If a team’s biggest need going into the offseason is in the starting pitching rotation, what is the one thing they must do to fix this? Well, if that team is the New York Yankees, they sign every available outfielder on the market of course.
The Yankees came into the offseason with one goal in mind, to find starting pitching, which was awful last season. So far, the Yankees have done everything but sign or trade for any pitching and have decided to sign a couple of outfielders to join the already crowded outfield of Brett Gardner, Alfonso Soriano and Ichiro Suzuki.
Starting the offseason, the Yankees seemed to have a solid plan of spending big to fill the holes and they started by filling one of their biggest holes when they signed catcher Brian McCann to a five-year $85 million contract. But then they went out and signed ex-rival center-fielder Jacoby Ellsbury to a seven-year $153 million contract.
They already had three outfielders and didn’t really seem the need to sign another outfielder but they did. So, they then went ahead and let their best player, second baseman Robinson Cano, walk and leave to the Seattle Mariners as they were unable to come close to his new 10-year $240 million deal.
Well what does a team do when they just lost their second baseman, one of the best in the game? Well if you’re the Yankees, you go and sign another outfielder of course. On the same day they lost Cano to the Mariners, the Yankees went out and agreed to a three-year, $45 million contract with outfielder Carlos Beltran. In a span of a week, the Yankees went from having three solid outfielders to now having five.
Don’t get me wrong, these are good players but the Yankees didn’t really have a need for them. Beltran finally makes his way to the Bronx after he famously asked the team if they would take him on a discount when he signed his seven-year, $119 million contract with the New York Mets in 2005. Of course, the Yankees passed on him.
Beltran has gotten better with age, making back-to-back All-Star teams the past two seasons as he hit .296 with 24 home runs and 94 RBIs in 145 games this past season for the NL champion St. Louis Cardinals. The late surge in his career has improved his chances of one day going into the Hall of Fame.
The Yankees are banking on his success to continue, giving the ability to stay off the field at times and DH when he needs some rest.
This still begs the question of what exactly are the Yankees doing crowding their outfield at a time they need starting pitching and even a second baseman now. If they are waiting to bid on Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, then they may be making the wrong move as his Japanese team might not even post him in the end.
Other pitchers available might sign with other teams by the time a decision is made on Tanaka. The Yankees need pitching now, not more outfielders.
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