Did the Yankees make the right decision trading for Giancarlo Stanton? This isn’t to say that Stanton is bad now and he will only hurt the team going forward. However, the Yankees did give up a lot in order to get him. No, I’m not talking about the package that was sent over to Miami, this is about money. In an offseason that was shaped by the amount of money the Yankees were willing to spend, Brian Cashman added $25 million onto the the payroll without improving the roster around their prized acquisition. What did we think was going to happen?
Obviously when you have the chance to add Giancarlo Stanton, you take it. A team that was one win away from the World Series needed a huge acquisition to get themselves over the hump. However, once the Yankees did, they should have blown past the luxury tax threshold to make a better team. Stanton might be a dream come true, but without the financial flexibility to fill in the roster around him, it feels like it might be something of a wash at the moment. A team that needed improvements at several key areas decided another outfielder would be the solution instead.
All for the sake of money, the Yankees had to ditch Starlin Castro and Chase Headley, and they couldn’t do a thing to improve their starting rotation. Adding the likes of Neil Walker and Brandon Drury to replace their veterans sure sounded like a good idea at the time, but neither have been able to surpass the very low bar left by their predecessors. Now we have the likes of Tyler Wade and Ronald Torreyes playing every day. The rotation is now dangerously thin in terms of depth at the minor league level, and we have already seen how one injury can completely hamstring the entire starting rotation.
The one thing the Yankees have seemingly failed to consider is regression. They went into the season with the exact same rotation as the year before, expecting everything to work out as well as it did. Instead, Masahiro Tanaka and Sonny Gray have been inconsistent, CC Sabathia was already hurt, and Jordan Montgomery may not be the reliable fifth starter we all thought he was. On top of that, the bullpen has been set since the middle of last year, and now we’re seeing how volatile relief pitchers don’t always keep defying the odds.
Now, before anyone gets the wrong idea, the 2018 season is not a lost cause three weeks into the season. Before we know it, Stanton could turn the corner, the team’s injured could heal up, and the pitching can figure itself out. There is still hope when you still have five whole months to the season. However, whether this team turns things around or not, the Yankees did put together a very flawed team that put a little too much hope in luck. They knew going in that they would have to make some trades at the deadline, and that’s never a great way to begin the season.
For all we know, they could get things going on a magical run that ends in a World Series, but it’s not looking too great right now. Just remember that if things don’t work out, they did this to themselves. Once again the Steinbrenners put money before the team, but it’s hard to say for sure if these limited resources were used in the right way.