Jonny Gomes was recently asked about the Yankees off season spending, and he had some comments that are seen as provoking their AL East rivals. His basic comments were the following:
“People can go out and sign whoever they want right now," Gomes said.
“Boxing rules, we still have the belt. Whoever else, reloads. Kind of
flattering a little bit, you know, that [a division] rival has to reload
as much as they did. We lost some core players; at the same time, this
organization is extremely deep. The majority of our core group of guys
is back. We’re champs. We have to uphold that title. I don’t think the
mindset is going to change.’’
This would be inflammatory, except that it's entirely true. The Red Sox are the team to beat, and even if we do beat them, we had to commit nearly half a billion dollars to do it. Compare this to the Red Sox approach to last season, where they picked up role players, and middling free agents, trusted in their farm system, and bounce backs from current players to win the year. In other words, they were the 1996 - 2000 Yankees. We however are approaching team building the way we have since 2001: sign the big name. This worked well for us in 2009, but it obviously didn't work well enough to allow us a repeat championship. Now just a few years later, we're doing the same thing again. Think about the fact that since 2000, when we won the last championship of the dynasty years and started to rev up our spending, we've only won one championship. One. In that same time, we've committed $2.4 billion to our payroll. That's billion with a "b".
The Yankees need to hope some of their prospects really shine this year. After Jeter is gone, this team is not going to have a face. Do you really think Tanaka, Sabathia, Teixeira, Ellsbury or McCann can replace him as the face of the franchise?