The Yankees preached patience, but the approach was risky and now they’ll have to wait some more

New York Yankees, Hal Steinbrenner

The moment is here. MLB owners are imposing a lockout, which means that all trades, signings, and transactions involving major league players are frozen. There can be no communication between teams and players on their major league rosters. Many teams moved quickly to sign their targets before the expected lockout date, which was Wednesday, December 1, but the New York Yankees didn’t do anything.

The Yankees, it seems, are content by leaving all major moves and roster improvements for after the lockout. It was a risky approach, because teams left the available player pool dry, but there are still ballplayers out there capable of significantly improving the Bombers.

The problem with the Yankees’ approach is that they don’t have any margin for error now. The offseason started with five star-level shortstops, and there are just two now: Carlos Correa and Trevor Story.

There are only two top shortstops for at least five deep-pocketed, shortstop-needy squads: the Yankees, the Los Angeles Angels, the Boston Red Sox, the Houston Astros, and the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Yankees don’t have any room for error

If the Yankees miss out on Correa or Story, they risk ending up with Andrelton Simmons, Jose Iglesias, or Freddy Galvis, and that’s not the idea in an offseason in which the team implied it would have more resources to spend.

The lockout can take a few days (unlikely), several weeks (likely), or even months. For now, games aren’t cancelled, but if February rolls around and the owners and players haven’t agreed on a new CBA, then it may be time to worry.

It could be some time before we know which upgrades the Yankees will make to their roster. They already missed out on Corey Seager, Javier Baez, Marcus Semien, Starling Marte, Max Scherzer, Robbie Ray, Kevin Gausman, Justin Verlander, and other stellar performers.

However, there may still be some interesting players in free agency for them, most notably Correa and pitchers Carlos Rodon, Clayton Kershaw, and Yusei Kikuchi. The Yankees have no choice but to wait and see at this point.

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