Yankees GM Brian Cashman tells Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald that he wants his team to develop top talent rather than acquiring it via the free-agent market. The lens of the piece is the Yankees’ rivalry with the Red Sox, which has changed in recent years as the Yankees have backed away somewhat from their previously big-spending ways. Here’s the latest on the Yankees’ current approach, as well as a player the Yankees and Red Sox did compete with one another to acquire.
- A number of key players, including Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, are set to become free agents in the 2018-19 offseason. But Cashman says the Yankees aren’t building their strategy on the availability of those types of talents. “We’re not planning that way,” says Cashman. “We’re waiting to transition out of some contracts and some older players and then eventually I’m hoping that we develop enough young players that would prevent us from having to go crazy in the free agent market. … Doesn’t mean we won’t participate in free agency, but we’re hoping to develop.” The Yankees, of course, did make a splash in free agency this winter, signing Aroldis Chapman to a record-shattering deal for a reliever. They also added Matt Holliday and Chris Carter. Still, they didn’t dominate the winter the way they have in the recent past, and will head into 2017 with a number of young players at key positions.
- Going forward, Cashman says he expects to see different teams drive the winter market and the summer trade market depending on the year. “One year it was the Padres, they spent a ton of money,” he says, referring to the 2014-15 offseason, when the Padres made a number of high-profile trades and signed James Shields. “I think it’s every year it’s different, every winter it seems to be different and other clubs emerge and step up, just like at the deadline the Indians stepped up to deals with us. They’re a small market club that typically doesn’t do that. But this was their window time.”
- While the Yankees/Red Sox free agent arms race isn’t as frenzied as it’s been in years past, the two sides recently did compete for one free agent — Mexican pitcher Hector Velazquez, who went to the Red Sox on a low-profile deal when the Sox purchased his contract from the Piratas de Campeche in the Mexican League. “After the Caribbean Series they told me that the Red Sox were interested,” says Velazquez through a translator. “[S]oon after, Campeche, which is the team that I play for, told me that the Yankees were also interested. The way things in work in Mexico is, Campeche is the one who decides exactly who do you go to. They asked me at the end of the day who I wanted to go to, and I chose the Red Sox because they were the first ones to come to me.”