clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

What free agents did the Yankees miss out on?

New, comments

A few of this year’s free agents could have really helped the Bombers.

Kansas City Royals v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

Believe it or not, the Yankees have already played through the first quarter of the season. Time flies, doesn’t it? This milestone calls for reflection. How did the Bombers get here? Could they have taken another route? Over the course of a normal season, the daily grind prevents these questions from getting a fair share of airtime. A string of rainouts and days off, however, gives us some time to think through them.

One of the most interesting “What if?” questions revolves around free agency. Could the Yankees have improved an already stacked team by signing an available player? They picked up Neil Walker at a discount price, but what about some of the others?

To see if the Yankees missed out, I turned to social media with a simple question: What free agent do you wish the Bombers signed over the winter and why? The answers turned out to be pretty interesting.

Right to the point. Jake Arrieta signed a three-year, $75 million deal with the Phillies deep into spring training. The veteran right-hander has rewarded them handsomely thus far. Arrieta’s pitched to a 2.59 ERA with a 3.49 FIP over 41.2 innings. His strikeout rate is way down, and that’s alarming, but he’s seen a significant increase in groundball percentage. I don’t know how that contract will turn out down the line, but wow, wouldn’t Arrieta look great in pinstripes?

If Arrieta proved too expensive for your taste, Miles Mikolas could have been yours for two years and $15.5 million. The Lizard King has been a success story upon returning to the United States. He owns a 2.51 ERA with a 3.58 FIP across 46.2 innings. His pedestrian peripherals and lack of a track record at the big league level could give you pause, but it’s been a strong start for Mikolas. He would have been a cost-effective rotation option for the Yankees.

Isn’t it strange that the Yankees lack left-handed power? That sounds inconceivable, but it’s true. Greg Bird’s injury severely limited the team’s lefty options. You know who offers a ton of power from the left side? Mike Moustakas. The Royals third baseman is hitting .294/.328/.541 with 10 home runs across 183 plate appearances. According to multiple reports, the Yankees loved Moustakas. Buster Olney described them as a “shark in the water” while his free agency dragged on. The Bombers seem to have handled their infield situation well, but wouldn’t having another double-digit home run hitter be great?

For all of the success stories in last year’s free agent class, there have been some misses. Alex Cobb and Yu Darvish have struggled enormously. Lance Lynn isn’t doing much better either. Todd Frazier, on the other hand, didn’t hit all that much and now is hurt. Free agency is always a mixed bag.

What do you think? Did the Yankees miss their chance to push the team over the edge? Could they have gone for the kill with a pitcher like Arrieta or even Mikolas? Let us know how you feel in the comment section.