The Yankees will report to spring training in a matter of weeks. Grapefruit League action will follow shortly thereafter. Baseball, at long last, has emerged on the horizon. While many free agents remain unsigned —including several of the elite talents — the offseason is drawing to a close. As the dust settles, one can look back on the winter and start to evaluate how it played out.
On a recent episode of the R2C2 podcast, CC Sabathia weighed in on the Yankees’ offseason moves. Overall, he found it a successful winter. In particular, Sabathia gave a ringing endorsement to the James Paxton trade.
“We’ve done some good things, I think. I think the Paxton move gets overlooked just because it was so early in the offseason. Nobody really talks about us signing that guy — I mean, or trading for that guy — I mean, that guy could win the Cy Young. He’s got that type of stuff. So, you know, adding him with Sevy and Tanaka, I mean it’s going to be huge.
“I think our moves are very underrated. You know what I’m saying? But I think it’s been some good moves. And I don’t think we needed much. It’s already a really good team that went to the ALCS.”
Sabathia later clarified how the team went to the ALDS in 2018, but ALCS in 2017. The pair then went on to discuss Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, and the state of the current free agent market.
“I just think it’s f*cking nuts,” Sabathia said of Harper and Machado remaining unsigned into February. “And it’s not even those guys. It’s the guys behind them too. You got Adam Jones out here a free agent. You got Gio Gonzalez out here. These are quality big league players that can help teams win, and they’re not being signed.”
It’s interesting to hear Sabathia’s perspective as a player. He does a nice job of putting the moves into perspective, reminding fans of Paxton’s ace upside. At the same time, he pushes back on the league-wide reluctance to sign free agents. He stops just short of blaming owners outright, but vocally asserts that a problem exists.
In many ways, the left-hander captures the entire mood of the offseason. The Yankees did make moves to upgrade the team, and the addition of Paxton probably does fly under the radar. At the same time, there exists a lot of frustration with how the free agent market has failed to develop. In less than an hour, Sabathia and Ryan Ruocco sum up the state of the winter.
Do you agree with CC and Ruocco? Did the Yankees have a better offseason than we think? Are you frustrated with how the market played out? Let us know in the comment section.