Yankees 2014-15 Offseason in Review

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Last offseason, the Yankees spent nearly $500 Million to boost the offense (Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann, Carlos Beltran) and the rotation (Masahiro Tanaka). However, this offseason they took a more economical approach, an approach that had fans questioning whether this was George Steinbrenner’s Yankees or the economical Yankees. Believe it or not, this offseason was a pretty good one for the Bronx Bombers so let’s go over what the Yankees lost, eventually gained and holes they filled.

Notable Major League Signings

Notable Minor League Signings

Notable Trades and Claims

Notable Losses

Overview

In 2014, the Yankees made a couple of blockbuster signings which opened the eyes of everyone in baseball; they signed Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran to play in the outfield, they signed Brian McCann to replace Russell Martin and they signed Masahiro Tanaka for rotation depth. While the Yankees addressed their needs last season, most of their acquisitions failed to produce, being one of the many reasons the Yankees missed out on the postseason. However, once the season ended, the Yankees realized they had new needs to address.

— They needed to bolster the rotation after the injuries to CC Sabathia (knee), Masahiro Tanaka (elbow) and Ivan Nova (Tommy John surgery). While Michael Pineda made 13 brilliant starts for the Yankees, he was also hit with the injury bug, and struggled to stay on the field for the duration of the season.

With Hiroki Kuroda deciding to go back to Japan and Brandon McCarthy going to the Dodgers, the Yankees re-signed Chris Capuano as depth for the rotation. He started the season last year on the Boston Red Sox as a reliever before he was designated for assignment, but the Yankees figured Capuano had something left in the tank and gave him a low-risk, high-reward contract. To add insurance, the Yankees traded for Nathan Eovaldi, who throws hard, has decent breaking pitches but has trouble racking up strikeouts. The Yankees are optimistic that with a little bit of tinkering, Eovaldi could end up being a bright spot in the rotation. They’re also hoping for a bounce back season from Sabathia and they’re hoping Tanaka’s elbow holds up for the entire campaign. The rotation continues to be the Yankees weak spot, and if someone goes down with an injury, the entire rotation could ultimately be in shambles.

— With Derek Jeter‘s retirement, someone had to play shortstop, which was why the Yankees made the three-team trade with the Diamondbacks and Tigers to acquire Didi Gregorius. Gregorius plays stellar defense, but there have been concerns about his bat. Joe Girardi said Gregorius is going to play everyday to begin the season, but there are questions on whether Gregorius’s bat could ultmiately be as impressive as his defense.

With the acquisition of Gregorius, the team didn’t stop adding to the infield. After a lackluster 2014 season, the Yankees took a chance and re-signed Stephen Drew to a one-year contract. The signing of Drew eliminated the possibility of Rob Refsnyder and Jose Pirela battling for the second base position, but many question whether Drew will produce enough to stay on the roster the entire year.

— Last season, the Yankees had their closer in David Robertson. Following the 2014 campaign, Robertson packed his bags and went to the windy city of Chicago to play for the White Sox. And with Robertson’s departure, the Yankees currently don’t have a closer. Many figure Dellin Betances would take over the closer role, but Girardi has toyed with the idea of having a closer by committee, which is where Andrew Miller comes in. Miller isn’t a closer, but he has electric stuff and helped the Baltimore Orioles advance to the 2014 postseason. If Miller isn’t the closer, he could be the eighth inning guy, a role Betances had last season when Robertson was dubbed Mariano Rivera‘s successor. The Yankees are expecting great things from Miller and they should–they’re paying him $36 Million to be a great addition to the pen.

Although Miller is the main shiny toy in the bullpen, he’s not the only one: the Yankees acquired David Carpenter (with recommendation from McCann) and lefty Justin Wilson. The bullpen could use one or two new arms, but the Yankees are more likely to fill those holes while in camp.

¬†The Yankees didn’t make many blockbuster moves because they’re relying on bounce back seasons from most of their players. It’s a smart approach versus buying every free agent on the market and forming a team full of aging superstars, but will the economical approach work and eventually get them to the postseason? We’ll just have to see how the 2015 season pans out.

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31 Responses to Yankees 2014-15 Offseason in Review

  1. I thought it was a productive offseason in that the Yankees did a decent job building for the future. The bullpen is pretty much set for years to come. The rotation has 2 legit ace options in Pineda and Tanaka (if they can stay healthy) and another guy, Eovaldi, that has some solid potential as well. All three could be around for years to come too.

