The Yankees’ Plans and Schemes, Part I – Free Agents
First, let’s look at free agents.
The entire Yankees plan and off-season are somewhat bewildering. In addition to the $189 million “goal” as Hal Steinbrenner refers to it, they have multiple holes to fill and limited options in which to do it. They have to sign free agents because they don’t have any young players to trade or slot in for themselves.
There’s been a Francesa-led fantasy that the combination of declining attendance, reduced TV ratings, a vast number of season ticket subscribers choosing not to re-up, the missed playoff spot and the Red Sox winning the World Series will spur the Yankees to shun the $189 million goal and spend, spend, spend their way out of misery.
I don’t believe it. There’s been no indication that the $189 million is off the table and the idea that they’re going to abandon it at this point would render the mere attempt to reach it meaningless and make it difficult to explain why they even put up the pretense of it in the first place.
The $189 million goal and simultaneous retooling of the team on the fly is contingent on Alex Rodriguez’s suspension being upheld so they don’t have to pay him the $25 million they owe him. Right now, it’s up in the air as to whether the entire suspension will be in effect and if A-Rod will continue down the road he’s on in doing everything legally possible to be allowed to play. He’s shown no sign of stopping and after all the money he’s spent, it makes no sense to give up now. It’s very possible that the case will be delayed indefinitely and the Yankees won’t know if that money will be free. This puts them in a box. If they wait and hope it’s settled, the players they want will likely have signed elsewhere. If they don’t wait, sign a bunch of players and A-Rod winds up being allowed to play, then they’ll easily surpass the $189 million.
As for the players available, as stated earlier, Heyman and Francesa had them possible landing spots for everyone. Here they are with reasons why or why not they could end up in pinstripes: