Yankees and Matt Holliday
So December 4th Yankees signed Matt Holliday to a one year $13 million contract. Now first off there's a saying in baseball, there's no such thing as a bad one year deal, and this rings true for this deal in my mind.
The Yankees will be adding a veteran outfielder, who can play first base, but will most likely see most of his at bats at DH. Now he's definitely had his problems with Father Time, but he's still a solid player, but more importantly a veteran guy in the club house. Matt Holliday is a guy who's been on championship teams, and not so good teams. He's a veteran who knows what he's doing and how to play the game and without guys like Brian McCann and Alex Rodriquez, Holliday can help out the baby bombers as the grow up.
Now at the beginning of the offseason the Yankees were expected to have a reunion with Carlos Beltran. Fast forwarding to now, the Yankees have lost out on Beltran to the Astros, so what was expected of the Yankees was that they would go out and get Edwin Encarnacion. Now initially this may seem like a good deal. Last year Edwin had a career year helping the Blue Jays to their second straight ALCS berth. Edwin is a veteran player who is still one of the best hitters in the game. Yes he would cost more than a Beltran or Holliday, but he also led the American League in RBI's in 2016, and this is the Yankees were talking about, when had money ever been a problem for them.
However, after further investigation a few problems arise. First off Edwin wants a multi year deal. Now the Yankees are the first team to know, especially recently, how bad multi deal years can be. Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann, and CC Sabathia are just a few names that have been eating up the Yankees' pay roll in the past few years. These guys are all guys who were top free agents who wanted money and time and the Yankees bought into it, and despite some a few good years from some of these guys, these deals haven't been so good. And now when faced with the same issue, they don't want to make the same mistake.
The Yankees have shifted their team from a spend money and win team like the Dodgers, to a load up the prospects and wait to sign some big free agents team like the Cubs. And especially now with the new penalties for going over the luxury tax threshold and a promising free agent class in the next few years, the Yankees don't want to tie their money into veteran players who are past their prime, when they can wait a few years and maybe miss the postseason, but bring a championship back to the Bronx.
This deal may very well be a sign of a new idea in the Yankees front office, and if they keep up with this idea, the Yankees could be a force to be reckoned with, while staying under the luxury tax threshold.