    The lineup is kind of the problem right now with Beltran, Teixeira, A-Rod and, to a lesser extent, McCann providing a lot of dead weight at an extreme cost. Still, Cashman did a solid job doing what he could. Keeping Headley is a start. Didi isn't perfect, but it's next to impossible to trade for a young shortstop with a ton of talent, and he does have a decent amount of potential. Re-signing Drew wasn't bad either as they got a guy that won't block Refsnyder, but will allow them from rushing him as well.

    The one black eye of this offseason was failure to sign Moncada. It seemed like the Yankees were ripe for a franchise player like him, but Hal Steinbrenner wants to keep his money.

  2. guest says:

    Part of me still wants this team to flop bad so a full housecleaning can commence!

    • hotdog says:

      I don't think they need too…if they don't make the playoffs again, a new round of free agent signinga should occur…they'll carry an overload for a couple years…but you're not too far off…i would not be against a good housecleaning if needed but that might have to start with ownership…

      • guest says:

        I think the Yankees need to draw a line like the Cubs and other teams have…business on one side and baseball on the other. The best way to do this is to start fresh. I honestly think the group they have no could not have done much worse over the last 7-8 years. They have failed on an epic level.

        • group says:

          group they have now…

        • They did win a championship within the last 7-8 years. It's far from a failure at an epic level.

          • guest says:

            Think about it…if they didn't go for it in 09 Trout would be a Yankee…epic failure! Not trading Cano when they knew they would not resign him…epic failure…resigning CC after the opt out…epic failure…signing Posada and Arod…epic failure…picking up Swisher's option…epic failure…I can go on and on and on?

          • I'll trade Trout for a World Series trophy 10 times out of 10. I realize as a Yankee fan it's hard to fathom sometimes, but they're incredibly hard to come by.

            Signing Posada? Picking up Swisher's option? These are epic failures? You are especially heavy on the hyperbole today.

          • guest says:

            Hyperbole…maybe…it's a snow day so that could be it…Swisher was just plain dumb…we lost 2 draft picks and could have signed Cuddyer instead. Posada should have been let go…Arod…CC…that is 8 draft picks…we got none…

          • hotdog says:

            who could have predicted the Twins offer…no one else came close…just the way the dice roll…

  3. Balt Yank says:

    This is a pretty comprehensive, balanced, spot on review. In hindsight, the Yankees might have signed McCarthy for $48 million than Headley for $52, but last year might have been that pitchers flash in the pan. I wouldn't have taken that risk; Yankees didn't either.

    • guest says:

      Pitching is not the problem with this team or going forward…it is HITTING!

      • mlblogsnewyorkyankees13 says:

        Pitching is a problem. If one of these starters go down, the Yankees have to scramble to replace them. Not to mention entire rotation is injury prone. Tanaka's literally hanging on by a thread. We don't know what to expect from CC. We don't know what to expect from Nova. We don't know if Capuano's going to be effective. We don't know if Eovaldi is going to be the starter the Yankees envisioned. We don't know if Pineda is going to stay healthy all year. Every pitcher has that big question mark hanging above their heads.

        • guest says:

          Pitching is not a problem at all…Warren and Mitchell are ready…Nova is coming back and Severino is on his way…I like that the Yankees did very little on the pitching front. I am sick and sick and sick of worrying about pitching…nothing can be done but to go out and throw the darn ball. If CC goes down GREAT as his career would likely be over and he would be gone…if Tanaka goes down great…insurance money garnered to be spent for next year…best of all we find out if Warren, Mitchell, Nova and Severino are REAL!

  4. YankeezFan says:

    This years acquistions will revolve around 2 players, Evoldi and Didi. Just like 2014 signing revolved around McCann, Els, & Tanaka, which turned out be be just a bit less of a disaster, when comparing the amount of money they spent. The small pickups are interesting acquisitions, but they wont factor too much in Yankee losses this year. If Evoldi pitches well going forward, and Shane Green in Detriot has several bad years, then we can give this as a good offseason. Didi must also perform well before we can say the Yankees did ANY heavylifting this offseason. Giving up Prado is probably the worst move that the Yankees made this offseason, and we'll see how this plays out. Given the changes made i think this year the 2 acquistions have made the Yankees are far worse than the 2 players they gave up. I'll call the Robertson exchange for Miller a tie. And the Moncada fiasco was just a terrible baseball, as well as a bad PR move for the Yankees as well. I doubt we wil look back on this off season as anything other than a off season of possiblities that never panned out.

