As a fan of a team, it is very easy to be pessimistic, even if you are a fan of the New York Yankees. Really, unless your team wins a championship or is not expected to reach the postseason and makes a playoff run, the majority of the fans of the rest of the teams in any league are going to be pessimistic, disappointed and upset. Even when a season isn’t in session, the media and fans will criticize their favorite team’s draft, free agent signings or trades. When it comes to the Yankees’ offseason, the media and fans should be happy with what the Yankees have done.
There are legitimate discussions to be had about the Yankees overpaying for some of the free agents they signed, but with each passing offseason, it seems like more and more teams in baseball are overpaying for players they want or need in order to improve their rosters. This is not just a Yankees thing anymore. With there not being a salary cap in baseball, coupled with an influx of money coming to teams from regional television contracts, general managers have more money than they ever had before for them to spend and acquire players they covet.
With that being said, the Yankees have had a good offseason overall with their free-agent signings. They upgraded their outfield with Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran, and also significantly upgraded the catcher’s position with signing Brian McCann. Every move has pros and cons, but these moves by the Yankees have more positives than negatives. With the acquisition of Ellsbury, the Yankees now have a solid, dynamic leadoff hitter. This is a guy who can bat .300, steal 50 bases and has a little pop in his bat. Now that Ellsbury will play half his games at Yankee Stadium, it would not be surprising if he hits 15 home runs and makes himself an even more valuable hitter. Ellsbury is also one of top defensive center fielders in baseball, allowing the Yankees to put Brett Gardner in left field to form an extremely fast outfield at two of the three positions. Signing Beltran was also a smart move. Although he will turn 37 early in the season, Beltran is a probable future Hall of Famer. The guy is guaranteed to hit around 25 home runs, bat around .285 and take his share of walks. Also, with him being in a small right field, Beltran should not be a huge liability defensively.
The guy who is arguably the most important signing for the Yankees could be McCann. Catcher was such an abysmal position for the Yankees last year with Chris Stewart and Austin Romine playing the majority of the games for the Yankees. Those two were players who did not hit for average or power and were okay defenders. Now the Yankees will have a veteran in McCann behind the plate who can be slotted fifth in the lineup, easily hit 20 home runs, and drive in 75 runs. He is also good enough behind home plate that he won’t hurt the Yankees defensively. It is easy to be pessimistic, but when it comes to the moves the Yankees have made, there is a lot to like.