Yankees Offseason in Review Part II

Hello everybody, hope you have been enjoying your day so far.  Today is Part II of the Yankees Offseason Review.  In the previous post we took a look at the Offseason Additions. It is now time to take a look at the Offseason Subtractions.  After seeing both, we will be able to determine whether GM Brian Cashman is steering the team into the right direction.  In this 2nd and final segment of the Offseason Review we will also factor in the financial impact of the moves, the players salaries are in parentheses.  Now let’s dive into it:

Offseason Subtractions

  • Brandon McCarthy ($12M)
  • Preston Clairborne
  • Derek Jeter (Retired)
  • David Robertson ($10M)
  • Martin Prado ($11M, Yankees pay $3M)
  • Shawn Kelly ($2.84M)
  • Shane Greene (525K)
  • David Phelps (1.4M)

So in total the players who have departed the Yankees will be paid $34.8M in 2015.  If judged on performance alone, McCarthy could have been the Yankees #2 starter, with CC Sabathia and Chris Capuano competing for the 5th spot in the rotation. This is no longer an option however, and probably never was by the Yankees front office.  The Yankees do have a rotation right now that doesn’t have much durability, with Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda, and CC Sabathia all spending time on the DL last season.  That doesn’t even include Ivan Nova and his recovery from Tommy John surgery.  Both Shane Greene and David Phelps might have some upside, but both are currently back end of the rotation starters.

David Robertson was one of the biggest losses of the offseason.  The man deserves crediting, replacing legendary closer Mariano Rivera and putting up a solid season together.  After one season of closing however, I don’t believe it is realistic for him to receive a deal similar to the Papelbon deal back in Nov 2011.  Robertson definitely has some nasty stuff, and would be an upgrade in any bullpen.

Shawn Kelley and Preston Claiborne were no longer needed on the team, with the Yankees acquiring several good arms throughout the offseason. I don’t see Shawn Kelley or Preston Claiborne doing any better, and with the bullpen being one of the Yankees strength heading into 2015 it wouldn’t make sense to waste a roster spot on these two players.

Martin Prado was the other player acquired from the D-Backs who made an immediate impact on the club.  His great ability to make contact at the dish, along with his versatility made him a valuable asset for the club.  As much as he meant to the team in 2014, the Yankees were smart to sell him while his stock was high.  The 2015 Yankees at one point or another throughout the year will have 3B Alex Rodriguez, IF Jose Pirela, IF Brendan Ryan, and IF Rob Refsnyder on the bench. So the team doesn’t need any more infield depth for the time being, and Chris Young is already the 4th OF for the team.  It makes sense to get rid of a surplus to acquire something that you need.  Getting a journeyman 1B/OF, a low level starting prospect, and a young starter with upside is definitely better than heading into Spring Training wondering which IFs would have starting jobs.

All in all the Yankees offseason does not look very bad.  For the most part they avoided signing any expensive contracts, and did get the team a bit younger.  Maybe the Yankees didn’t do very much to improve the team for the short term, but these moves will only help in the long run.  Now if it was possible to find a team willing to trade for A-Rod, that would be even better. I suspect the odds of that happening are as good as the chances of Ryan Howard leaving Philly.  Maybe with hindsight we will look back at this offseason as the reason for years of mediocrity, but at the moment they made the moves that were logical for a team in this current position.


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