How can we beat them? Who puts us over the top?
Those were just two of the questions Yankee fans’ minds as Brian Cashman and company prepared for the winter.
A sentiment among many Yankee fans was you close the gap by going simple and splashy. In other words, sign Manny Machado or Bryce Harper.
The mid-2000 Yankees would have signed either player, if not both.
But the current regime is not interested in handing out the sort of contract that both Machado and Harper desired.
I preferred Harper to Machado, but I understand and respect the Yankees logic.
There isn’t a specific longterm need for either player, considering the roster that is currently in place.
The Yankees have put themselves in a great position with a team full of young, talented players who have grown together over the last few seasons.
That said, the Yankees were smart enough this offseason to realize a simple reality: eventually the young, talented and inexpensive players that have been doing their thing in the Bronx eventually have to get paid.
So this offseason, rather than spending big on the big names, the Yankees prioritized locking up two of their own emerging stars in what would be considered win-win deals for both the team and the player.
The Yankees locked up both Luis Severino and Aaron Hicks to longterm contracts, taking care of two players they see as cornerstones of the franchise.
Severino has become the ace of the Yankee pitching staff, and Hicks has turned into one of the best two-way center fielders in the sport.
It’s great to see. Why? Because Severino and Hicks are two players you want to be a part of the Yankees for years to come. Now they will be.
But the Yankees have more young players to lock up in the weeks to come. Didi Gregorius, Aaron Judge and Dellin Betances are all candidates for contract extensions that will grow the Yankees payroll.
The recent and future contract extensions should silence the ridiculous narrative out there portraying the Yankees as a cheap and frugal organization.
The Yankees improved as a baseball team in the offseason, plus they prioritized taking care of their own.
I’ll take that over a splashy offseason any day of the week.
You can listen to me in for Boomer & Gio with Jerry Recco from 6 to 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Thursday & Friday. You can also listen to me on Sunday & Monday from 2 to 6 a.m. on WFAN Sports Radio 660/1019 FM.