Today’s the day. My offseason has ended, my flight to Tampa leaves soon, and my boss wants a spring training preview story ASAP. Problem is, I’m not exactly sure what to put in it.
This morning, Trevor wrapped up our Pinch Hitters series with a post about patience and development, and the Yankees seem to have spent their winter focused on both. They’ve banked their offseason on the patience of an A.J. Burnett trade, and the development of Michael Pineda. They’ve given CC Sabathia an extension, but signed only one big name free agent. They’ve picked their battles and taken their time.
Pitchers and catchers report in less than 48 hours, and Brian Cashman’s still not finished with his to-do list.
Some of it feels unusual. The Yankees have passed on some big-ticket items that might have been right up their alley not so long ago, and even though they’ve traded away Jesus Montero, they’ve held onto most of the young pitching that surely could have been traded away for a big league bat. After relatively minor signings worked out well last season, they seem willing to go a similar route to fill their designated hitter opening and round out their bench.
It’s this late in the game, and there’s still some tweaking to be done. We seem to know the basics of what the Yankees are trying to do, but it’s not done just yet. Buster Olney says the Burnett trade could go to the commissioners office for approval later today, then the Yankees will focus on adding some hitters.
Maybe this isn’t exactly the kind of patience Trevor was talking about in this morning’s post, but it’s the kind of patience that has defined the Yankees soon-to-be-over winter. They’ve moved slowly and methodically, and seem to be on the verge of putting the final pieces in place.
One other note from this moring: Sweeny Murti reports that Hideki Okajima failed his physical. He seemed to have a chance of making the roster as a second lefty.