New York Yankees Analysis: Is this the most important offseason in years, are the Yankees running out of time?

New York Yankees, Hal Steinbrenner

The New York Yankees are facing a most difficult and important offseason than they have since 2008. The only similarity is that the Yankees have now gone years without a World Series win. This past season saw the Yankees again have an early exit in the postseason—this time to the Tampa Bay Rays in the ALDS.  In the last four years, the Yankees couldn’t get it done in either the ALDS or ALCS.

What is different this year compared to 2008 is the New York Yankees have lost a tremendous amount of money this past season with no fans and associated revenue. According to Michael Kay, the Yankees lost more money than any team in baseball. But when you consider the Yankees’ many money streams, they also made more money than any other team. Averaging it out, the Yankees had a 40% loss overall. A 40% loss for lower-tier teams can be devastating. Not so much for the Yankees; they are far from broke.

“Our objective was to win a world championship. We failed in that endeavor,” owner Hal Steinbrenner told Michael Kay on ESPN New York 98.7 FM last month (via MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch). “Does that mean the entire season was a failure? No. I don’t think winning 10 in a row was a failure, and last year, I don’t think winning (103) games was a failure. I know people disagree with me on that, but I look at the season as a whole.”

That statement also highlights another difference in the team. A change in ownership. With George M. Steinbrenner, it was “World Series or bust.” As you can see from the statement, new owner Hal Steinbrenner still wants to win, but he looks at the success or failure slightly differently.

After 2008 George and the company went out and signed CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, and Mark Teixeira for the sum of $400 million. The result of that purchase was a World Series win at the end of the season, the first since 2000. Hal Steinbrenner is not his father; he is a more conservative businessman; it is very doubtful he will spend anywhere near the $400 million his father did to solve the club’s problems. To be fair to Hal, he is in a different situation than his father was in 2008. In 2008 the team was flush with money and would be opening a brand new stadium.

The New York Yankees, for years, were known as a team with a lot of older veterans on the team. That all changed in the mid-2010s with a new core of “Baby Bombers,” including Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, Miguel Andujar, and Gleyber Torres. Those baby bombers are not so much babies anymore; outside of Andujar and Torres, the others are approaching 30 years old. Add to that Gerrit Cole, Giancarlo Stanton, Zack Britton, and Aroldis Chapman are all on the wrong side of 30. I bring this up because, with this core, the Yankees are running out of time to achieve that 28th World Championship without a complete overhaul.

What the Yankees must do to win another World Series

The Yankees had several significant contracts come off the books after the season, including Masahiro Tanaka – ($22.1 million per year), Jacoby Ellsbury – ($21.9 million per year), J.A. Happ ($17 million), James Paxton – ($12.5 million), and DJ LeMahieu – ($12 million), Brett Gardner – ($10 million). Ellsbury did still count against their luxury tax payroll. Now that his contract is expired, he’s completely off the books. That gives the Yankees $95.5 million to spend. Last year’s normal payroll would have been $257,409,316, which is well over the $210 million luxury tax threshold that Steinbrenner says he wants to stay under.

The Yankees want to save with the $47 million that leaves only something less than $48 million available to fix everything they want to fix. As announced, DJ LeMahieu will be a priority signing, that will likely cost the Yankees $20 million; if they accomplish that, they will have just $28 million to hire a new premium type pitcher, solve the Yankees catching problem and address the situation at shortstop, they may also wish to bolster the bullpen after losing Tommy Kahnle to Tommy John surgery. $28 million doesn’t seem to solve everything. Cashman is going to have to be very creative.

If general manager Brian Cashman and, more importantly, Hal Steinbrenner really want to win their first World Series in twelve years, it appears they are going to have to break the bank. The Yankees so far have made no moves, but it is still very early in the offseason. Time will tell if they want to balance the books or become champions again.

 

 

 

 

New York Yankees Analysis: Will the Mets Steve Cohen aim to make the Yankees a second class team?

