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  • Tim Kabel

About the Off-Season: Biding Time

by Tim Kabel

January 18, 2024


I don't know about you but, I'm ready for Spring Training to start.

First, as I get older, I grow tired of the snow and the cold weather much more quickly than I used to.

Second, I can only write and read so many stories about potential final moves for the Yankees. They have improved the team a great deal but there are still things that could and should be done. 

The Yankees need to make a few more moves and then get the team they have assembled out onto the field and start preparing for the season. The final pieces seem to be falling into place around Major League Baseball. Marcus Stroman officially became a Yankee yesterday which meant the likely end of the Yankees' career of Oscar Gonzalez. In the words of Felix Unger, "Oscar, Oscar, Oscar, we hardly knew you." To soften the blow of that loss, the Yankees signed Josh VanMeter to a minor league deal. I'm sorry but, that did not register very high on my excitement meter. By the way, if Josh had a housekeeper, would she be a VanMeter Maid? Also of note, the Toronto Blue Jays reportedly signed Yariel Rodriguez, the Cuban pitcher from Japan, who could have helped the Yankees in either the bullpen or the starting rotation. Now he will help in neither. 

As I and others have written and discussed, there are still some major free agents available. Blake Snell, Jordan Montgomery, Josh Hader, and Cody Bellinger all remain unsigned. Any one or a combination of them would look great in pinstripes. I don't believe the Yankees are finished making moves but, it is getting closer to Spring Training and the Yankees as well as the other teams in baseball, need to make those moves soon. 

We fans are getting antsy. The holidays are over, and we are ready for baseball. In this town, professional football basically ended at the same time as the baseball season. Neither the Jets nor the Giants were very good. The Knicks and the Nets don't appear to be very good either. And the hockey teams, well, it's hockey. There is a reason why Don Rickles used to call people hockey pucks. 

I want to see Juan Soto in a Yankees' uniform on the field. I want to see him take batting practice and play in Spring Training games. I'm curious about Alex Verdugo and Marcus Stroman. I'm ready to find out if Anthony Rizzo has recovered from his concussion. Has Anthony Volpe made significant progress? Will he improve his batting average and on base percentage? Is Austin Wells the answer a catcher? Who will play third base? 

I want to find out how Scott Effross and Luis Gil look. Will Carlos Rodon have a big year for the Yankees? Will Nestor Cortes bounce back after an injury-plagued season? Will Oswald Peraza and Oswaldo Cabrera have roles on this team? How about all these depth pieces that Brian Cashman has accumulated? Will Oscar Gonzalez clear waivers and return to the Yankees or, as Bob Hope used to say, will the Oscar go to someone else? 

Spring Training can be tedious in and of itself. It drags on for six weeks and fans quickly get tired of having to consult the media guide or wait for the announcers to tell us who the substitute players are. However, at least we get to see the players on the field. We get games of some type, and there is a lot more action and information. 

The weeks leading up to Spring Training in the second half of January are probably the toughest time for a baseball fan. Your team is generally set. You are just waiting to see them in action. In recent years, there were still moves to make right up until Spring Training started. That will probably not change. However, as more and more players come off the board, there are fewer moves to make. There are fewer options available.

This year, there are still some players out there who could certainly help the Yankees and could fill roles on this team. I suspect these players will be signed quickly. Perhaps one or two of them will be signed by the Yankees. Whatever is going to happen will happen fairly soon. That is somewhat inevitable.  

Whatever the Yankees do, the off-season has gone on long enough. Spring Training and then the season need to come as quickly as possible. Perhaps it's because the Yankees did not make the playoffs in 2023 but, this season seems off-season seems longer than most. Let's just make it through these last few weeks and then get ready to be filled with excitement as spring training begins. 




Jonathan Silverberg
Jonathan Silverberg
Jan 19

On Yankees Hot Stove Wednesday, Curry said his sources say the Yanks are out on Neris; Kaye said they're still interested in Peralta and Stephenson.


Alan B.
Alan B.
Jan 19

Until DRob proves he can't get it done anymore, to me he is the best option still sitting out there available for reasons I've already stated. But I also firmly believe that there is something to the story of that playoff shares meeting as to why he's never been brought back since. I'm just looking for confirmation if someone out here knows if that is what's holding the Yankees back from a Houdini, Part III.


Jeff Korell
Jeff Korell
Jan 18

I'm looking forward to seeing Juan Soto and Marcus Stroman together as teammates on the same team. One of the signature moments of the last season, and probably one of the most humorous moments of the 2023 baseball season was when Stroman was facing Soto in San Diego and struck him out looking. As you know, whenever Soto takes a pitch, he always does this thing called the "Soto Shuffle", sort of a nervous energy thing of his. When Stroman struck out Soto looking, he mocked him by doing HIS version of the "Soto Shuffle" on the mound. But Soto took it with good nature and humor and just smiled and laughed at the impersonation of himself: An…


Jan 18

Blake Snell, Jordan Montgomery, Josh Hader, and Cody Bellinger all remain unsigned.

while waiting for buyers' anxiety to mount and offers to increase

Jeff Korell
Jeff Korell
Jan 18
Replying to

It's basically a "staring contest", each side waiting as a long as they have to, waiting for the other side to "blink". The teams are waiting for the player/agent to "blink" by lowering their contract expectations, and the player/agent is waiting for the teams to "give in" and grab their client at THEIR price tag or duration in order to snag their player before one of their competitors for their player does. Both sides are willing to wait as long as neccessary, so the wait goes on and on and on....


Jan 18

Agreed… can’t wait for Spring Training to start, regardless of whether any further moves are made.

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