I don’t expect the Yankees to pursue any big name free agents this offseason, mostly because their free agent spending tends to be tied to the contracts they have coming off the books. They shed a lot of money following the 2008 season, leading to the big 2008-09 winter. Two years they shed a ton of money and went big during the 2013-14 free agent market.
Hmm. That all makes sense, if we're playing a board game. In a roundabout way, Axisa is accepting the premise that Hal "I'm Not Cheap" Steinbrenner doesn't have the money to spend. He won't do anything until 2017, because the coffers are bare. Basically, it's because of Teixeira, Beltran and CC: If we could only get rid of those guys, then we'd have money to sign a David Price or Zach Greinke. Unfortunately, we'll have to wait. Of course, Axisa is writing what he expects the Yankee to do. And he echoes the words of several beat writers, whose access indicates that I'm Not Cheap won't break the bank this winter out of fiscal prudence. For some reason, that's important to them - that I'm Not Cheap is bankrolling enough profits so that he and his siblings, and their families, and their servants, and their exes and Randy Levine can all live in gated comfort. In fact, we should all get miffed when freeloaders - CC, Tex, Beltran, A-Rod, Gardy, Ellsbury etc - have the audacity to cash their paychecks. It's like stealing the silverware from Hal's house, when he's been so kind to them. Why don't they just retire, so Hal can spend some of his hard-inherited money on restoring the Yankees? It's an outrage! Listen: There is no frickin' reason in this universe why I'm Not Cheap cannot increase the Yankee payroll. This season, the Dodgers spent more than $300 million - that's about $90 million more than the Yankees - and the reason is simple: Their owner wants to win more than ours does. And that should never be the case. Frankly, no Yankee blogger or beat writer should ever accept it - not even in passing - without challenging it. They should never give the Steinbrenners - a family whose worth is measured in billions, not millions - a free pass, when it comes to poor-mouthing.
As for some notion that the Yankees will wait until 2017 before signing any big name free agent? If you think about it, what a load of crap. There is no reason why I'm Not Cheap - with all that money coming off the books in 2017 - cannot float one extra year of a free agent contract. Are we to believe the Yankees are in a financial bind - they are so hamstrung that they must wait a year? What crap! I'm Not Cheap has more money than he can count. Whatever fiscal limits the Yankee face are his own cocktail napkin doodlings. And whenever anybody writes about Yankee finances, they should point this out. Now and then, I wonder about the ties between River Ave and YES. The site runs the YES toolbar, and YES links to it all the time, and clearly there is some affiliation between the two. It's a great site for Yankee analysis, and - like I said - I enjoy Axisa's work. I hate to be firing on my own troops. But another off-season has started early, and already, it seems as though we are being told to accept whatever edicts that I'm Not Cheap decides to announce. He doesn't deserve such a free pass.