New York Yankees, Hal Steinbrenner

What may be good for baseball and the Mets may not be good for the New York Yankees. Just a week ago, MLB announced that Steve Cohen was the new owner of the beleaguered New York Mets. The headline’s question is will the multi-billionaire aim to make the New York Yankees a second-class New York team. The answer is probably not, but that doesn’t mean that won’t be the result. The new Mets owner has vowed to make the Mets the greatest team in baseball.

To understand this, you have to understand the man. Thirtyish years ago, Cohen was but a brash late-’80s Wall Street trader and possibly not one of the most savory. But that has all changed with his founding and ownership of Point72 asset management company in Stamford, CT that has earned him a near $15 billion net worth. Cohen will not be shy in spending that money to make his latest endeavor successful and see him as a winner. Cohen is all about self-image and being at the top of his game.

The Wilpon family has owned the poor Mets for the last eighteen years. The time has been marked by divisiveness, incompetence, and being cash strapped as the owners tried to sell the team. The owners actually wanted to sell the team but continue to make the management decisions. Several people and associates have tried to buy them a team, including former Yankee Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez. A little over a week ago, 25 of the 30 MLB teams approved the sale, and Steve Cohen became the new New York Mets owner.

With New York City and surrounds being the largest sports market in America, the Mets’ sale to Cohen will significantly impact baseball players and, more specifically, on the New York Yankees. Whether intentional or not, this situation will cause greatly increased competition for the nation’s top players. If Cohen aims to make the Mets great, it will surely put a strain on the Steinbrenner family who’s net worth is a 10th of Cohen’s bucks.

Make no mistake about it; Cohen is a smart businessman who will not just through dollars at the team; however, he will make wise decisions to obtain the best players and management to bring the team success. He has already fired the general manager of the Mets and his staff. He had a minor ownership stake back in 2012 and previously failed to buy the team, but now that he owns it, he is determined to show the world that he and his new team are winners.

The New York Yankees will not be able to control what Cohen does with his new team, but they will be responsible for keeping the New York Yankees the leading team in baseball. Everything will depend on Hall Steinbrenner and the Steinbrenner family.

Several close to Steve Cohen say the billionaire who’s wealth is reportedly at $14.6 billion from his ownership of Point72 asset management company, doesn’t care if he makes money off the team; his sole goal is to make the New York Mets the team in New York City. This is awful news for Hal Steinbrenner and the Steinbrenner family as they are business people who want to profit from the team, not put their own money into it.

Hal Steinbrenner has already announced that he wanted the New York Yankees to stay under the baseball luxury tax threshold of $210 million. With so many needs, especially in repairing the starting pitching, that will be hard to do, and now with a looming financial battle, that may be impossible. There is no question that this new wrinkle has to please DJ LeMahieu, who may now be emboldened in his quest for more money and financial security in the future.

Hal Steinbrenner is reportedly worth only $1.2 billion; the family has a net worth as of 2015 at $3.8 billion. It’s actually hard to ascertain exactly how much they are worth because of their involvement with Legends Hospitality, the YES network, and other sport-related activities. What is clear is that the family is far in the shadows of the massively wealthy Steven Cohen. Hal is not his father, George M. Steinbrenner, who was not afraid to use his own money to make the New York Yankees the premier baseball team. It should be noted that Hal and his family do not own the Yankees; they own the controlling share of 55%.

Many believe now that Cohen has lost the second baseman, Robinson Cano, to a one-year suspension due to testing positive for PED’s, that he will use Yankees free agent DJ LeMahieu as his first conquest, outbidding the New York Yankees for MLB’s hitting leader and Silver Slugger. Winning over the Yankees will cement his determination to make the Mets better in the eyes of his the club’s fans and the financial world.

 

New York Yankees News/Rumors: The Yankees may now have to grossly overpay for DJ LeMahieu, find out why

New York Yankees, DJ LeMahieu

Yesterday was not a good day for the New York Yankees or the New York Met’s Robinson Cano. Cano was suspended for the entire 2021 season after testing positive for Stanozolol, a performance-enhancing drug (PED). When a crosstown team loses its star second baseman, at first glance, it might seem like a panacea for the Yankees, but in fact, it is a turn of events that are the opposite for the Yankees.

