New York Yankees Fan

The lockout is history and the 2022 Major League Baseball season is about to open. BleacherBrawls is built on disagreement therefore I have to start by quickly defending the players side of the lockout

The most common take I heard against the players is that they should be happy to be making a living playing a game most of us would play for free. The minimum salary of $700,000 to play baseball is a slap in the face.

Major League Baseball teams either rake in cash like Tony Soprano’s crew running a construction job in Jersey. Or Major League Baseball teams are eking out an existence, practically living paycheck to paycheck. Major League Baseball teams are like the rest of us. John Henry can relate to our pain.

Until Major League Baseball teams are willing to open their books, I’ll have to believe they are raking in the cash.

This is what really bothers me about the owners. How many teams in MLB tank each season? How many teams tank every season? There are teams that have no interest in fielding a winning team. Instead those teams keep low operating costs while raking in television money and pocketing revenue sharing money from not only the Yankees but the Red Sox as well. 

If players should play for whatever the owners give them and be happy about it. Owners absolutely must put in real effort to field winning teams. No more using their teams as personal ATM machines. 

If the owners are going to choose profit over performance, it’s not fair to ask the players to sacrifice profit to play a game. Therefore I’ll root for the players to get as much as they can.

The Underwhelming Offseason

Which takes us to the construction of the New York Yankees 2022 roster. The offseason was underwhelming, quite frankly.

Brian Cashman sat idly by as the top of the free agent class signed massive long terms deals in a complete show by the owners to say “look we’re spending all this money” just as labor negotiations were about to begin.

Sitting idly by during the free agent frenzy before the lockout was a wise move. The big contracts handed out were all for show. The only free agent I would have liked to have seen playing in New York was Freddie Freeman.

I did expect a few trades. I foresaw Brian Cashman wheeling and dealing, trying to revamp this team on the fly like he did in 2017. 

It certainly did not play out like that. We saw a few small moves and one massive mistake that probably won’t play well in New York.

I’ve never liked Josh Donaldson’s schtick. His personality has always rubbed me the wrong way. His career is probably over after his contract is up.

Replacing Gary Sanchez with Josh Donaldson is subtraction by subtraction. There are very few players I wouldn’t trade Gary Sanchez for, Josh Donaldson is on that short list. I’m not advocating for keeping Gary Sanchez, I’m advocating for trading Gary Sanchez for anyone other than Josh Donaldson. 

I realize no team is desperate for Gary Sanchez.  I would have taken nearly anything else we could get for Gary Sanchez.  I would take a low level pitching prospect with control issues. instead of Josh Donaldson. I would take another high-strike out player with no discernable position instead of Josh Donaldson. I would take nearly any other player in Major League Baseball over Josh Donaldson.

Fortunately, I doubt we will see much of Josh Donaldson. I would give an over/under of 120 ABs before Donaldson’s season ends with an IL trip. Thoughts in the comments?

I know little about Isiah Kiner-Falefa. I have not been following his career closely. Kiner-Falefa is supposedly a defensive upgrade at shortstop, that’s positive.

I know less about Jose Trevino than I do about Isiah Kiner-Falefa. Trevino is supposedly a defensive upgrade at catcher, that shouldn’t be a difficult task.

I’ve said for the past few years the Yankees are weak defensively. Two upgrades at two critical positions should be positive. 

Here’s the issue, both Kiner-Falefa and Trevino are coming from a trash Texas Rangers team. The 2021 Texas Rangers lost 102 games. That doesn’t necessarily mean that Kiner-Falefa and Trevino are bad players. It means that two more players with no playoff experience have been added to the team. 

We’ve repeatedly seen players from losing organizations come into NY and struggle in their first postseason. The Yankees need to win now. The future is now. We’ve seen prospects come and go. Our best prospect of the bunch, Aaron Judge, hasn’t even been signed to a long term deal. It’s time to make the moves that need to be made. 

I’m 100% okay with Cashman looking for his analytics gems as long as he fills in the team with the right veteran leadership. If the baseball nerds running the analytics department don’t want to value leadership, then I have a guy who has something he can throw at them

The Yankees lack World Series winning leadership. Of the 26 players currently on the Yankees, 2 have World Series rings, Aroldis Chapman and Anthony Rizzo. That’s not enough. Having a clubhouse with everyday players and starting pitchers that have won a World Series is a different vibe. The Yankees have critically lacked hard nosed, been there before, veteran leadership for years

By JMo

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