Do You Agree With These New York Baseball Offseason Grades?
The Major League Baseball offseason is turning into the MLB regular season in short order.
With that change, comes reflection. As teams compete in Spring Training games, and whittle down their training camp rosters to find the group that will join the Major League ballclub, we start to get a better sense of how each team's offseason went. We learn which teams won the free agency and trade markets, and more importantly, which teams lost.
Some go as far as to levy a grade for each team's efforts, and that's exactly what ESPN baseball writer David Schoenfield did. Do you agree with how he marked each of the New York baseball teams?
New York Mets' grade: A
No team received a higher mark than the New York Mets, and only two teams (Dodgers and Braves) received a grade as high as the Mets did.
Steve Cohen swung for the fences (HA!) this offseason, and quite honestly, made the proverbial apple in center field at Citi Field raise a few times in the process. Cohen brought in three-time Cy Young Award Winner, Max Scherzer, to co-anchor the starting rotation with incumbent ace, Jacob deGrom. Cohen and GM Billy Eppler (also hired this offseason) brought in reinforcements across the diamond, namely infielder Eduardo Escobar, and outfielders Starling Marte and Mark Canha. They also acquired star pitcher Chris Bassitt from the "everything must go" sale in Oakland.
Heck, they even hired a legendary manager in Buck Showalter to oversee the whole operation.
Look, you can poke holes in the age of the starting rotation, and there's some legitimacy to that. That being said, the Mets want to win, and they've set themselves up to do that with the talent added to the roster. It's hard to argue with the grade they received.
New York Yankees' grade: D+
As we head across town, we arrive at a team that received a far different grade than the Mets, and that's the New York Yankees. The Bombers' grade was ninth-worst in all of the majors, and most of the teams below them have a payroll roughly 20% as expensive.
That being said, I think this grade is a bit too harsh, and here's why.
If you're the Yankees, you have one goal in mind, and one goal only: sign Aaron Judge. You're 0/1 in that quest so far, as the two sides are headed for an arbitration negotiation in the near future. They're still working to hammer out a long-term extension, with Brian Cashman saying they will be "pencils down" with a legitimate offer by Opening Day.
If that ends up being the case, then the Yankees' nickel-and-dime approach to some of their moves will be completely worthwhile.
The team brought in Anthony Rizzo on a team-friendly contract, and solved their short-term shortstop conundrum with the acquisition of Isiah Kiner-Falefa. Not to mention, that deal also brought in the Bringer of Rain to play third, in Josh Donaldson.
Admittedly, I'm less-than-impressed with the current plan behind the plate. I also believe that could change in short order, and another backstop could be brought in via trade. The Yankees have established their core, and have an eye on success in the future, and I think they worked in a responsible manner this offseason.
My Grades for the Yankees and Mets This Offseason
Here's how I would have graded the teams this offseason:
- New York Mets: A
- New York Yankees: C+ or Incomplete
The Mets' grade is fine as it is. There wasn't much more that Cohen could do, short of finding a sucker...I mean team...to take on Robinson Cano and his albatross contract. Other than that, they plugged a number of holes that have plagued the group for years, and have positioned themselves to compete for a World Series.
The Yankees' grade, meanwhile, is one in which I can go a number of ways. I don't believe their *true* grade can be assessed until we see the fate of Aaron Judge's contract. If I was pressed to assign one, however, it would be a C+. They were sensible, fixed a few leaks that sprung during last season, but left a few areas where more would be desired in an ultra-competitive American League East.
Okay, with all of that said, do you agree with ESPN's grades, or mine, or neither?