The New York Mets are a different team today than just weeks ago. The Met’s have a new owner, Steve Cohen, a billionaire with some, say, unlimited funds, and will be willing to spend a large chunk of that wealth on making the Mets the premium team in New York City. He will be a major contender for baseball talent. Unfortunately for the New York Yankees, the Met’s second baseman’s loss puts the Yankee free-agent second baseman DJ LeMahieu front and center for a bidding battle for his services.

There is no question that LeMahieu is the number one second baseman on the free-agent market by far. LeMahieu, for the second year in a row, is a Silver Slugger and won the batting title for the 2020 season, hitting .364 with an excellent ball to strikeout ratio. He had 10 homers and 27 RBIs. He had a 1.011 OPS and a .590 slugging percentage. The Yankees star has been everything the Yankees could have wanted and more, and now they will have to battle to keep him in pinstripes.

The Met’s Robinson Cano tests positive for PED’s

New York Mets second baseman  Robinson Cano has tested positive for PED’s namely Stanozolol, a performance-enhancing drug, as announced by MLB yesterday. The banned substance use is Cano’s second infraction for the use of PED’s. He was caught using PED’s back in 2018. Being caught a second time has led to him being banned from baseball for the entire 2021 baseball season. His first stint was for 80 days. Apparently, Cano did not learn his lesson. Cano was a New York Yankee for nine years between 2005 to 2013 before going to the Seattle Mariners and finally the New York Mets in 2019. Cano is not the player he was for the Yankees, but the loss will surely cause the Met’s owner to try to get an upgrade.

This is the official statement from the Mets regarding the suspension of Robinson Cano.

“We were extremely disappointed to be informed about Robinson’s suspension for violating Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. The violation is very unfortunate for him, the organization, our fans, and the sport. The Mets fully support MLB’s efforts toward eliminating performance enhancing substances from the game.”

Cohen’s first step to make the Mets THE New York team

Several close to Steve Cohen say the billionaire who’s wealth is reportedly at $14.6 billion from his ownership of Point72 asset management company, doesn’t care if he makes money off the team; his sole goal is to make the New York Mets the team in New York City. This is awful news for Hal Steinbrenner and the Steinbrenner family as they are business people who want to profit from the team, not put their own money into it.

Hal Steinbrenner has already announced that he wanted the New York Yankees to stay under the baseball luxury tax threshold of $210 million. With so many needs, especially in repairing the starting pitching, that will be hard to do, and now with a looming financial battle, that may be impossible. There is no question that this new wrinkle has to please DJ LeMahieu, who may now be emboldened in his quest for more money and financial security in the future.

Hal Steinbrenner is reportedly worth only $1.2 billion; the family has a net worth as of 2015 at $3.8 billion. It’s actually hard to ascertain exactly how much they are worth because of their involvement with Legends Hospitality, the YES network, and other sport-related activities. What is clear is that the family is far in the shadows of the massively wealthy Steven Cohen. Hal is not his father, George M. Steinbrenner, who was not afraid to use his own money to make the New York Yankees the premier baseball team. It should be noted that Hal and his family do not own the Yankees they own the controlling share of 55%.

Will a bidding war erupt over DJ LeMahieu?

Hal Steinbrenner has to be sitting in his office trying to decide if he will meet Steve Cohen’s challenge or if he is going to continue to milk the cow for profits; fans are damned. Until he makes that decision, fans will be waiting to see if he wants to bring the team back to the greatness it has so sorely missed since its last World Series Championship eleven years ago.

Whatever he decides, DJ LeMahieu is the winner in this situation. This was an offseason that was supposed to be sparse for free agents, which has changed somewhat for LeMahieu. The Yankees gave their only qualifying of $18.9 million to DJ. He refused that offer, probably not so much because of the money offered but because the contract was for only one year. DJ, at 32, has made it clear that he would like a contract that will give him security going into the last years of his career.

