Thanksgiving season is currently upon us once again and the New York Yankees have a lot they should be thankful for. Let’s take a look.
With today being Thanksgiving, everyone inevitably will be sitting down with family and friends and discussing some of the things they are “thankful” for and inevitably also looking for some quality alone time from those same family and friends that we are “thankful” for.
Which brings you here to Unhinged Yankees. As Yankee fans, we have things that we are truly grateful and appreciative of. So let’s break up the family time and get into the three things Yankee fans have to be thankful for this offseason.
1: Being Under the Luxury Tax Threshold
The New York Yankees find themselves under the Luxury Tax threshold for the first time since the inception of the threshold. Thus this is the first offseason that the Yankees will not be paying a penalty tax. (Only two clubs were over the Boston Red Sox and Washington Nationals.) The significance of this is because of where the Yankees found themselves on that penalty scale. The Yanks were at the 50% mark for the threshold. Meaning plain and simple for every dollar they were over the sudo-salary cap then they paid 50 cents on the dollar towards the penalty.
The Bronx Bombers finally getting under allows them to reset the penalties incurred for going over. Thus allowing them to spend a bit more freely. Why does it matter to a franchise the brings in so much revenue? Because they aren’t just throwing money away needlessly. Those penalties that they would have been paying can now be used to pay free agents that can help the ballclub.
The Bombers can use that money on retooling and strengthening the current team. So no matter who the free agents the Yankees pursue, whether it be players like Patrick Corbin or J.A. Happ or even the marquee names of Bryce Harper and Manny Machado. The Yanks will benefit from focused spending on the field not in taxation.
2. The Red Sox Won the World Series
Now as a Yankee fan it is disgusting to hear (and personally write) those words. However, when the Red Sox win the Commissioners Trophy, the Yankees ultimately respond big. In 2013 the BoSox won and the Yanks countered with Brian McCann, Masahiro Tanaka, and Injury McNever-on-the-field (aka Jacoby Ellsbury). So now that the Beantown BoClowns have won again the Yankees will step up and make moves in response.
They have already started as the recent acquisition of James Paxton would suggest. Brian Cashman has been clear all offseason long that he was looking for at least two starters of “Elite” status And even with the trade for Paxton, rumors are still running that the Yanks are looking at both Patrick Corbin and J.A. Happ. Also, comments came out from Yankees Managing General Partner Hal Steinbrenner about the Red Sox winning.
“[It] certainly pisses me off,” Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner said, per Joel Sherman of the New York Post. “I never want a division rival to outdo us.” “I am frustrated we did not play up to our ability,” Steinbrenner added. “Except for [Masahiro] Tanaka, the starting pitching was not good, and the hitting was inconsistent. We are much better than we played in that series.”
This means that with being under the Luxury Tax and a “pissed off” Steinbrenner at the helm the Yankees are poised to spend big to win now.
3. The Trading Wizard Brian Cashman
The Yankees have a magical wizard at the helm of the baseball operations and his name is Brian Cashman. Cash has been able to restock and retool the team with a few successful trades. To the point where the team simply pivoted and retooled rather than where most teams have to break down fully and rebuild.
Even just looking back at his most recent trade for James Paxton the Yankees dealt from a position of power (prospects.) Most teams in search of a talent like Paxton would have to give up Major League or at the very least near ready Major League talent and Cashman and the Yanks did not.
Yes, Justus Sheffield was their top-rated prospect according to multiple prospect rating sites. But it is believed that internally the Yankees saw Sheffield as more a middle of the pack starter.
Brian Cashman has been on the job over twenty years and was highly underrated in many GM discussions. But after the recent repositioning of the team from the aging veterans that it was known for. To the highly athletic youthful group that is currently is, Cashman is finally being recognized.
Yankee fans can be very thankful for Brian Cashman, Hal Steinbrenner, falling under the luxury tax, and even the Red Sox this Thanksgiving. But be sure to keep an eye on the horizon because there are sure to be some surprises in store as the season of giving approaches. But for now, let’s give thanks and let’s go Yankees.