Monday, November 21, 2016
Every time I hear Brian Cashman utter his cryptic mantra, “We’re open to anything,” the same thought enters my head:
“Uh-oh, here come the Yankees.”
The team’s payroll flexibility is increasing. Its farm system is one of the game’s best. And its average home attendance declined by nearly 5,000 per game from 2014 to ’16.
Is this the profile of a club that is going to spend the next two seasons evaluating its young talent while awaiting the great free-agent class of 2018-19?
We know the Yankees are interested in signing free-agent closer Aroldis Chapman and designated hitter Carlos Beltran, and engaged on virtually every other free agent and trade possibility.
We know, from major-league sources, that they also want to beef up the rest of their bullpen. And we know, from Cashman’s latest comments, that they are drawing trade inquiries on outfielder Brett Gardner and third baseman Chase Headley.
Simply re-signing Chapman and Beltran would enable the Yankees to look at Greg Bird and Tyler Austin at first base next season, and Aaron Hicks and Aaron Judge in right field. Adding a quality setup type with Chapman would give them a variation of the three-headed bullpen monster that they had in the first four months of last season—Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller and Chapman.
But why would Cashman stop there?
I get where these reporters are coming from, but come on, guys, the Yankees clearly aren’t going on some wild spending spree! Cashman just said the other day that it was only the McCann trade that is even allowing him to sign a hitter as well as a pitcher! Jim Bowden said the other day that he thinks that the Yankees will definitely be signing either Edwin Encarnacion or Yoenis Cespedes…and possibly BOTH! These people are nuts!
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