The experts that know feel that LeMahieu will want something in the $20 million per year area and for a period of four years. If a bidding war between Cohen and Steinbrenner erupts, that amount and contract length could increase to the point that Hal will be willing to let DJ walk and hope that general manager Brian Cashman can work his magic in replacing him.

 

New York Yankees Analysis: Richest team in baseball short on cash to make moves

New York Yankees, Yankees, Brian Cashman

The New York Yankees are in near dire straits. With much to do to improve the team for the 2021 season, the Yankees find themselves with little money to accomplish that task. Some believe the Yankees may have lost as much as $700 million considering expenses. First, they failed to gain any revenue from fan dependent revenues due to no fans attending games. Then they had the biggest payroll in baseball to pay. Add to that front office payroll, security, and Yankee stadium upkeep, and you have a huge loss for the 2020 season.

The New York Yankees will also have to travel a thin line with what they spend as they have no idea at this point as to whether they will have another season not making a dime. The coronavirus is exploding all over the country daily, with no end in sight. This could cause no fans in the stands, at least at the beginning of the 2021 season. There is hope that the vaccines being developed could slow the spread of the virus by next summer, but that is yet to be seen.

Meanwhile, the New York Yankees have to find a way to retain Yankee star and batting title winner DJ LeMahieu, obtain a pitching starter, and to a lesser degree, address the problems at the backstop and short. The Yankees have a guaranteed payroll of

That comes to roughly $120 million, add to that the arbitration-eligible players like Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, Clint Frazier, Gio Urshela, Luke Voit, and others who will get about $28 million, it totals $148 million worth of payroll the Yankees already have to put out for the 2021 season. If you deduct that from the $210 million luxury tax threshold, it leaves the Yankees with less than $63 million to solve their problems. The Yankees will likely have to meet DJ LeMahieu’s demand that will likely be at $20 million, and the money is further reduced to $43 million to fix the ills. To put that into perspective, spending for Franciso Lindor and J. T. Realmuto would eat that up entirely with no way to fix the pitching rotation.

Therein lies the problem; the Yankees aren’t going to able to fix everything as they might like to. The two big problems that must be addressed is getting another premium-like pitcher and retaining DJ LeMahieu. With all the talk of needing to replace Gary Sanchez as a catcher and Gleyber Torres at short, those needs will take a back seat unless the Yankees can sell off some assets and make trades to accomplish those needs.

There are many creative moves general manager Brain Cashman can do. Still, he will be challenged unless owner Hal Steinbrenner is really serious about winning and opens up his pocketbook like he did last year, with the acquisition of Gerrit Cole. With so many questions looming regarding future revenues, that is not likely. The Yankees may just try to patch up the team and hope for the best with their prospects they already have upcoming.

New York Yankees News: Hal Steinbrenner speaks out on DJ LeMahieu’s play and more

New York Yankees, DJ LeMahieu

The New York Yankees Chief Operating Partner Hal Steinbrenner spoke out yesterday on the “Michael Kay Show” on ESPN when asked about contract negotiations for DJ LeMahieu.

“I think I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t recognize what a contribution he made to the club and how good of a player he is,” Steinbrenner said on “The Michael Kay Show” on ESPN Radio in New York. “I recognize both those things. I’ll leave it at that.”

That statement didn’t exactly point one way or the other, as far as what talks have or haven’t been going on. In fact, saying, “I’ll leave it at,” he seemed to indicate to Kay not to ask any more questions. However, the conversation did continue when Kay posed a similar but more general question asking Steinbrenner what next year’s payroll will look like.

“We’ll see,” he said. “It depends what kind of money is going to be required to be spent based on what we look at and decide needs change. But look, there’s no doubt we sustained significant losses this year, more so than any other team in baseball. … We’re going to have to see what we really feel we need and what that’s going to cost, and we’ll go from there, the way we do every year.”

It is likely with no paying fans this year at Yankee Stadium and the extra cost incurred with health protocols and other expenses that the Yankees will try to balance spending while fulfilling the club’s needs to improve the team. The Yankee’s payroll payouts were cut in half this year by the pandemic reducing the massive losses the club endured. Another issue, with spending, will be complicated, like the Yankees, at this point, still don’t know if they will have fans in the stands in the 2021 season.

