Ichiro Suzuki signed a two-year contract with the New York Yankees this week that is reported to be worth about $12 million and the warm fuzzy story is that he took less money to stay in pinstripes. The reality is, he isn’t the player he once was and the Yankees should have signed Nick Swisher or went after someone younger.
The Yankees signed another player inching closer to 40, no matter how great his resume is, it makes little to no sense to give him this deal. Suzuki is 39 years old and has had a wonderful career in MLB, but why sign another player that is way past his prime, instead of going after a younger outfielder.
It’s great to see a professional athlete playing for the love of the game by taking less money, but the harsh fact is, teams don’t win baseball games and titles because they have a roster of really nice players.
“The Yankees are the kind of team that I always envisioned being a part of,” said Suzuki. Although that is as sweet as a candy cane, most players would rather play for the Yankees, after spending their entire MLB career playing for the Seattle Mariners.
This has been a strange winter for the Yankees in many ways; from who is really making the baseball decisions, to the fact they have not signed a catcher, to everything involving Alex Rodriguez and the Yankees signing players in the twilight of their careers. None of these moves have made the Yankees a contender.
With the recent signings of Kevin Youkilis and Suzuki, it looks at first glance like the Yankees think they are just a player or two away from winning in 2013.
It may be a newsflash to the organization but they are not, it is hard to smash every move the Yankees make and many fans may want to believe and hope that somehow the team proves everyone wrong, but it just doesn’t seem like they have any chance to compete in their own division, let alone the American League.
So many teams are getting better in the AL East. The Toronto Blue Jays are on a spending spree comparable to the Yankees of old and have assembled a very good baseball team. The Tampa Bay Rays have made trades and moves, that have mixed young guys with veteran players; their secret ingredient for success on how to win with a low budget. The Baltimore Orioles were good last year and have their core coming back; they have a very good manager and should be a top team again in the division. Can the Yankees honestly look at their moves so far and say they can compete with these clubs? If they answer yes, they are either lying or already enjoying too much eggnog.
The Al East is the best division in baseball but other teams in the AL have also gotten a lot better. Teams are not just sitting on their money like the Yankees; the Los Angeles Angels are going to be great, with maybe the best lineup in baseball now adding Josh Hamilton. Even though the Texas Rangers lost Hamilton, they are still a very good team.
What have the Yankees done to get anyone in the Bronx excited?
All the moves the Yankees have made and the signings they have whiffed on, unfortunately for the fans, make the outlook for the team average at best. It is not just the team’s age or the huge hole behind the plate, the Yankees just aren’t good.
It is hard to imagine that Brian Cashman thinks this team is good and if he does, that is scary, but not as scary as what is to come. What is coming is the Yankees plan for 2014, so if this year’s team is bad, than how will the team be in 2014 with the possibility of no Robinson Cano, Andy Pettitte, and Curtis Granderson to just name a few, as well as all the players they signed to one-year contracts, and the fact they want to lower the teams’ budget.
If fans do not remember the many years the Yankees went between championships the next decade could be a very harsh reminder.
Another free-agent fell from the Yankees grasp recently and with few options left, the saying nice guys finish last looks like it could be the slogan for Suzuki and the 2013 Yankees.