Remember when Hot Stove season was a big deal in these parts?
Yankees fans dreamed about getting any player they want for their favorite team in the offseason to increase their team’s chances of winning a championship. Under the late George Steinbrenner, he would come through in his zest for winning every year.
The Yankees made at least two big signings and acquired a star under Hal Steinbrenner, but that has been few and far between. They haven’t made many moves every year to chase championship No. 28, and it appears this year they won’t do much whatsoever. It could be the same roster from this past season, with which the Yankees went down to the Rays in five games in the American League Division Series.
They can’t be serious if it’s really true. They did not have the look of a championship team last year or the year before. They underachieved in the playoffs these last few seasons. They could use some finetuning.
No one on the roster should be untouchable, especially their hitters. Aaron Judge, Gleyber Torres, Miguel Andujar, and Gary Sanchez serve as Yankees general manager Brian Cashman’s pride for his work in finding and developing them, but they have won nothing and spent time on the injured list too often.
Maybe trading Judge or Torres can be the tonic to shake off the malaise on this roster. The Yankees need to find guys that know how to win and want to win. It seems this roster has that county club mentality towards the job. Where are Chad Curtis and Paul O’Neill when you need them?
Too often, the Yankees fail to pushback whenever teams plunk them. The Rays play with more urgency than that the Yankees. They treat their series with the Yankees as if this is their World Series, and the results favor them in the result of winning. The Yankees rely on talent to bail them out, but in sports, it comes down to more than talent. It’s about will and the want to win.
This Yankees team clearly miss something extra within. It makes sense to make a change on the roster. This roster needs more of Gerrit Cole in terms of approach to the game.
A rumor came out the Yankees could acquire Josh Bell and Jameson Taillon. This could be a start, and it means the Yankees may give up a core player to get both or either. At this point, I would be all in. Bell can hit, and playing games at Yankee Stadium, he could hit 30 home runs off the bat. Taillon can pitch, and he is the team’s second-best starter out of default.
How about signing Yadier Molina as a free agent? He knows how to win. He plays the game the way it should be, which is being hard-nose and going all in to win. He would be an upgrade over Sanchez, even if he is 38 years old. He may not be a hitter he is anymore, but he still has that uncanny ability to get a big hit when he and the team need it.
Adam Wainwright is a free agent. There should be room for him on this roster. Another hard-nosed pitcher who is not afraid to pitch inside. He is a guy that knows how to win postseason games. He would make the starting rotation better just by signing with them. Imagine Cole and Wainwright to start Game 1 and 2. The Yankees wouldn’t have to name an opener to start Game 2 if a starter like Wainwright was on the roster.
Money can’t be an object for a big-market team like the Yankees. It’s been 11 years since they won a championship. That’s unacceptable for a proud franchise that plays in the nation’s biggest media market. The Dodgers created a sense of urgency to finally win a championship for the first time since 1988. That’s the approach the Yankees need to have.
Cutting payroll sends a terrible message to the players. It would send winning a championship does not really matter under Hal Steinbrenner. That approach played a role in why there is a malaise in this organization since George passed away in 2010. It’s why they are stuck at 27 titles, and why the Yankees don’t inspire fear in other teams outside of the Minnesota Twins.
The Yankees are just another team that plays in Major League Baseball. They are an ordinary franchise now that is just there. When people look at elite teams, the Yankees fall short of it.
The Yankees know they are kidding themselves if they do nothing to improve the roster. Cashman realizes that, but he can only do what the younger Steinbrenner tells him to do.
Not firing Aaron Boone as a manager is one thing. Not doing anything to improve the roster comes off as negligence.