Getting back to LeMahieu’s situation, Steinbrenner’s statement indicates he is fully aware of how important DJ is to the club. He knows he is going to earn more money, even though no figures have been thrown around. Since signing him from the Colorado Rockies, he has earned $12M million a year for the past two years. Most in the know figure it will take a contract of three or four years will most likely be offered and in that area of $20M per year.  The New York Yankees won’t want to extend a contract longer than that, considering that LeMahieu will turn 33 next season.

LeMahieu’s first year with the New York Yankees DJ immediately showed his worth being an excellent defender at second base and a timely, frequent hitter. The quiet baseball player just did the job he was hired to do, and at the end of the season, won a Silver Slugger Slugger Award. This season even proved the Yankee investment was a wise one as LeMahieu remained healthy and won himself the AL batting title, becoming the only player to win the coveted title in both leagues.

Steinbrenner also spoke about the signing of Gerrit Cole, indicating that he was happy with Cole’s performance by heaping praise on him.

“highly intelligent, which we knew going in. Incredibly hard worker and he instills other people to work harder than they might even otherwise do. He’s hard-core. We got exactly what we wanted in Gerrit.”

In the coming month’s all the questions coming out of this season will be answered. How big a contract LeMahieu gets, what will happen with Gleyber Torres at short, and if there will be any catcher changes. Yankee fans will be watching closely if the ever-popular Brett Gardner will be on the 2021 New York Yankee team.

 

Yankees Owner Hal Steinbrenner Expects Fans at Yankee Stadium

New York Yankees, Hal Steinbrenner

New York Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner is very optimistic that the Yankees will have some sort of fan presence at Yankee Stadium this year.

In an interview earlier today with YES Network’s Meredith Marakovits, Steinbrenner said, “I do expect to see fans in our stadium at some point to some degree, and that’s going to be a great day as well.” 

He went on to say the stadium will “at first” be 20-30% full. He is confident that management can provide the proper precautions for fans to stay safe in the stadium. 

Teams can create their precautions regarding fans in stadiums. However, Commissioner Rob Manfred must approve them before they can be put into action. 

The MLB put out a statement that read, “The commissioner has made no decisions regarding permitting fans at games. The decision will be based both on whether local health authorities approve fans to attend games and whether our medical advisors believe it is appropriate to do so.”

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been very vocal about allowing sports venues to hold sporting events but hasn’t talked about allowing fans in attendance. 

The Yankees will stay in their home stadium for workouts and simulated games leading up to July 23rd. From there they will travel to Washington to take on the defending champs in primetime action. 

New York Yankees will join All In Challenge to raise funds in the battle against COVID-19

New York Yankees

Nearly every country in the world has implemented some sort of public health norms to help combat the current coronavirus outbreak that has taken thousands of lives around the planet. United States is the most affected nation from a death toll standpoint. Sports leagues had to suspend their games and halt their operations until further notice. That’s why we haven’t been seeing our beloved New York Yankees in the field lately.

And, as American is doing its best to combat the spread and the effects of the virus in society, the Yankees’ managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner is stepping up and joining the All In Challenge, which would certainly help any fan realize his/her dream.

Actually, Steinbrenner’s initiative to join the All In Challenge is a response from an invitation from former New York Yankees’ shortstop and current Miami Marlins owner Derek Jeter. As a result, Steinbrenner put together a very nice package in which the person winning the auction will be present at a batting practice session of the team.

The person will also throw the ceremonial first pitch before a regular season home game at Yankee Stadium, provided that games can be played there because of the current coronavirus pandemic.

A complete Yankees-centered experience

Also, the winning person will get to take three guests to a game from the premium vantage point of the Legends Club seats, and will also bring home the game lineup card, autographed by Yankees manager Aaron Boone and the members of the starting lineup of that day.

