Last Updated on December 3, 2023 at 2:08 pm by Michael Bennington
The New York Yankees are currently in the midst of a comprehensive evaluation phase after failing to reach the postseason for the first time since 2016 and recording their poorest season since 1992. The organization’s performance has been on a downward trajectory since 2019, following their loss to the Astros in the ALCS. This decline reached its climax with an 82-80 record and a fourth-place standing in the East Division.
Despite a modest late-September resurgence that prevented the Yankees from ending the season with a sub-.500 record, one high-ranking team executive reports that George Steinbrenner was far from impressed with the team’s performance, particularly the fact that they missed the playoffs for the first time since 2016.
It is clear that Hal Steinbrenner doesn’t consider the team’s “winning record” a success. By the Yankees’ standards, finishing at 82-80 is seen as a losing season and falls below the acceptable level.
Yankees fighting contradictions
In contrast to his father, Hal Steinbrenner appears resolute in retaining the current leadership. The general manager, Brian Cashman, who has three more years on his contract, will continue in his role through ’24. Additionally, manager Aaron Boone, who has one year remaining on his contract, will also be returning.
Consequently, the onus is now on Steinbrenner to persuade a skeptical public that simply leading the American League in attendance, achieving high ratings on the YES Network, maintaining profitability, and upholding the Yankees’ overall reputation is insufficient.
Hal Steinbrenner’s alternatives encompass urging Brian Cashman to revamp the analytics department. He might also consider a comprehensive reorganization of the player development and scouting departments. The strength and conditioning specialists, who have struggled to prevent injuries leading to players on the Injured List, could face changes as well.
Money is not enough to rebuild the Yankees
Alternatively, Steinbrenner may choose to embrace a more lavish approach, akin to that of his father, George. This could involve pursuing high-profile free agents such as Shohei Ohtani, Cody Bellinger, and Japanese pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto.
Securing all three of these star players seems financially implausible for the Yankees, and the acquisition of even Ohtani may be a stretch. Nonetheless, an enthusiastic and wholehearted sales pitch can, at the very least, demonstrate Steinbrenner’s commitment to doing whatever it takes.
Steinbrenner displayed his willingness to invest when he signed free agent Gerrit Cole in 2020. He further committed to the team’s success by re-signing Aaron Judge last winter, and he trusted the advice of his advisors, agreeing to a $162 million, six-year contract for Carlos Rodon, who they believed would be the essential missing piece in the pitching rotation.
Repetitively, Steinbrenner has heard the claim that the Yankees were merely one superstar away from the World Series. This sentiment has persisted, with a continual search for that one missing piece. Despite investing billions into the team, the Yankees haven’t clinched a championship since 2009.
It’s no wonder that Steinbrenner is frustrated; if he isn’t, he certainly should be. The ticket-buying fans have undoubtedly reached their limits as well.
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