of injured players, hopes remain high for several key contributors’ return this season, including stars like Aaron Judge, Carlos Rodon, and Harrison Bader. However, an unending cycle of injuries continues to inflate the amount spent on non-active players. The recent return of Giancarlo Stanton, representing 11.44% of the payroll, is a welcome relief.

The Yankees’ Declining Offensive Performance

Despite a lineup filled with high-profile names and correspondingly high salaries, the Yankees’ offense has been shockingly weak. The team currently ranks 24th in batting average at .232 and 28th in on-base percentage at .300, trailing behind even the historically underperforming Oakland Athletics.

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Struggling for a World Series-Caliber Roster

Bogged down by disappointing contracts and player health issues, the Yankees face an uphill battle to justify their potential as a World Series-contending roster. Come the trade deadline, the team typically scrambles for additions rather than boasting a fortified roster.

Realistically, the Yankees could use another starting pitcher, an outfielder, and more quality depth – resources they currently lack.

The Fallacy of a Home Run Strategy

Relying heavily on home runs has proven to be a flawed strategy for the Yankees. Despite being fourth in the league for home runs this season at 104, their average run score indicates a high proportion of solo shots. A low on-base rate paired with a high home run metric often results in fewer RBIs, explaining the Yankees’ ongoing offensive struggles. Improving the on-base efficiency could potentially turn things around.

The Injury List: A Million Dollar Dilemma

It is indeed disheartening to see such vast sums of money tied up in the injured list, especially for players yet to contribute significantly.

Starting pitcher Carlos Rodon, who signed a six-year, $162 million deal, has been wrestling with multiple injuries, making no meaningful contributions yet. Diagnosed with chronic back issues immediately after signing, Rodon’s situation mirrors the medical team’s oversight of Frankie Montas’s shoulder injury last year.

The Yankees need to critically assess their health management and player reliability to stop hemorrhaging money into the injured list. It’s time to rethink their strategy, focus on base efficiency, and bolster their roster with more depth to live up to their World Series-contender potential.