This Incomplete Puzzle

The puzzle that is the Yankees’ offseason is not yet ruined, but it’s damn close. At the very least, it’s confusing, muddled, and leading to more questions than answers.

Let’s get to the good, though, before we get to the rest.

Despite our personal feelings and potential misgivings about the big trade with the Twins, there is some upside there. Josh Donaldson, when healthy, will absolutely rake. The shortstop and catcher defense are markedly improved by Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Ben Rortvedt…at least before the latter’s injury. Signing Anthony Rizzo is…fine? He’ll be fine. And the team itself will most likely be fine. They’ll win more games than they’ll lose and they’ll get into the playoffs. But beyond this surface level–still an important level–I’m still left feeling, well, puzzled.

After years of luxury tax orthodoxy, they break it by going for two corner infielders in their mid-30’s? The players in question aren’t bad, of course, as we noted above, but.

With a glaring hole at shortstop, they only do ‘due diligence’ on a young superstar who ended up on a short-term contract elsewhere? Elsewhere in this case being the team whom you just relieved of a bunch of money so they could sign that young superstar. That series of events is a horrible look for Brian Cashman and company.

Rare is the time when the smart move and the obvious move are one in the same, but this offseason was one of those times. Too often lately, it feels like the Yankees are always trying to do the smart move, but the definition of smart is simply what isn’t obvious, what wouldn’t be expected from a team like them. In doing so, the Yankees purposely forgo their biggest advantage, the one they have over almost every team in American pro sports: stupid amounts of money.

Regardless, the moves are done. But–I can’t help coming back to this word–despite that, the team still feels incomplete. There’s time to remedy that with a few weeks to go before Opening Day, but there are just so many question marks right now.

Will Donaldson stay healthy enough to make his bat worth it?

Will Gleyber Torres, DJ LeMahieu, Anthony Rizzo, Aaron Hicks, and Joey Gallo return to form?

Will IKF hit at all?

Will either catcher option hit at all?

Will the team’s best player (and first baseman and one other catcher) even be available to play home games?!

Will skipping out on a shortstop this year be justified by either/or Anthony Volpe or Oswald Peraza?

Again, things can bounce back quickly if the Yankees do go out and nab Trevor Story and add another starter or…something. But right now, all these questions leave me wondering in a way I don’t like to be wondering this close to the start of the season.

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8 Comments

  1. dasit

    imho it’s time for a new gm
    watching how bloom has retooled boston on the fly shows that a higher level of creativity can be achieved. if the team goes out early in the playoffs the only thing keeping cashman around will be inertia and hal’s aversion to risk

  2. Isiah Kiner Faleddardfa

    They got outspent by the Minnesota Twins for Correa. Twins!? And then outfoxed by the Sox for Story. If George were alive he’d be rolling over in his grave. No Freeman, no Story, no Correa. All these big FAs and all they get is a decrepit Donaldson. But that’s Hal’s Yankees for you. My God how far this once great franchise has fallen.

    • jakegoyanks

      Rolling around in your grave while alive seems like an odd set of choices…

  3. Beetle Hogan

    It’s time for palace intrigue. I would support a coup.

    https://racer.com/2022/02/23/george-michael-steinbrenner-shifting-to-yankees-role/

  4. Tony G

    I agree the team feels incomplete. I miss a number two starter. Pitching is the key to advancing in the extended playoffs. Let’s hope Severino can be that true number two. I would also feel more optimistic of advancing in the postseason with Loisaga as the closer.

  5. Eric S.

    I am very angry that Hal seems to care more about the shareholders, bondholders and partners than the fans it seems – perhaps an empty YS and lower YES ratings could change his mind.

  6. Higgy is Anti-Vaxx?

    Higgy is anti-vaxx?

  7. sevrox

    Rizzo is 32 – not “mid 30’s”.

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