The height of irresponsible Yankee spending was 2008, when according to USA Today, they spent $209 million on a team that did not make it to the post season. This season, the New York Yankees have begun trimming corporate excess, and have cut their payroll to an anemic $201.4 million. What has that gotten them? A sweep of the ALDS and a chance to take on the Angels in the ALCS.
So what are the lessons we've learned from our time of corporate irresponsibility?
-Back loaded contracts are a terrible idea.
-All Star's at each position only works if you don't sign malcontented, arrogant, selfish players.
-A good glove at first base should never be traded for a big bat at the plate.
-Grow your own bullpen. Free agent relievers are not worth the cost (Hawkins, Marte, Farnsworth, etc.).
-Don't give free agents contracts based on what they did for another team, give them contracts based on what they can do for your team.
-Don't sign Carl Pavano.
-A strong farm system is better protection against injury than any trade market can be.
-Holding onto your prospects can sometimes pay dividends: Robinson Cano, Phil Hughes, Melky Cabrera/Brett Gardner.
-Sometimes trades can get you more than signing the best free agent available for the position in question (See Wilson Betemit for Nick Swisher).
-Don't rely on 3 rookies to anchor your rotation.
What are some other lessons we learned from our inefficient era?