What kind of world do you want to live in? Do you want to live in an upside-down world in which the Marlins are big time players on the free agency market while the Yankees sit on the sidelines, nibbling away on the Gio Gonzalezes of the world?
If so, welcome to the new orthodoxy! The Yankees are eerily silent during this year’s Gathering of the Pudgalos in Dallas. Too quiet. It is actually quite unnerving.
It isn’t as though the Yankees are invisible this year, just carefully picking through the available left-handed arms out there and weighing their options. Do they splash cash for veteran Hiroki Kuroda? Not a bad idea but Yanks GM Brian Cashman worries about his escalating price tag as the market for pitchers remains slim.
Might the Bronx Bombers go out and set the market, signing top free agent C.J. Wilson or dependable innings-eater Mark Buherle? It seems as though they are not willing to spend premium bucks for not-quite top arms that might not be up for life in the A.L. East.
Trades? The Yankees show great interest in A’s lefty Gio Gonzalez, much like every other team in the league. Reported demands from Billy Beane and the A’s include top catching prospect Jesus Montero and one of their other best young players, with John Harper of the New York Daily News implying names like Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances, and top center-field prospect Mason Williams are on the Athletics radar.
Who are these imposters in pinstripes? These are not the Yankees I’ve grown to know and loathe? Take this quote, attributed to Brian Cashman himself, via the New York Times Bats blog:
“I don’t have significant money to be playing like that on the free-agent market,” Cashman said in general terms, not referring to a specific player….There are things I could do,” he told reporters, “but if I told you what it would take to do them, you would write tomorrow I shouldn’t do them.”
C’Mon, Cash. Be real. You’re the general manager of the YANKEES! There is no price too high to pay! There is no prospect worth conserving! YOU HAVEN’T WON THE WORLD SERIES IN TWO YEARS, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!
Truthfully, a measured and reserved Yankees front office is a bad thing for every other team in baseball. Sitting back and waiting for the right opportunity to flex their financial might, rather than the first chance? Dangerous. Very dangerous.
Remember this is a team that finished with baseball’s second best record last year without the benefit of more than two reliable starters. They are a year older but lose only Jorge Posada and Andruw Jones to free agency. They are stacked. They are the Yankees. Whichever move they make, whenever it comes, it will only solidify their status as baseball’s Evil Empire, the team you love to hate.