Via Barry Bloom –
With the start of Spring Training just a couple of weeks away, the Yankees are not finished with the open market, although the big spending for this year may be over, said one of the team’s top executives.
“I think for major free agents, we’re done,” club president Randy Levine told MLB.com during Wednesday night’s outdoor NHL game at Yankee Stadium, a 2-1 Rangers win over the Islanders. “But we’re always trying to improve the team. That always happens.”
It has been an offseason of big spending for the Yanks on major free agents: $486 million worth.
The biggest-ticket items were a seven-year, $153 million deal with outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury and a seven-year, $155 million contract with Japanese right-hander Masahiro Tanaka. In addition, the Tanaka transaction cost a $20 million posting fee paid to his former club, the Rakuten Golden Eagles.
The Yankees also signed catcher Brian McCann (five years, $85 million), outfielder Carlos Beltran (three years, $45 million), as well as reliever Matt Thornton and infielders Kelly Johnson and Brian Roberts for a total of $12 million in an attempt to remake a team that missed the playoffs for only the second time since the current three-division format was implemented in 1995.
The Yanks also re-signed right-hander Hiroki Kuroda for one year at $16 million.
“I think we’re going to be very competitive,” Levine said. “We’ve got a lot of exciting new pieces. Obviously, Tanaka is going to help our pitching staff. We’re excited. But between Brian McCann, Carlos Beltran and Jacoby Ellsbury, those are three outstanding players, real character people. Hopefully [Mark Teixeira] gets back, and most importantly, hopefully we don’t have the bad luck of injuries we had last year.
“The fact that we were able to overcome that and stay close was really amazing. I just wish for good health this year.”
Oh, Randy…luck is the residue of design, silly boy.