The New York Yankees didn’t budge in the Robinson Cano negotiations, and in the process showed they weren’t willing to pay an absurd amount of money for someone during the back-half of his career.
For just a split second, the public was fooled into thinking that maybe the Yankees philosophy of throwing money at every big-time free agent was no more. But instead, they’ve proven they still are very much the New York Yankees of old as they’ve thrown huge dollar amounts at available free agents on the market.
Even before Cano was lured away to Seattle, the Yankees inked catcher Brian McCann to a five-year deal worth $85 million. And while their second baseman was being taken away, they were working on a deal with their rivals’ former center fielder, Jacoby Ellsbury, on a seven-year, $153 million deal. And if that wasn’t even to ease the burden of losing out on the franchise’s best player, they went out and grabbed Carlos Beltran for three years and $45 million.
With all those signings, the talk about losing Cano had dwindled from the Yankee fan base. Instead of throwing all their money at one player, management was wise to understand there were several other holes that needed to be filled, and they were able to accomplish those needs.
Now, rest assured, the signings of Kelly Johnson and Brian Roberts are not going to fill the void left at second base with Cano gone, but the Yankees now have a much deeper lineup than before.
Even after all those signings, the Yankees knew there still was work to be done, especially on the mound. Their first order of business was to make sure they were able to bring back Hiroki Kuroda. Sixteen million dollars was more than enough to bring back the veteran, who was the best pitcher on their staff last season.
The team’s next order of business was to make sure Alex Rodriguez did not play a single inning this year, or even longer than that if possible. The court held up, and the Yankees won again this offseason as Rodriguez was suspended for the entire 2014 season, saving the Yankees roughly $25 million.
Once that money was freed up, there was no doubt they would be all-in on the Masahiro Tanaka bidding. And as Ken Rosenthal and others are reporting on the morning of January 22, the Yankees are indeed the winners of the bidding, giving the Japanese right-hander $155 million for seven years, although the deal includes an opt-out clause after four years.
So what does this mean for the Yankees? For baseball? It means the New York Yankees are back!
Whether you love to love them or love to hate them, the Yankees are great for baseball. And the fact that they’ve spent almost half a billion dollars this offseason is great for baseball.
If you were like me, and were fooled into thinking that the Yankees would become a spending-conscious ball club, then the jokes on you as well. Your father’s Yankees are back, and back in a huge way.
As for Masahiro Tanaka, I don’t know if he’s the answer or not for the Yankees. He was superb in Japan, but how is that going to translate in America? If he’s as good as Yu Darvish, then I think it’s a huge pickup; but if he’s anything less, then this could be another disappointing contract that will burden them for years.
The Yankees are at a point though where they don’t care. They failed to make the playoffs last year, so a change had to be made.
There are still questions at the back of the bullpen, but does anybody really think at this point they won’t go out and get whomever they want to fill that need?
The Yankees are back folks, and the rest of baseball better be prepared, because they’re going to be all over your TV and all over your Twitter feed. Get ready to step up your level of hate, because if you’re favorite player goes to free agency, he’s liable to get taken by the Evil Empire.