For the New York Yankees and most of baseball, the Winter Meetings were by far the most boring in recent years. By Thursday you needed to be poked by a stick to see what you missed, but actually, you missed nothing. For Yankee fans, it was like waiting for your new Mercedes to arrive only to find out that the car carrier it was on crashed in Pennsylvania.
In a normal year all the baseball executives, managers, coaches and the like meet up at a post hotel at some hot destination to talk baseball and make deals. They win and dine, make deals over a few too many drinks at the bar or late night in hotel rooms. By the time all is said and done most if not all of the big names in baseball have signed or been traded for. This year “virtually” nothing happened. One reason is that it was virtual, not in person. At the end of these Winter Meetings for the most part all the big names are all unsigned. Trevor Bauer, J.T. Realmuto, George Springer, Justin Turner, oh yeah, and of course DJ LeMahieu, none have deals and there doesn’t look as there will be any in short term.
Some of the reasons for the snail’s pace is teams and their owners are still shell shocked by how much money they lost last year with a 60 game season with no fans in the stands. Another is the most of America is shell shocked by the ever-increasing coronavirus pandemic that sees thousands of people die each day. For most owners, the overriding reason there is so little action is that there is no clarity as to what a 2021 baseball season will look like. In fact, we don’t even know whether fans will be allowed in the stands next year.Â It looks promising with vaccines on the way, but the herculean job of getting it distributed will take until the summer months, possibly too late to have an effect on the baseball season.
For the New York Yankees and its fans, it looks like it will be a quiet offseason with no really big names to be signed. Of course, that excludes DJ LeMahieu who the Yankees have said is their main priority to get signed. Recently general manager Brian Cashman has said he is satisfied with the pitching rotation they have. Notice I said satisfied not thrilled. With his confirmation that Domingo German will be allowed back on the team, it seems to indicate the only possible pitcher signings will be Masahiro Tanaka if they can get a super cheap deal and an arm or two for the bullpen. There will be no replacement for Gleyber Torres or Gary Sanchez.
When and if the baseball season starts on time, Yankee fans will pretty much see the same team on the field as they did last year when they exited the postseason early. The only real difference is the baby baby bombers will take a more active role in the season’s success or failure. Most likely you will see Deivi Garcia in the three or four spots in the pitching rotation after his successful debut last season. Clarke Schmidt most likely will be in the mix also. There is still time for some big moves to be made, but with the present climate and owner Hal Steinbrenner’s wish to stay below the luxury tax threshold, you need not hold your breath.
The only thing that could change this outlook dramatically, is if the Yankees and DJ LeMahieu can’t agree to another contract that satisfies both parties. If that goes south, you may see the pace escalate quickly as the Yankees try to grab what players are left in the market.