    • guest says:

      Miller for Roberson a tie…come on…finally the Yankees actually did the right thing…did you forget about the 10 million in savings and the draft pick?

      • Les says:

        I like Miller much better than Robertson and like you noted the team saved money and got a draft pick as well. Resigning Drew and Capuano was a dumb move on their part though. They should have saved that money and got Moncada. That fiasco will haunt them for a very long time..

        • guest says:

          Just on Miller over Robertson…if as I believe that they will eventually raise the strike zone then this swap makes even more sense. Robertson needs the low strike to be effective and Miller does not.

      • YankeezFan says:

        Really?? Miller had 1 good season pitching in relief, and Robertson for the last 4 has been dominate, even as a closer, and your gonna pick Miller OVER Robertson? You probably think that Betances is a better reliever than MO was. REALLY !??????

        • guest says:

          LMAO…Robertson has been a huge beneficiary with the lowering of the strike zone…without that would he be as effective? I think NOT!

  5. hotdog says:

    the Yankees shuffled the deck this year…i think they'll have to do more than that during the 2015-2016 off-season and they likely will…i'd like to say that this years Yankees look better or that they made some good moves and acquired a solid prospect or two but there's not a whole lot to be enthused about…i'm just glad to see them take the field and maybe they'll find a way…

    • guest says:

      The Yankees have failed and failed and some ways are much worse then Congress! No vision…no creativity…no conviction…just haphazard deck shuffling! Add it all up…no post season…no stars…more past there prime useless over priced bums…Cashman is always looking for the guarantee…being afraid to fail has cost this organization for a long time now….

      • Their vision this offseason was to get younger and better defensively. I'd say they achieved that. Creativity came in when they traded for Eovaldi and Didi. I don't think anybody anywhere predicted either of those moves.

        • hotdog says:

          they did get younger and better defensively, that's true but they moved Banuelos and Shane Greene as well, two young pitchers…Eovaldi is a lot of work and Didi is a stop gap…i would have preferred a top 40 draft pick but no one was going to give one up for Banuelos and Greene…I have more faith in Eovaldi long term but it's going to take a deal of good fortune to make this guy into a steady middle of the rotation man…i agree with you that the big miss was Moncada…we needed a top prospect in our system and as Greg mentioned, all those international draft picks we signed last year pale by comparison…i think the buzz around the Yankees will be in seeing who steps up in the minor leagues…

          • guest says:

            The real problem will be if O'brian is able to catch as well as Posada for the D'backs. If that happens again epic failure…I don't have issue with trading either Banuelos or Greene. Mitchell is very similar to Greene and Manny was never going to get enough innings to make it here.

  6. guest says:

    Too little way to late…will add up to a failed season with a bunch of useless bums playing way to much because of their contract!

    Two additions do not make up for a decade of stupidity and blatant incompetance!

    • You need to look at the big picture. The 2015 Yankees aren't a playoff team, but considering what happened leading up to this offseason there was never much of a chance that it was going to be. The Yankees have changed course and have begun building toward something. It's not going to happen this year, but it doesn't mean that it is a failed season just like 2008 wasn't a failed season.

  7. Balt Yank says:

    I agree with some of these comments. If Didi projects as a 250 hitter as all indicates, then it was a stopgap that could have been filled by just signing Drew & keeping Greene. Maybe the Yankees have gambled on Didi being a 280+ hitter with some doubles power. In essence, modest best case scenario. Considering the Braves gave up two quality MLB relievers for Banuelos, the Braves made a gamble & we'll see what happens.

    • hotdog says:

      i do agree with Rob that 2015 is likely not a playoff year so I hope Cashman makes good decisions at the trade deadline and doesn't hang onto the slightest of hope…i'd like to see the Yankees defy predictions but a lot would have to go right…i could see the Yankees hanging in there, they seem to find a way even though in the end, it's not enough…seen worse teams make the playoffs but I'm not feeling good about this team in 2015…

    • If Didi hits .250 consistent and plays great defense, he'll be the Yankees shortstop for at least the next 5 years.

      • YankeezFan says:

        Didi will also need learn how to hit left-handed pitching, otherwise he will be a part-time player with the Yankees this year and have a hard time being another version of Brendan Ryan, just left handed.

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