Yesterday was a long one. It was the shortest day of the Winter Meetings, but when it suddenly included a cancelled flight and an unexpected connecting flight through Washington D.C., I thought it would never end.
But, of course, it did end. And so did the meetings.
This was an overwhelmingly successful week for the Yankees. Far more successful than I think anyone could have expected. Let’s look back on four days in Indianapolis, each of which included a significant decision by the Yankees.
Monday: Trading Brian Bruney
The Yankees entered the Winter Meetings with a wealth of solid pitching, but a thin big league bench. Trading Bruney let them deal from a position of strength to address a position of weakness. Why should Bruney be the one to go? His salary should be around $2 million next year, he was expendable enough to keep off the roster through most of the playoffs, and the Yankees have plenty of other right-handed options on the roster. Plus, Bruney carried enough weight on the trade market to bring back something of value.
Tuesday: Adding Curtis Granderson
The Yankees held out for roughly a month. Initial Granderson proposals called for more than the Yankees were willing to give, but eventually the price came down and the Yankees were willing to move. Brian Cashman doesn’t move prospects easily — he previously turned down an offer of Jarrod Washburn for Austin Jackson — but in this situation, he essentially replaced Jackson’s role in the organization with a more powerful, proven alternative. I’m a big believer in Ian Kennedy — more so than most — but the package of Jackson, Kennedy and Phil Coke was a fair price for Granderson. The Yankees addressed a hole in their outfield and gained some leverage for free agent discussions. I hate trading away prospects, but I like this move.
Wednesday: Signing Andy Pettitte
The move wasn’t much of a surprise. I think everyone expected this deal to get done eventually, but the key was doing it sooner rather than later. In case anyone needed reminding, Pettitte proved his worth in the postseason. The one-year deal is worth slightly more money than I expected, but not significantly. The rotation was the Yankees primary concern this winter, Pettitte was their No. 1 target and the deal was done hardly a month after the World Series. That’s a very good thing.
Thursday: Choosing Jamie Hoffmann
There might have been some higher ceiling players available, but the Yankees aren’t in a position to hold a roster spot for a Low-A reliever, being patient while he works toward becoming a legitimate major leaguer. They need a guy who can contribute right now. They also need some help on the bench, and a right-handed outfielder is a plus. That’s why Hoffmann made so much sense. “In our roster situation and where we’re at in terms of competing, he’s a guy we’re hoping can be number 25 on the roster and give Joe some choices,” Cashman said.