Here is my message for Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman. There is no need to rush into anything at this stage of the offseason. Stick to the plan. Get under the luxury tax threshold and continue to provide opportunities for the young players from a revamped farm system that continues to prosper and thrive and is one of the best systems in all of Major League Baseball.
Do not, I mean do not go over the $197 million dollar luxury tax threshold to sign free agent starter Yu Darvish. I am not saying that Darvish is not a quality starter. He is 56-42 for his career with a 3.42 ERA, but he has only made 30 or more starts just twice in his five years as a Major League starter with the Rangers and Dodgers respectively. Maybe you can make the argument that he is a great post-season starter. He is not. In six career post-season starts, he is 2-4 with a 5.81 ERA. In 26 1/3 IP, he has allowed 27 hits and 17 earned runs. Oh yeah, let’s not forget that he was famously tipping pitches in the World Series, that is why he got rocked by the Astros. I would certainly sign him if it was a deal that made sense, but I would not overpay for him and I certainly would not alter the plan to stay under the luxury tax threshold for him.
Same thing can be said, but for different reasoning when it came to their interest in Pirates ace Gerrit Cole. Cole was traded to the Astros yesterday and I think the Yankees will be better off in the long run. There was no need to rush into a trade for Cole. There was no need to pay the hefty price that Pirates GM Neal Huntington was looking for the Yankees to pay. Their starting rotation of Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Sonny Gray, CC Sabathia and Jordan Montgomery is good enough. I know the age old argument that you could never have enough starting picthing, but there is depth in the minor leagues with top pitching prospect Chance Adams, who went 11-5 last year at AAA Scranton Wilkes-Barre with a 2.89 ERA, provides some much needed untested depth. Adams has apparently overcome his location woes and looks to add the change-up to his fastball and curve. A deal for a proven starter will be there in the regular season, you don’t need to make a trade for a starter right now.
Stick to the plan.
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I don’t care that Giancarlo Stanton fell into your laps in a trade with the Marlins earlier in the off-season. It does not matter that the Yankees were just one victory away from the World Series last October. They are certainly a team on the rise, but they need to stick to the plan and continue to allow the youth of the rebuilt farm system to lead the way. I would not mind seeing Miguel Andujar at third base. I like the idea of Gleyber Torres manning second base moving forward. I want to continue to see Clint Frazier develop as a Yankee with his ‘legendary’ bat speed. Yankees fans connected with Frazier as an effort player and he became an instant fan favorite for the style and fashion that he played the game.
Stick to the plan.
You can always go after a starter, should you need one in the regular season. There is no need to rush into a bad contract or pay a hefty price for a starter that you need more for October then you do in the regular season. The Yankees won 91 games last season and scored 858 runs and represented a highly watchable and fun product. Fans connected to them largely to the fact that Baby Bombers like Judge, Sanchez and Severino thrived. The plan worked and will continue to work. Just stick to it and don’t feel the pressure to make a move. Not now. There is no need.
Brian Cashman was the 2017 MLB Executive of the Year for a reason. He agreed to a new 5-year $25 million dollar contract for a reason. Just stick to the great plan he put into place a couple of years ago. It is working. Let it continue to blossom.
STICK TO THE PLAN.