The New York Yankees are not on the list of CBS Sports teams that have made moves to improve their teams this offseason. R. J. Anderson of CBS Sports graded the Yankees “F” in their review of the moves made by all MLB teams so far this offseason. However, what should be most disturbing for Yankee fans is that every other team in the AL East rated better, with both the Tampa Bay Rays and the Toronto Blue Jays scoring an A. Even the lowly Orioles scored better than the Yankees.
After a disappointing season and an even more disappointing loss in the Wild Card game against the Red Sox, the Yankee front office was talking big. They suggested that the checkbook was open, and the Yankees would be making big moves to improve the team for the 2022 season. General Brian Cashman made it known in no uncertain terms that the Yankees would be going after a big-name shortstop, a number two starter, and help in center field. Instead, what we got was nothing. The only news was that the Yankees might shun a top shortstop while waiting for prospects to develop.
Last week, much to fans’ disappointment, the owners and players couldn’t come to an agreement before the CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement) expired. A work stoppage was put in place even before Commissioner Rob Manfred had time to exhale. He locked out the players. All 30 team owners unanimously voted to put the lockout in place. That lockout means the hot stove is dead because owners and players, coaches, agents can’t even talk to each other until a new agreement is signed. No trades, no acquisitions, nothing!
It might be an exaggeration, but as of the lockout, most of the best players were already offered contracts leaving the Yankees with crumbs once the lockout is over. Apparently, CBS Sports graded the Yankees with a big fat “F” for their progress in repairing the team for the 2022 season. Here is a look at what other AL East rivals have done so far.
The Tampa Bay Rays rated A:
The Tampa Bay Rays have acted like the Yankees of old. First, the Rays GM Erik Neander scooped up starting pitcher Corey Kluber from the Yankees. The Rays that seem to make the right decisions at the right time saw something in Kluber that the Yankees didn’t as they failed to offer him a contract. The Rays also picked up Brooks Raley, giving Tampa Bay a much stronger bullpen and adding a tremendous left-hander who will be high on their list of relievers.
The Rays also reached an agreement with the young star Wander Franco, giving him a long-term extension. If the club exercises its club option for 2033 and incentives are reached, the 11-year deal could be worth $223 million for Franco. Once the lockout is over, look for the Rays to trade off Tyler Glasnow, who they did quite well without in 2021, and Kevin Kiermaier. If the Yankees get off their hands, they may look at that one once the lockout is lifted.
The Toronto Blue Jays rated A:
Although less active than the Rays, the Toronto Blue Jays have made some nice moves this postseason so far. This postseason they have successfully extended the contract of pitcher Jose Berrios. Last season, he was 12-9 in 32 starts for a 3.52 ERA. The Yankees faced Berrios twice last season, with him winning both games. In another big move, the Jays signed one of the Yankee pitching targets, Kevin Gausman, who will solidify the Jays’ rotation for several years to come. The Jays are also expecting Yimi Garcia to shine in the bullpen.
The Boston Red Sox rated C:
The Red Sox, like the Yankees, lost a key pitcher in Eduardo Rodriguez that the Detroit Tigers signed. However, with the Rays, Chaim Bloom has already signed two former Rays pitchers. He also signed the Mariners pitcher, former Yankee James Paxton. All three of the acquired pitchers have issues. Signing Jackie Bradley after his career-worst season is indeed questionable. It doesn’t seem the Red Sox are behaving as a team that almost reached the World Series.
The Baltimore Orioles D:
Talking about the Baltimore Orioles is almost a joke after losing 66% of their games in the last three seasons. So far in the offseason, the O’s have picked up Rougned Odor that the Yankees felt didn’t deserve to stay with the team, and pitcher Jordan Lyles and his 5.12 ERA. Lyles will be the most expensive player on the O’s at $6 million. Their projected opening day payroll is about $40 million. Expect more of the same from the Orioles.