Here is another look at the latest signings across baseball. Which among these free agents did the Yankees miss out on and which did they dodge a bullet?
Joe Smith has been a quality under-the-radar reliever for several years and the Yankees would have been well served by signing him to a cheap deal instead of bringing in a closer like Joe Nathan when they have David Robertson. Over the last three seasons he's had a 2.42 ERA with a 3.33 FIP, which could really help to refortify the bullpen. Unfortunately, the Angels signed him for a tremendous three-year, $15.75 million. At $5.25 million a year, that would be more than what Robertson will make in arbitration this year. No thank you.
Verdict: Won't miss at that price
The Cardinals signed Jhonny Peralta to a four-year, $53 million contract fresh off his 50-game suspension for his link to Biogenesis. It's a lot to give up for a league-average hitter who has been freshly linked to PEDs because It's hard to figure out what you'll be getting from him in the future. He'll have to be worth $13 million a year over the life of the contract, which is entirely possible, since he's been worth around that much over the last three seasons.
Signing him to play shortstop and third base would have helped the team a lot and, seeing as how he didn't cost a draft pick, would be a welcomed alternative over Stephen Drew. In the end, it all comes down to the health of Derek Jeter, if he's healthy and productive the Yankees won't miss him.
Verdict: Probably miss
The Cubs signed Casper Wells to a minor league deal. While the Yankees have a full outfield right now, there's no telling if Alfonso Soriano, Brett Gardner, Vernon Wells, and Ichiro Suzuki will make it through the entire season. That's why it would have been nice to secure some kind of minor league depth that has shown to be capable of playing in the majors. He may have had a horrendous offensive season across three different teams in 2013, but he's a plus defender (22 DRS) and has shown to be a good hitter against lefties (115 wRC+). He might have been a better fourth outfielder than Vernon would be and wouldn't have cost much.
There's always the chance he will continue to unravel offensively, but even then he'd still be a solid addition to the Scranton outfield over the likes of Adonis Garcia and Ronnier Mustelier. He's been available to the Yankees for several years now and they continue to need people to hit lefties, yet still don't consider him an option. If it didn't happen this season, it's likely to never happen. It's the type of deal that couldn't really harm anyone, but the Yankees don't seem interested.
The Mets seem to have made their big money acquisition of the winter by signing Chris Young to a $7.25 million contract. The only reason the Yankees might have been interested in him is as a right-handed bat off the bench. He would actually be a young addition to the team as he's only 30 years old, but he's really only a platoon outfielder at this point. He has a 121 wRC+ against lefties in his career, which would have really helped the Yankees actually hit left-handed pitchers in 2014. Unfortunately, their outfield is already packed and making a $7 million addition doesn't make a lot of financial sense when you're not getting a starting player. Carlos Beltran is probably a better investment because he gets Wells off the team and moves Ichiro to a reserve role.
Verdict: Won't miss in the long run
The Rangers signed Colby Lewis to a minor league deal and I think the Yankees completely missed the boat on him. Granted, he did miss the entire 2013 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery and then had surgery again to remove a bone spur from his hip in August. Still, with the Yankees' barren rotation, it would have been nice to lock someone in who has the potential to throw 200 innings. Maybe he wanted to go back to the Rangers, maybe it would have cost a major league deal with the Yankees, but they should have been interested.
GMDM made another signature signing when he inked Jason Vargas to a four-year, $32 million contract. It's not the signing of Vargas that made no sense, but the amount of years the Royals gave him. He was probably looking for a one to two-year deal at the most, but this deal probably blew him away. Vargas has been a consistently below-average pitcher over his career, but he will only have to be worth $7-8 million a year to make him worth it. Luckily for the Royals he's been worth that or more in three of the last four seasons, so it's not much of an overpay. The thing is, though, that the Yankees never had any reason to aim so low for someone who doesn't provide much upside.
Verdict: Definitely won't miss