The Yankees were having a slow offseason when they finally brought back Chase Headley at $13 million per year over the next four years. With Headley, Didi Gregorius, Martin Prado, and Mark Teixeira, it appeared that the Yankees finally built the strongest infield they've had since possibly 2009. Then they surprised us all when they decided to deal Prado in the Nathan Eovaldi trade, and though they got the pitching they had wanted, they also sent everything up in smoke. The idea of having both Headley and Prado seemed too good to be true for New York, but it was never part of the plan.
The Yankees were clearly working on a trade that would send Prado to Miami for Eovaldi for awhile and would only be willing to pull the trigger if they first re-signed Headley. Going into the offseason, it looked like the Yankees were willing to spend big, but instead it's come down to saving money. That extra $13 million for Headley was decreased to a mere extra $5 million when the $8 million the Yankees will still be on the hook for with Prado gets deducted. Just like when they decided to go with Andrew Miller over David Robertson at $3 million less, they also chose one or the other between Prado and Headley.
If that's what it came down to, the Yankees might have been better off going with Prado instead. While Headley gives them a primary third base option over a longer period of time, Prado provided more versatility and less injury risk. They could have also tried to extend him if years were a deciding factor. By going with Headley, it means he's basically locked in at third base, Rob Refsnyder will most likely be the second baseman, and they'll be going in with no fallback option in case he struggles. At least Prado would have given them a plan B at multiple positions. The only thing they did definitively establish was that Alex Rodriguez will not be the starting third baseman, though now he's still likely to be the backup when before he was merely the third stringer.
In the end it all comes down to money. They save on Chase Headley, offload Martin Prado, and got a cheap rotation option in Nathan Eovaldi. They passed on Jon Lester, Brandon McCarthy, and other starters that would only have cost money because they're shying away from big free agent contracts. Eovaldi, and Didi Gregorius for that matter, were cheaper than any other option out there and that's what was most important. While many have been advocating for the Yankees to get younger, there can be no doubt that they would have put together a stronger team in 2015 by spending big and keeping both Chase Headley and Martin Prado. Maybe they're saving money for Max Scherzer, but it's more likely that they're just going cheap in 2015.