The last few days have brought some articles on the total spending done during this offseason that highlight the amount of that spending done by the Yankees. According to Maury Brown, the Yankees were responsible for 40.8 percent of the spending done this year, a staggering figure that is likely to engender criticism. It seems like the Yankees are back to being the same old Evil Empire, with no budget and no regard for the struggling economy. However, looking at all of the circumstances makes the Yankees shopping spree quite understandable. The Yankees shed 88 million in payroll this offseason, and are moving into a new stadium. Those are two sources of revenue that they could have chosen to spend or to save. Looking forward to the 2010 free agent class, it seems obvious that the Yankees made their decisions with an eye towards the future. Here are some of the interesting big names, via Cot’s contracts:
Carlos Delgado NYM
Aubrey Huff BAL
Nick Johnson WAS
Adam LaRoche PIT
Mark DeRosa CHC
Placido Polanco DET
Brian Roberts BAL
Rick Ankiel STL
Jason Bay BOS
Vladimir Guerrero LAA
Matt Holliday OAK
Erik Bedard SEA
Justin Duchscherer OAK
Kelvim Escobar LAA
Rich Harden CHC
John Lackey LAA
Brett Myers PHI
Brad Penny BOS
Jason Schmidt LAD
Jarrod Washburn SEA
It’s a pretty weak class when compared to the cream of the crop from this season. The Yankees signed Teixeira rather than go with Swisher in 2009 and bet on someone like Aubrey Huff in 2010. Outside of John Lackey, all of the pitchers on that list have either health or performance issues, so the Yankees took themselves out of the starting pitching market for a few seasons. In regard to outfielders, that is the one position where the Yankees may shop in 2010. However, there will be plenty of quality outfielders on the market to keep the price suppressed, and the Yankees will likely only need one corner outfielder, assuming they allow Damon, Nady, and Matsui to leave. I listed second basemen as well, because another subpar year from Cano would likely involve the Yankees in that market as well.
The point of this is simple. The Yankees had plenty of available money to spend and needed to evaluate where best to invest. They looked to the short term future and rightly determined that the 2009 free agent class was best suited to serve their long term needs. The final bill may seem exorbitant, but I think it will seem less so when the Yankees are not major players in 2010 free agency.
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