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  • Tim Kabel

About the Off-Season: The Spirit of Giving

About the Off-Season: The Spirit of Giving.

By Tim Kabel

December 21, 2023

***

I have been very critical of Aaron Boone, Brian Cashman, and Hal Steinbrenner, particularly during this past season which Cashman himself described as a disaster. I am now ready to give praise to Cashman and Steinbrenner. Boone will have to wait, like Oliver Twist with an empty bowl in the gruel line. 


Whether or not the Yankees sign Yoshinobu Yamamoto, they cannot be criticized for the effort they are making to do so. It is important to remember that Yamamoto has a say in all of this. He gets to decide where he wants to play for the next several years. Perhaps he will choose another team. But the Yankees are making a genuine and sincere effort to sign him.


In addition, they have already acquired Juan Soto, who has been described as a generational talent. He is only 25 years old and has put up some tremendous seasons already. It is possible that he will remain with the Yankees beyond this season. We cannot worry about that now. The Yankees also traded for Alex Verdugo, who is an upgrade over the parade of mediocre leftfielders they had last year. 


Even last off-season, the Yankees signed Aaron Judge to a 9-year extension and signed Carlos Rodon, who was theoretically the best pitcher on the market at that time. The Yankees cannot control the free agent market. They can only sign players who are actually free agents. This off-season, there are some true gems out there. You have to like the Yankees’ chances to sign Yamamoto. Again, there are no guarantees, and we won't know for certain until he actually signs a contract, but things look good. If for any reason Yamamoto signs somewhere else, the Yankees have indicated that they will continue their efforts to upgrade the starting rotation. There are rumors that other moves will be forthcoming as well. 


The Yankees could certainly sign Cody Bellinger once the situation with Yamamoto is resolved. There may even be another move or two after that. The important thing to note here is that the approach Cashman and Hal are taking is one of confidence and aggression. They are actively pursuing players and seem committed to putting a true championship level team on the field. This is reminiscent of what they did before the 2009 season. 


Honestly, I was unsure what the Yankees would actually do headed into this off-season. When they acquired Alex Verdugo from the Red Sox, I wondered if they would be done at that point, because that has been their modus operandi lately. They only acquired one pitcher at the most recent trade deadline and last off-season, after signing Rodon, they did not do much. I think a good way to look at it is to note the acquisition of Jeter Downs. Last season, that would have been a big move. This year, it is a complementary piece that may or may not amount to anything. It is nothing to get excited about, but it is nothing to complain about either, because it's an addition to the main moves. Last season, the Yankees acquired Franchy Cordero, which was considered a big move. It wasn't 


Brian Cashman and Hal Steinbrenner deserve credit for their approach and actions so far during this off-season. I feel fairly certain that they will sign Yamamoto. Even if they do not, they will do something. Based on what the Yankees have done so far and the way they have done it, as a Yankees fan, you have to be confident that this will be a greatly improved team when it takes the field in 2024. They have already taken great strides by acquiring Juan Soto, and to a lesser degree, Alex Verdugo. They are working hard to acquire Yamamoto. If they accomplish that and then add more, there is no way the Yankees’ fans should be critical of what the front office has done. This was the time for Cashman and Hal to either put up or shut up. So far, they have put up. 


The off-season is not over but it has been very exciting for the Yankees thus far. It seems like that is going to continue. Yankees’ fans will be opening our presents from the team for a while longer this year. 

6 Comments


etbkarate
Dec 21, 2023

Since it is the Holiday Season and I am in the giving mood, I will give Miami Gleyber, Estevan Florial, one of the Oswaldo brothers and Brandan Beck for Luis Arraez, Jesús Luzardo and Jacob Berry.

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fuster
Dec 21, 2023

indeed, the organization has furnished proof of serious intent


the greatest need was for left-handed hitting .....and they not only secured some but paid a price that signals intent to secure it for the long term.


the next most pressing need is to insure that the rotation is the best in the American League

and we can expect some additional evidence .......soon

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Alan B.
Alan B.
Dec 21, 2023

I think these moves are Hal driven & directed. Three lefty bats is a non analytically-based move. I do wonder where does Jeter Downs fit in SWB; with all the outfielders they've acquired and none traded away, that stuffs Pereira back on the SWB roster, at least to start '24, along with Dunham, Lockridge, and another waiver claim, and another 40 man roster holder, Oscar Gonzalez. And I'm not even including Dominguez, whom I expect on that roster by way of rehab assignment by July 1. I don't know how I feel by still having four 40 man roster Deadman still here, with at least 2 of them not making it to OD.

R

Regardless if Yamamoto signs here or…


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Brad Scheller
Brad Scheller
Dec 21, 2023

Will Steve Cohen be a grinch?

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Brad Scheller
Brad Scheller
Dec 21, 2023
Replying to

I don't think it matters as much if the number is 19 plus $450 million.

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