“I absolutely accept Derek Jeter’s challenge. This is an incredible cause,” Steinbrenner said. “There’s been so many people affected by this coronavirus, so many people that need help. The New York Yankees are proud to be part of this.”

Per an MLB.com’s report, “one hundred percent of the money raised by the All In Challenge auction will go directly to Feeding America, Meals on Wheels, World Central Kitchen and No Kid Hungry. The auction will accept bids until May 21.”

In turn, Hal Steinbrenner challenged John W. Henry of the Boston Red Sox, Fred and Jeff Wilpon of the New York Mets and the YES Network to create auction packages of their own.

New York Yankees: A look at contract extensions for Yankee players, what you need to know

New York Yankees fans have wondered from time to time why the Yankees haven’t locked up young talents like Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, and others.  The answer is likely to surprise fans; it doesn’t have that much to do with the player, it’s the owner.  Plain and straightforward, Yankee owner and managing partner Hal Steinbrenner doesn’t believe in it.  That’s not to be said that it hasn’t been done, but it does suggest why the Yankees engage in contract extensions so seldom.

This past year was an exception.  Aaron Hicks was a season away from free agency at the time, though the outfielder chose to forego the open market in favor of a new contract that paid him $64M in new money through the 2025 season.  Hicks will reportedly receive a $2MM signing bonus in addition to a $6MM salary in 2019 before earning $10.5MM annually from 2020-23 and $9.5MM in 2024-25. The club option is said to be valued at $12.5MM (with a $1MM buyout), and while Hicks doesn’t have any no-trade protection on the deal, he’d receive a $1MM assignment bonus upon being traded.

Ace Luis Severino inked a four-year, $40M deal that covered his four arbitration-eligible years as a Super Two player, and the agreement also contains a $15M club option for the 2023 season, which would have been Severino’s first free-agent year.   The New York Yankee also arranged a contract extension for Aroldis Chapman, the Yankees designated closer.  Chapman declined his opt-out in this contract in favor of a contract extension that will bring him $48 million over three years.  It gives him another $18 million in the last two years of the extended contract.

Going back to Steinbrenner’s dislike for contract extensions, the New York Yankees have only given extensions six times in the last eighteen years.   One was for CC Sabathia, who, like Chapman, waved his opt-out in favor of a $122 million extension in 2011.  Another was the extension for outfielder Brett Gardner who, before his free agency in 2014, accepted a contract extension worth $52 million over four years.  Gardner also just signed a new contract that will keep him a Yankee for another two years. The last year of his new contract includes an opt-out and buy out.

The main reason for Hal Steinbrenner’s distaste for extensions is that all of baseball remains so fluid these days.  The market for free agents continually changes from year to year and avoiding extensions tends to give the club more options on a yearly basis. An example of that is that if fans got their way last year and the Yankees locked up Judge, Sanchez, and Andujar to long term contracts, It would have most likely not have allowed the Yankees to go out during this offseason and acquire Gerrit Cole for $324 million over the next nine years.

Back in 2010 Steinbrenner in an interview with the Associated Press, he shed light on the subject:

“I just don’t believe in contract extensions, and that’s throughout the organization, no matter who it is.  Hopefully nobody takes that personally. It’s just business.”

He also added that it’s just against company policy.   Some good examples supporting that is when star player Derek Jeter came up for an extension, it wasn’t offered.  Instead, Jeter went into free agency and eventually signed a new contract after some hard negotiations.  The same is true of superstar closer Mariano Rivera he went onto the open market before signing a new contract with the Yankees.

During this offseason, the Yankees not only did not offer any contract extension but did not take up any of the player’s options, instead negotiating with them separately for new contracts.  Don’t look for the New York Yankees to be issuing any contract extensions in the near future, especially to Aaron Judge or Gary Sanchez, who both have long term injury issues.  If there is another exception to the rule, that would most likely be issued to DJ LeMahieu last year’s MVP, who will become a free agent after this season.

In the case of James Paxton and Masahiro Tanaka, both who are aging, it is likely that any new contract that the Yankees make with them will be made after the season has concluded if there is a baseball season this year.

