Yankees: Why Is It Everyone Else Can Cry Poverty And They Can’t

Hal Steinbrenner, Principal Owner, New York Yankees (Photo: New York Post)
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While the Yankees attempt to draw a line on player payroll, other large market teams are right there with them. Why can’t fans “get that”…

As soon as you say, the New York Yankees are worth $4 billion on the free market; everything seems to change. Fans of the team want more and even when they get more; they still want more. I don’t get it – someone, please explain the logic in that thinking.

First, let’s go over what you probably already know about the Yankees offseason. They’ve bolstered their starting rotation by adding James Paxton ($8.75 million) and J.A. Happ ($17 million), They’ve also added Adam Ottavino, DJ LeMahieu, and Zach Britton (excuse me, it’s Zack Britton  with a K, now) to the tune of another $33 million (total).

We can argue all day about the value of these additions to the team, but the fact remains they are additions to the Yankee’s payroll for this year.

They still owe Jacoby Ellsbury $21 million for this season and next, and at the end of the 2019 season, the Yankees will be forced to deal with the free agency of both Didi Gregorius and Dellin Betances. Not to mention what is coming in the next three to four years with the impending adulthood of the Baby Bombers.

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And still, some fans can’t excuse the team for not engaging more aggressively for the services of the Poster Boy free agents of 2019, Bryce Harper and Manny Machado. This, even though the Yankees have already crashed through the luxury tax threshold of $206 million for this year.

The Yankees will once again be Robin Hood paying out to teams whose owners pocket the money – with little or no chance of Rob Manfred or Joe Torre stepping in to penalize teams for doing so. Although, it’s good to note that the grandmaster of theft, Billy Beane of the Oakland A’s, will finally be brought to ground in 2020 when the A’s will receive zero dollars in revenue sharing money.

Here’s what I can’t figure out, though. The Boston Red Sox, who began the offseason over the threshold, and have done virtually nothing to improve their team, and seemingly are ready to start the season without a closer (Greg Kimbrel) – they get a pass?

How about the Dodgers who stooped into the second tier of free agents when they signed AJ Pollack, while seemingly ignoring Manny Machado, who finished out the season with them last season? Or, how about the subtraction of Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp, both of whom were productive hitters for them in 2018? That’s okay?

What would you think if the Yankees hadn’t signed Brett Gardner and CC Sabathia to another one-year deal? Or, if they had traded Aaron Hicks ($6 million) and Dellin Betances ($7 million) to save a few bucks? Michael Kay would have thrown a fit, and Mike Francesa on the FAN would have been right behind him (a little dig on Mike never hurts, right?).

The ever-rich Cubs? Same thing. Remember, they won 90+ games last year, but they won nothing! Meanwhile, the Milwaukee Brewers have added catcher, Yasmani Grandal to a lineup that already includes the steal of the century in Christian Yelich in a trade from Derek Jeter and the Miami Marlins.

Stop with the noise about Hal Steinbrenner and the Yankees being “cheap” this offseason. It’s not fair as a way to grade either Steinbrenner or Brian Cashman, the man who ultimately needs to answer not only to his boss but Yankee stockholders as well.

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Because if this team and its roster as currently constructed can’t meet the demands of (finally) winning their 28th World Championship, well maybe it’s time to harken back to the players on the field, holding them accountable, instead of those in charge at the top.

Let’s hear, for instance, from Gary Sanchez, Greg Bird, and even the “untouchables” Gleyber Torres and Luis Severino, who’s been Cy Young in the first half and James Shields after the All-Star break and into the playoffs.

I’m not favorable to rants like this one, but this whole “thing” annoys me about the Yankee fans who pile on in an effort – to do what? Sign Bryce Harper to a ten-year deal worth $350-400 million, crippling the team down the road in ways we have been paralyzed before (Tex and A-Rod)…why?

Instead, keep the focus on the team (and yes, that includes Aaron Boone) we have and hold them accountable. It should be enough to win it all with a couple of tweaks at the trade deadline. And if it isn’t, then let a new conversation begin.

Written by Steve Contursi, Editor, Reflections On Baseball
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Author: stevecontursi

I am an amateur writer with a passion for baseball and all things Yankees and Mets.

What do you think?