In case you don’t already know, let me start off by telling you that I do not like the Yankees. Although I respect the fact they are one of (if not the) the most prolific organizations in all of professional sports. They have a reputation that precedes them, and they’ve proven they have no problem when it comes to winning championships. Despite that, I’m still not a fan.
So when I was talking with a friend about the Yankees last night, I started to wonder. Have the Yankees finally lost it? With their poor showing in the playoffs last year, a plethora of injuries and aging former all stars, are the best days for the Bronx Bombers behind them?
You’re probably saying to yourself, “Brad, you’re crazy. The Yankees did advance to the ALCS last year.” That is correct, they squeaked past Baltimore and fell apart once they faced Detroit. Then Derek Jeter got injured, then Curtis Granderson, then Mark Teixeira. Look at it this way, between Alex Rodriguez and Kevin Youklis, the Yankees are paying 40-million dollars. By comparison, Jeff Passan of Yahoo sports projects the Miami Marlins to spend 45-million dollars on their entire team, and the Houston Astros are expected to to spend 32-million dollars.
Talk about spending a lot of money for little production, the Yankees are in way over their heads. I understand that the Yankees weren’t expecting to lose Teixeira and Rodriguez for extended periods of time, but I would have expected them to make a smarter move than overpaying for Youklis. As if that wasn’t a confusing enough transaction, the Yankees made an even crazier move earlier this week.
When I heard that the Yankees were trading for Vernon Wells, I actually began to laugh. I may not be an expert in baseball management, but I do not understand why you’d want to pay almost 14-million dollars for a guy who is going to play left field for maybe 30 games a year. Last year Wells had a .6 oWAR (offensive wins above replacement) and a -.3 dWAR (defensive wins above replacement). To put it simply, the Yankees are paying on average 7-million dollars for a guy who is only considered to barely be above average amongst players who play his position.
I can’t help but wonder if this is going to be the start of the decline for the Yankees. Sure, they have the money to spend (their payroll is still one of the highest in baseball), but they’re in serious jeopardy going forward. After Mariano Rivera retires, the Yankees could also lose Robinson Cano to free agency.
Don’t forget that they are supposedly hoping to cut their payroll starting in 2014. If they want to keep up with the rest of the teams in the AL East, they might need to reconsider that strategy. The Yankees already have a ton of question marks for this year, but it’s only going to get worse going forward.