Brian Cashman and the 2022 Yankees Roster
by Cary Greene
January 5, 2022
Now we’ve moved from the Tropical Heatwave to the Deep Freeze part of the offseason. Nothing at all is happening. Neither side, MLB or the Players Union, has any urgency at all.
With that said, I’m realizing there are thousands of topics dancing in my mind.
In this next piece I take a look at how Brian Cashman has positioned the Yankee roster thus far for the 2022 season and beyond. I’m going to study each AL East team in similar fashion, but let’s start with our favorite AL East team, shall we?
No doubt the Yankees and their American League East rivals are not nearly done signing free agents and making trades and late additions to their rosters. If we do have a season, there will be a flurry of activity as each team tries to set itself up for success.
Let’s examine how Brian Cashman has maneuvered the Yankee position players part of the Active Roster. Obviously, a number of players were jettisoned prior to the amateur part of the Rule 5 Draft and also, a few free agents were not retained (for some, I should say, they haven’t been yet retained as Brett Gardner comes to mind).
In preparing for the upcoming (hopefully) season, you can see from the chart below, Brian Cashman has spent almost $112 million on position players, which is a little more than half of the team’s total payroll. Based on last year’s numbers, Cashman can expect around 16 wins above replacement from this roster.
Cashman can also expect a team with negative defensive value, relative to what he’s spending. The lion’s share of the negative defensive value is caused by Giancarlo Stanton not playing the outfield. DH’ing Stanton completely squanders his value and negates Brian Cashman trading for him in the first place.
More concerning is that besides Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton’s offense, the rest of the team does nothing but drag the Yankees into the muck at the plate. As constructed, this is a bad offensive team relative to what Cashman is spending. The team can’t hit. The running game is atrocious. Speed is non-existent. This is a team that doesn’t score and doesn’t pressure the defense in the least.
Of course there are still moves to be made, but based on how Brian Cashman has positioned the team, it’s fairly safe to say that there is a ton of work remaining this offseason if the team is going to be improved positionally.
Now let’s examine how Brian Cashman has built the pitching staff.
As you can see below, Cashman has committed $107 million so far for the 23 pitcher group that is the 2022 New York Yankee pitching staff and who will provide Cashman about 4.1 years of team control per pitcher.
Of course 34% of that spend is for one pitcher, Gerrit Cole. This group produced 21.9 Wins Above Replacement last year and about 65% of that came from the starting rotation.
We can see from studying both charts that Yankee prospects do virtually nothing. The team gets almost no tangible help from it’s minor league system. That’s Red Flag Number One.
Red Flag Number Two is that Brian Cashman has put together a bad offensive team who doesn’t play defense well either.
Red Flag Number Three is the total payroll which is already pretty maxed out, with approximately $219 million already committed. I’m just not sure how much more money Hal Steinbrenner is going to want to spend, but that remains to be seen. Once (if) MLB gets a CBA in place, we’ll know where the dreaded luxury tax thresholds sit and we can more than likely count on the Yankees coming in under it – if Hal Steinbrenner’s spending history is any guide.
I know Yankee fans, myself included, would like a number of additions made to this sluggish team so that they will be able to keep pace with their American League East rivals who are no doubt going to make many roster moves of their own. If the Yankees don’t make changes and add to this roster, 2022 could be a long season in the Bronx.