After missing the playoffs for the second time in 19 years, the Yankees added pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, catcher Brian McCann and outfielders Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran for a total commitment of $438 million.
Free agent outfielder Shin-Soo Choo has agreed to a $130 million, seven-year contract with the Rangers.
You may not recognize the new team, but you’ll probably recognize the result: just short of 90 wins, just short of the playoffs, way short of expectations.
Choo, a career .288 hitter with 104 home runs, and his agent, Scott Boras, asked instead for Ellsbury money. The Yankees immediately pulled their offer and signed Carlos Beltran.
The Yankees officially have a new face. I know Derek Jeter is still here — and this is certainly not any disrespect to The Yankee Captain. But the reality is that there are only two players signed for more than four years and they are Jacoby Ellsbury and Brian McCann.
“We loved Robby. He’s a great player,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said Friday. “We made an offer we were comfortable with making. It fell far short of obviously where Seattle was. So, in terms of respect, they showed a lot more respect financially than we did.”
The two-time World Champion outfielder is getting a firsthand look at the other side of the Boston-New York rivalry.
The manager of the Yankees is generally used to acquiring great players, not losing them. Joe Girardi sat down to meet the media Tuesday and had the chance to publicly address for the first time the loss of Robinson Cano to Seattle.
Hours after losing free agent second baseman Robinson Cano to the Seattle Mariners, the Yankees jumped right back up on the horse, agreeing to terms with veteran outfielder Carlos Beltran on a three-year, $45 million contract.
The Yankees are going to try to spin the loss of Robinson Cano to the Seattle Mariners in the best way possible. But there’s no way to get around it. They have suffered a tremendous body blow.
When a player says he’s about the money, he’s usually about the Yankees. Except Robinson Cano, who will find himself most sleepless in Seattle.
The Yankees have reportedly re-signed starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda to a one-year deal worth $16 million.
While there’s no doubt what a healthy Ellsbury could do for an outfield that missed power-hitter Curtis Granderson for most of last year, there will always be the question of whether his bones will hold up after the next collision.
Jacoby Ellsbury came through the Red Sox system and was beloved by Sox fans. Not anymore. He will be booed as loudly as Wade Boggs and Roger Clemens were when they came back to Fenway.
MLB needs the Yankees at their best, and their worst. To drive up prices, to drive up interest, baseball needs the Yankees to be interesting. And, as always, it took a Steinbrenner to make that happen.