New York Yankees are no longer the Evil Empire

Jul 16, 2020; Bronx, New York, United States; New York Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner watches live batting practice from the dugout during summer camp workouts at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 16, 2020; Bronx, New York, United States; New York Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner watches live batting practice from the dugout during summer camp workouts at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports /
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For years, the New York Yankees would go and outspend every other team in pursuit of a championship. It was rare for there to be a top free agent that they were not bidding on, with George Steinbrenner not caring about budget concerns. It was all a matter of chasing championships, something that the Yankees were great at when King George ruled his domain.

That all changed in 2010. George Steinbrenner passed on July 13 that year. Since then, the Yankees have not operated with the same sort of financial abandon. Terms such as ‘fiscal responsibility and ‘budget’ have been used, concepts that were as foreign as Sanskrit when George was in charge.

The New York Yankees cannot be considered the Evil Empire any longer

The Yankees have still signed the occasional marquee free agent with Hal and Hank in charge. Gerrit Cole was brought in on an impressive nine year, $328 million contract. But those deals have been the exception as opposed to the rule lately.

This offseason has been the perfect example. The Yankees had numerous holes on their roster, needing help around the infield, a center fielder, and several pieces on their pitching staff. Their biggest free agent signing ended up being Anthony Rizzo. Yes, they brought in another large contract in Josh Donaldson, but that trade allowed the Twins to add Carlos Correa, a piece that the Yankees could have used in their lineup.

That series of events may sum up the Yankees offseason. There were five marquee shortstops available in free agency and they signed none of them. Several top of the rotation arms were available, and none of them went to the Yankees. The two top players for center did go to New York, but they signed with the Mets.

At this point, it is difficult to argue that the Yankees are anything more than the fourth best team in the American League East. They had a flawed roster at the start of the offseason and nothing has really changed. In fact, one could argue that the Yankees are actually worse now than they were at the start of the offseason.

And that is not something that seems likely to change. The mentality of winning at all literal costs and opening the vaults for every marquee free agent ended with King George’s passing. It is not a coincidence that the franchise has not been back to the World Series since he departed this mortal coil.

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The New York Yankees have come to focus on fiscal responsibility more than winning championships. They are no longer the Evil Empire.