The New York Yankees missed the postseason for just the second time in the last eighteen seasons, indicating that some big changes had to be made. With the tremendous budget they have, the Yankees decided to upgrade their roster to prepare them for next season . They have given at least some interest in all of the big name free agents on the market.
The Yankees first move of the offseason came just a few days after the regular season had ended. The Yankees re-signed their manager, Joe Girardi, to a 4 year deal for 16 million dollars. The next move was re-signing there shortstop and captain, Derek Jeter. Jeter became a free agent after opting out of the final year of his contract, he re-upped with the team on a 1 year 12 million dollar deal. Even with Jeter to dominate his position, a back up shortstop is always needed. To fill this spot, the Yankees resigned Brendan Ryan, on a contract of 2 years and about 4.5 million dollars. After all of these resigns, the Yankees finally made their first trade of the offseason when they trader their catcher, Chris Stewart, to the Pittsburgh Pirates for a player not known as of now. The Yankees also picked up utility man Kelly Johnson, who is a great backup player since he can play a various array of positions.
One of the team’s biggest moves yet was the signing of catcher Brian McCann to a 5 year 85 million dollar contract with a sixth year team option that could bring the deal up to 100 million dollars. McCann is a 9 year veteran who has managed to make 7 All-Star teams and win 5 silver slugger awards. More importantly he is an instant upgrade over last year’s catcher, who finished dead last in home runs at the catcher position. It is almost certain that McCann will solve that problem. McCann has hit at least 20 home runs in 7 of the last 8 seasons he has played, and he managed to do this while averaging only 110 games played a season. To put things in perspective in 162 games played last season Yankees catchers combined to hit only 6 Home Runs. McCann is arguably the best hitting catcher in the entire MLB, so the Yankees should have yet another star on their hands.
The second major move of the offseason came as a shock to almost everyone in the MLB. On Tuesday night the Yankees and Jacoby Ellsbury came to an agreement on a 7 year deal worth roughly 150 million dollars, with a club option in the eighth season that could bring the deal up to about 170 million. The shock is that Jacoby Ellsbury just this won the World Series with the Yankees bitter rivals, the Boston Red Sox. Jacoby Ellsbury is an extremely talented ball player who excels both offensively and defensively, and isconsidered to be one of the best leadoff hitters in the game. However, Ellsburry is most famous his excellence in stealing bases. Ellsburry has stolen at least 50 bases on 3 separate occasions in his career, with his career high being 70 in 2009. This offers a new aspect for the Yankees offense, as they have not stolen a lot of bases as a whole.
While the Yankees may have been busy so far in creating a dominant team, they are definitely not done yet. This Monday will mark the start of the Winter Meetings, the most important week of the offseason. In this, almost every agent and General Manager will be in the same place at the same time, to make big changes. With the Yankees almost limitless supply of money, it is almost guaranteed that they will be one of the leaders at these meetings.