The start to the offseason has been odd for the Yankees so far, with the club seemingly unwilling to spend any money on big-name stars.
The Yankees have never been afraid to spend money to improve their ball club. A great example is the offseason heading into the 2009 season when New York signed three of the top free agents in CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, and Mark Teixeira to massive deals. The result of that season? A World Series Championship.
A decade later heading into 2019, it seems the Yankees are shying away from throwing money at big name free agents. Despite the fact that the team stayed under the luxury tax threshold as they hoped to be big spenders heading into the offseason, but Brian Cashman and his front office haven’t been seeming to want to spend the big bucks.
Patrick Corbin, who was seen to be the top free agent pitcher on the market and the Yankees number one target is a perfect example. After visits with the Phillies, Nationals, and Yankees all indications linked Corbin to New York. That was until Corbin shockingly signed a six-year, 140 million dollar contract to join the Washington Nationals.
Why did the Yankees fail to land Corbin? Because they were unable to offer him a substantial offer and according to some reports may have never offered him a contract at all. However, a few days later it was reported New York does indeed have interest in singing star free agent Manny Machado. What was also reported, however, is that the Bronx Bombers are unwilling to go 300 million or higher for a 26-year-old who’s already a four-time all-star.
Reports have also shown the Yankees have no interest in singing Bryce Harper, which is easy to speculate that the price tag is the reason.
The question is why are the Yankees being cheap? There are only two logical answers that come to mind.
The first is that New York afraid of having another Jacoby Ellsbury situation.
Ellsbury signed a seven-year, 153 million dollar contract with the Yankees in 2013 and hasn’t been close to what the Yankees valued him as. His highest batting average with the Bombers was a modest .271, and that was back in 2014 his first year with New York.
The Yankees may be afraid to give someone big money after this, however, it’s hard to believe that someone like Manny Machado who doesn’t have a track record of injuries like Ellsbury and is on the right side of 30 would be a bust.
A second potential reasoning is the Yankees don’t value this year’s free agent market.
The scouting team and analytics department must see something fans don’t if they genuinely feel Manny Machado and Bryce Harper are not worth making a big push for. It’s confusing but it is the only other logical reason that comes to mind.
At the end of the day, there’s plenty of time for the ‘Evil Empire’ to still make a significant splash. Despite not wanting to go over 300 million, they appear in on Machado and if Harper’s price tag drops it’s hard to count them out. However, right now it seems the team is being a bit cheap which is surely un-Yankee like.