Even though the Holiday Season is behind us, the Yankees’ off-season can be summed up with one word–silent. The Yankees have had silent night after silent night, watching major trades for Gio Gonzalez and Mat Latos go through without a proposal of their own. Free agent pitchers, such as Mark Buerhle and CJ Wilson, did not even receive Yankee offers. The Yankees have apparently been talking with free agent starting pitcher, Edwin Jackson, but it’s hard to get excited about a .500 career pitcher with a lifetime 4.46 ERA. (AJ Burnett 2.0, anyone?). All in all, the Yankees have been relatively quiet, re-upping with CC, Freddy Garcia and Andruw while picking up options on Robbie Cano and Nick Swisher. But is this really a bad thing?

Edwin Threw A No-No, But The Yanks Should Say No-No

The past decade has been filled with big Yankee free agency moves. Past names such as Jason Giambi, Roger Clemens, and unforgettable Carl Pavano all inked large deals while current Yankees (CC, AJ, Teix, A-Rod) all scored big free agency bucks. After winning 103 games and the World Series in 2009, the Yankees’ biggest move was re-upping with Andy Pettitte. After winning 95 games, but falling to the Rangers in the ALCS in 2010, the Yankees bolstered their bullpen by signing Rafael Soriano and a plethora of cheap, starting pitching options. Many were skeptical of the moves made in 2011, but the Yankees easily skated to 97 wins and the AL East crown. The Yanks fell victim to a hot Detroit team in the first round and began their off-season with virtually the same question marks as last year. But is that the worst problem in the world?
Most free agent and trade prices have been too rich (Is that even possible?!?) for the Yankees’ tasting. Is CJ Wilson really worth $16 million per season? I don’t think so, but the Angels do. Is Edwin Jackson worth $15 million (gulp) per season? Hell no. Starting pitching is definitely at a premium, but these prices are way too high for mediocre talent.
On the trade market, things aren’t much better. Regardless of the trade target, I haven’t heard one opposing GM ask for anything less than Banuelos or Montero. Unless that GM is dangling King Felix, Justin Verlander, Clayton Kershaw, or one of the game’s few, dominant arms, I’m hanging up the phone. It doesn’t cost the GMs anything to inquire within, but the Yankees (and Cash) have learned to keep and even hoard their prospects.
At the end of the day, the Yankees still have the best lineup, top to bottom in the league. They have an ace that can match up with anyone in the game and a bullpen that can allievate some of the burden on the backend of the rotation. That back end is filled with a lot of promise with Ivan Nova, Phil Hughes, and even Manny Banuelos in the near future. As we’ve seen year after year, the playoffs are a crapshoot and the hottest teams will roll through them. It’s just impressive the Yankees have made it 17 of the last 18 seasons.
Making the big free agency is something that the Yankees have done time and time…It just isn’t practical or even problematic with this current Yankee set-up.
The nights will most likely be quiet from now until Spring Training–and that’s ok with me.