Monday, December 15, 2014


Wouldn’t that make a splash? Recently rumors have made their way through the tabloids about Derek Jeter buying the Miami Marlins, though he has flatly denied such rumors. In one of his interviews at the end of his playing career, when asked what he would like to do next, he said he would like to own a baseball team. I don’t know about the Marlins, but the Yankees need some engaged ownership.

All of Yankees Universe is in an uproar over the inactivity and lack of engagement by the people running the shop. It got to the point where Brian Cashman had to make a sheepish statement that he has been “trying” to get pitchers (read HERE). There is just a palpable sense that the Steinbrenners just are not ponying up when it comes to spending and engagement. It does not help that George Steinbrenner is the point of reference, with his legendary eagerness to spend top dollar to get the players he thought were the best. Still, we all agree that George would not have stood for this.

Nobody wants to overspend, and the Yankees are feeling the pain of their poor history in this regard. They are sitting on contracts paying $20M+ per year to CC Sabathia, Alex Rodriguez, and Mark Teixeira. With all due respect to these gentlemen, they are in serious decline. We are paying premium prices for players that can no longer deliver the value that we paid for. It is not surprising that the Yankees are a little gun-shy when it comes to long-term contracts, and I personally think that those long-term contracts are not worth the risk.

Jon Lester went for $155M over 6 years, Pablo Sandoval went for $95M over 5 years, Hanley Ramirez went for $88M over 4 years, David Robertson went for $46M over 4 years, and Brandon McCarthy went for $48M over 4 years. You could make the argument that every one of those players was overpaid or gotten a contract for too long of a period. Here’s a little secret, though. EVERY TEAM OVERSPENDS ON THEIR KEY PLAYERS. Those players are the ones around which you build the team. The problem with the Yankees now is that they have not acquired ANY key acquisitions, but we get assurances that Hal Steinbrenner and Brian Cashman are “trying”.

To have a legitimate shot at making the playoffs, the Yankees have some work to do. Time is not on their side. Everybody knows the Yankees are desperate to sign some serious talent, especially a starting pitcher. Scott Boras certainly knows, and he is shopping Max Scherzer at $216M for 8 years. Scherzer is the last major prize in the free agent market, and Detroit is just as desperate to sign him as the Yankees. If the Yankees cannot sign him, they need to find someone else who is top-shelf and can carry a team, be it through free agency or through trade. If they do not, the Yankees are looking at the possibility of a losing record for the first time since 1992. Even if they do sign Scherzer, they still have gaps to fill in the closer role, probably one more legitimate starter, third base, and an extra bat wouldn’t hurt.

Look, I do not really believe that Derek Jeter is going to buy the Yankees. I do not even believe that they are for sale. Nevertheless, what I would like to see – what Yankees Universe would like to see – is for the decision-makers to take some of Jeter’s philosophy and apply it to the Yankees. “If you’re going to play at all, you’re out to win. Baseball, board games, playing Jeopardy, I hate to lose.” It represents a mindset of success and winning that is found on championship teams, trend-setting companies, and successful organizations in every walk of life. Another Jeter quote – “The last thing you want to do is finish playing or doing anything and wish you would have worked harder”. I appreciate Brian Cashman’s efforts, but the last thing the fans want is to allow all this talent to slip through our fingers and to have to endure another mediocre season.

--Ike Dimitriadis, BYB Senior Staff Writer
Twitter: @KingAgamemnon
My blog is: Shots from Murderer's Row

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