Were the New York Yankees brilliant in their reluctance to act, or short-sighted?

New York Yankees, Aaron Judge

It is old news by now that the New York Yankees did next to nothing to improve the team in the first six weeks of the postseason. While many other teams went on an acquisition frenzy in the weeks that followed the World Series, the Yankees made no major league buys to prepare for a 2022 season when they fell short again this past season. The team has given no explanation for their inaction. Nevertheless, there are three reasons they may have sit happily buy as nearly half of free agents found new homes.

  1. The Yankees believe their team and prospects are as good as they need to be!
  2. The Yankees prudently wanted to wait and see the outcome of a new Collective Bargaining agreement and how it will affect the game and their funds!
  3. The Yankees want to protect their profits by not offering any mega-contract players, with Aaron Judge in the wings waiting for a contract extension.

It is not as though the Yankees did nothing; they did hire a few minor league players not affected by the lockout. They also hired a new coaching staff by replacing the hitting coach and assistants, a new first and third base coach, and they also made a few minor coaching changes.

All of this lack of action happened after the Yankees had previously said they would come out swinging by filling their number one priority, a shortstop with a big-name contender. They also named a number two priority, getting a number two type starting pitcher to replace Corey Kluber. Those along with help in center field and filling the first base slot were indicated as their needs. But almost instantly after that announcement, the Yankees changed strategies, suggesting they might hire a stopgap shortstop. At the same time, they wait for Anthony Volpe and Oswald Peraza to fully develop to the major league level.

From that point on, the Yankees and its fans watched Marcus Semien and Corey Seager, two of the best shortstops out there, go to the Texas Rangers; what the Rangers will do with an extra high paid shortstop is anyone’s guess. Look for a possible trade before the start of the season. Javier Baez went to the Tigers. Next, the Yankees also saw starting pitchers Robbie Ray go to Seattle, Kevin Gausman to the Blue Jays, Eduardo Rodriguez go to the Tigers, and finally, Max Scherzer signed a huge three-year contract with the crosstown Mets.

Considering factor No. 1. the Yankees have had a pretty good team highlighted by pitcher Gerrit Cole and sluggers Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton over the last few years. These players have been able to propel the Yankees all the way to a wild card appearance. Consider a solid supporting staff, and the Yankees may think this team is as good as they need with a few minor additions.

Looking at factor No. 2 for inaction, all of baseball is waiting to resolve a new CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement). That settlement could change baseball and its economics. The Yankees could have sat back waiting for that new agreement to see how they stood economically.

Lastly, and most likely is the Yankee’s desire to keep their profits where they are. The Yankees have the highest revenues in all of baseball. In previous years owner, Hal Steinbrenner has been adamant in keeping below the luxury tax threshold. It at first seemed that might be out the window this season, but that has seemed to change with the Yankees watching their pockets.

This week MLB will present their first new set of offers to the players. However unlikely, if there is a positive outcome to those offers, the Yankees could spring into action. The significant issues to be resolved are the players receiving a greater portion of the revenues, more money sooner in their careers with less owner interference, and the raising of the luxury tax threshold.

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