Sequestered in the Opryland Hotel last week, I had a drink with Jeff Passan one night, and had a long lobby conversation with Jon Paul Morosi one morning. I’ve come to know both of them, I’ve come to respect both of them, and after reading their articles last night, I’ve come to agree with both of them.
And agreeing with both of them is kind of the story of the Yankees winter.
Morosi wrote that, despite nearly $50 million in new one-year contracts, the Yankees are no better today than they were last season. And I agree. I believe the Yankees could be better than last season — depends a lot on being healthier and getting rebound seasons from key players — but I can’t say that they are better.
Passan wrote that, after seeing the Indians and Rays grab huge prospects in offseason deals, it’s clear that teams are “preying on desperation” in the trade market. And I agree. It’s taking massive packages of minor league players to acquire proven, big league talent. Teams have to be willing to significantly sacrifice if they want to significantly upgrade.
So, that’s the current give and take.
The Yankees are trying to limit future spending, which has limited their ability to upgrade through the free agent market. However, if they were to attempt to upgrade through the trade market, it would require a gutting of the farm system. And it’s the loss of key prospects in past trades that’s left them without many young, affordable, big league ready players to help deal with the current financial limitations.
And so the cycle builds on itself, and we’re seeing that cycle play out this winter.
Associated Press photo