 

 

New York Yankees News: Yankees to get partial pay while not playing: Find out more!

New York Yankees, Hal Steinbrenner

New York Yankee players will receive partial play while not playing ball due to the coronavirus shortened season.  The MLB and the Players Association have come to an agreement according to Ken Rosenthal of the Atlantic.  The players have agreed to the proposal as of last night and the owners will vote on it Today.

Here are the main points of the deal, according to Rosenthal and ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

The New York Yankees will give players a salary advance of $170 million for April and May and the players will keep the money if fears over COVID-19 force MLB to cancel the whole season, Passan said. That means Gerrit Cole, Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge, and other Yankees will get paid for the first two months of what would have been the regular season. Rosenthal said the money would be split among four tiers of players, from those with guaranteed deals to players with major league and minor-league splits. It’s unclear how the pie will be split, though it seems likely that the players with the guaranteed deals would get the biggest shares.

  1. New York Yankees Salaries will pro-rated over the length of the remaining season, Rosenthal said. Owners would have been on the hook for $4.5 billion in salaries in 2020 if the full season was canceled and full salaries were paid.

  2. The amateur draft will be five rounds but could go longer if MLB wants, and it won’t happen any later than July.

  3. New York Yankee players will get full-service time if the season isn’t played at all. That means Yankees, who are set to become free agents after this season — such as James Paxton and Masahiro Tanaka would still be able to sign elsewhere without playing in the final years of their deals. Another interesting example: The Red Sox traded Mookie Betts to the Dodgers in the offseason. Betts is set to become a free agent after the 2020 season. It’s entirely possible that the season could get canceled and that Betts would have never played a single game for L.A.

  4. There hasn’t been a decision yet on the length of the new spring training or whether rosters will get expanded to start the season, Rosenthal reported.

New York Yankee principal owner Hal Steinbrenner and all of the other MLB owners to which this deal applies will vote today and will likely approve the deal so that players can be paid and yet the owners don’t get hammered while the season remains undetermined.

 

The two biggest changes the Yankees made this offseason

New York Yankees, Aaron Boone, Gerrit Cole

The 2019 season proved that the New York Yankees have the talent to win a World Series, but their lack of run support in the ALCS held them back from the ultimate goal. Timeliness and momentum played a significant part in the demise of the team late in the season. Still, they sought to address the deficiencies this offseason, starting with the starting pitching rotation.

Owner Hal Steinbrenner gave GM Brian Cashman the green light to explore every avenue in free agency, and the team elected to spend a big chunk of their money in one spot — Gerrit Cole. Steinbrenner signed off on a nine-year, $324 deal to feature as the Yankees’ ace, alongside Luis Severino, James Paxton, and others.

That was the first significant change the Yankees brought upon themselves to help supplement a lack of starting pitching support last season and the 63-game suspension to Domingo German.

However, the second change might have been the most significant of all, and that was the overhaul of the strength and conditioning program.

How did the New York Yankees address their injury issues?

In 2019, 30 Yankee players spent 39 separate stints on the injured list. Multiple players were forced to miss virtually the entire season, putting reserve players in positions to start and make significant impacts on the team’s success. The Bombers still managed to scrape 103 wins out of an injury-riddled campaign.

Last month, the Yanks fired their strength and conditioning coach, Matt Krause, after spending six seasons with the club. A lot of the injuries seemed to be soft-tissue issues that emerged with over-use, but the increasing amount couldn’t be ignored.

The Athletic’s Lindsay Adler reported that the Yankees would hire Eric Cressey to take Krause’s place. Cressey is highly regarded in the industry and is expected to make sweeping changes across the regimen. Having worked with All-Star pitchers Noah Syndergaard, Corey Kluber, and Max Scherzer, Cressey will work closely with Gerrit Cole to ensure his health.

The Yankees’ longtime athletic trainer Stevie Donohue will also be moved to a different role after serving in the same position since 1986. Keeping him was a loyal move by the Steinbrenners, but changes needed to be made.