Yankees familiar fatal flaw rearing its ugly head again, cautions radio host

Yankees captain Aaron Judge is signing autographs for fans at Tampa during the 2024 spring training.
Inna Zeyger
Tuesday February 6, 2024

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Once again, Hal Steinbrenner finds himself on the brink of committing fully to the Yankees’ offseason plans, cautiously navigating the waters of roster reconstruction. The team’s offseason commenced with a splash, orchestrating the monumental Juan Soto trade to counterbalance their predominantly right-handed lineup with a formidable left-handed hitter, addressing a glaring deficiency.

However, the Yankees’ lackluster 82-win performance in 2023 exposed multiple areas in need of enhancement. Pursuing an all-in strategy necessitates rectifying every significant weakness to enter the spring with a robust and resilient roster. Steinbrenner, however, appears content with patching one gap and hoping the team remains competitive.

Yankees’ offseason fails to escape the chronic issue

Aaron Judge and Juan Soto, both players of the New York Yankees

Undoubtedly, Soto’s arrival injects firepower into the lineup, complementing Aaron Judge and potentially forming one of baseball’s most formidable hitting duos. Yet, concerns linger beyond the batter’s box, particularly regarding the rotation’s stability.

Nestor Cortes, recuperating from shoulder surgery following a season plagued by injuries, presents an unpredictable element. Carlos Rodon, equally prone to injuries, endured a disappointing tenure in pinstripes last season. Clarke Schmidt, a dependable fifth starter, faces the challenge of maintaining performance levels after enduring his most demanding workload to date.

While the signing of Marcus Stroman represents a prudent addition, it fails to address the underlying issues afflicting the rotation. With four uncertainties following Gerrit Cole, the necessity for another reliable starter is glaringly apparent. Regrettably, top-tier options like Corbin Burnes, now with a divisional rival, and Blake Snell, the reigning NL Cy Young winner, remain available, yet the Yankees seem content to approach spring training with lingering doubts.

This pattern of indecision is all too familiar. Recall the blockbuster $324 million deal for Cole in 2019, ostensibly signaling an all-in approach to challenge the Astros. Yet, doubts persisted concerning the remainder of the rotation’s reliability. Would James Paxton maintain his fitness? Could Jordan Montgomery reclaim form post-Tommy John surgery? As anticipated, pitching deficiencies plagued them in the playoffs, epitomized by the ill-fated Deivi Garcia opener episode.

Fast forward to subsequent offseasons, where the Yankees opted against pursuing stars like Corey Seager, instead settling for Isiah Kiner-Falefa and an aging Josh Donaldson. While significant contracts for Judge and Rodon alleviated some concerns, left field remained inadequately addressed, and third base remained unsettled after Donaldson’s underwhelming season.

The repetitive trap Yankees can never evade

Yankees captain Aaron Judge is with GM Brian Cashman and owner Hal Steinbrenner.
Charles Wenzelberg / NYP

Here they stand once more, ensnared in their familiar predicament: making tentative strides towards an all-in approach, only to retreat to safety at the slightest hint of risk. While the Soto trade and his groundbreaking arbitration agreement represent substantial maneuvers, along with colossal contracts for Judge and Cole, it is the subsequent actions that truly signify a concerted push for a championship. Recall the acquisitions of Mark Teixeira following CC Sabathia or Roger Clemens after a 125-win season—those were statements of intent. Instead, the Yankees find themselves cautiously dipping their toes into the all-in pool, hesitating to fully commit to the deep end.

Undoubtedly, the Yankees have made strides this offseason. However, the lingering question persists throughout another exasperating offseason: have they made sufficient improvements to contend genuinely? These lingering uncertainties could have been assuaged with a couple more bold all-in maneuvers. Yet, the Yankees find themselves once again testing the waters cautiously, instead of plunging headfirst into the pursuit of greatness.

What do you think? leave your comment below.

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3 thoughts on “Yankees familiar fatal flaw rearing its ugly head again, cautions radio host

  1. So, Inna you want to make up for past poor decisions by making dumb decisions now, like signing Blake Snell, the reigning NL Cy Young winner, who wants about $300MM despite the fact that he’s basically a long reliever posing as a starter.

    Snell has average 134 IP in the past 7 non-Covid years. Repeat: 134 IP per year. That’s PATHETIC!

    Snell is NOT a reliable pitcher. PERIOD! In fact, Snell is the definition of a Completely Unreliable Pitcher. And yet you’re suggesting that signing him will eliminate the “Yankees familiar fatal flaw (that’s) rearing its ugly head again” of not going all n on the upcoming season.

    Snell wants Cole-type long-term money despite not supplying anywhere near as many high-quality innings as Cole. Here’s Snell & Cole’s side-by-side IP for the past 7 full-play seasons, which excludes the Covid-shortened 2020 season:

    2016. Snell: 89 IP. Cole: 116 IP.
    2017. Snell: 129.1 IP. Cole: 203 IP.
    2018. Snell: 180.2 IP. Cole: 200.1 IP.
    2019. Snell: 107 IP. Cole: 212.1 IP.
    2020. COVID
    2021. Snell: 128.2 IP. Cole: 181.1 IP.
    2022. Snell: 128 IP. Cole: 200.2 IP.
    2023. Snell: 180 IP. Cole: 209 IP.

    So, Snell has NEVER supplied the number of quality innings that Cole has: NEVER! As in, NOT ONCE IN HIS ENTIRE CAREER!

    Cole even threw almost 50% more innings in the Covid-shortened 2020: 73 vs 50 IP for Snell. That’s how much Snell sucks at supply innings pitched: he couldn’t even match Cole in a basically dozen-start season! And this man has the nerve to want about $300MM!!! And you want to give it to him?

    Even in his two Cy Young seasons, Cole supplied more quality innings pitched than Snell.

    And, anyone who thinks Snell will get Better at Supplying High-Quality Innings Pitched As He Ages is a Complete & Utter Fool.

    Finally, signing Snell to a long-term deal would almost certainly preclude signing Juan Soto to a long-term deal. And only a fool would prefer 5-6 years of Snell over 10+ years of Soto.

  2. A big step for 2024 is subtraction, not addition. Will Judge hold up for a full season, especially playing center field? Can Rizzo return as an offensive contributor? These are questions of concern, particularly regarding the Designated Hitter. With a surplus of good outfielders, the DH rotation is critical. Stanton simply clogs up that spot, while contributing little. Judge and Rizzo will need maximum DH opportunities to remain healthy.

    Solution, subtract Stanton.

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