Brian-CashmanThe New “Penny-Pinching” Yankees?

Any fan of the New York Yankees knows that their number one goal at the start of any season is to win another World Series title, and anything less is considered a complete failure. The Yankees were unceremoniously swept from the playoffs by the AL champion Detroit Tigers. The Yankees could not situationally hit in the postseason at all and looked especially old. After a crushing postseason loss, a Yankee fan could always rest assured that Cashman and Co. were going to do their best to land the big free agent, or pull off a miraculous trade to hide whatever flaw they had.

The reason the Yankees are so universally hated throughout the baseball world, is their ability to mask their flaws by outspending the competition to land the big free agents . The Yankees missed the playoffs in 2008 for the first time in over a decade, and they responded by spending $420 Million in guaranteed money to land CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira, and A.J. Burnett. However, there was a different vibe coming from the Yankee camp this offseason. The Yankees stayed in their shell like a turtle, only poking their head out once, to give Kevin Youkilis a 1-year-deal to start at 3rd for the injured Alex Rodriguez. George Steinbrenner has passed on and his sons Hank and Hal certainly do not rule with an iron fist like he did. They are very adamant about getting under the $189 million payroll threshold in 2014, so that they do not have to pay the luxury tax. They have been overtaken by the LA Dodgers for the title of highest payroll in baseball, which they’ve held since 1999. Aside from the Youkilis addition, the Yankees have not made a single move to improve their team from last season. If you think that showing Swisher and Martin the door without signing or calling up a competent replacement is going to help this team in the upcoming season you are kidding yourself. Just so it sinks in, the New York Yankees, the most valuable franchise in baseball, are going to spring training in two weeks without a major league caliber catcher.

However, one cannot argue with the results. The last 3 teams to win the World Series weren’t even in the top 5 when it came to payroll, and had survived on timely hitting and above average pitching. This strategy is how the small market teams can compete with the big spenders like the Yankees, and more often than not it has worked out for them. The Rays in 2008 used this strategy to advance to their first ever World Series, as did the Giants in 2010 and 2012. Last season alone the Athletics (dead last in payroll) and Orioles (18th) squeezed their way into the playoffs by riding their young pitchers. The teams that slug the most home runs have faltered in the playoffs time and time again, so maybe it is about time the Yankees got with the program and build through the draft.

Sound off: Should the Yankees go back to flexing their financial muscles? Or is it time they built this team from the ground up?



Categories: From The DougOut

One Response so far.

  1. Jim Monaghan says:

    Nice line about the Steinbrenener family. You are right, nobody ran the Yankees like George!


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