It is hard to argue that the New York Yankees have made a lot of mistakes in the history of their storied franchise. They have won the most World Series championships out of any other team in the MLB. Also, having one of the highest payrolls in the MLB can always help a team as well. However, the Yankees have only won one World Series title since 2000. Like we said, the Yankees have had to make numerous amounts of moves over the years. Look at getting a guy like Reggie Jackson to help bring them to multiple championships in the 1970s and 1980s. The Yankees are having a decent year this year. It just so happens that they are playing in a division that has the Boston Red Sox having a career season. It makes fans think about the moves the Yankees have made over the last few years.
Which moves put the Yankees in a position to be serious contenders? Which moves did the Yankees pull off that set them back a few paces? Even though they are the Yankees, they can't get every single move right. Keep in mind, this is a Yankees team that was one game away from the World Series just a year ago. This list looks at the good and the bad, the pretty and the ugly, and everything else in between. Let's slide in head first! Let's take a look at 10 moves the New York Yankees have recently done that they got right and 10 that will haunt them for years to come.
20 Got Right: Trading for Tommy Kahnle
The New York Yankees are trying to get back to the World Series. Teams like the Cubs, Indians, and others have proven that having a strong bullpen can do that for you. During the 2017 trade deadline, one player the Yankees got back from the White Sox was Tommy Kahnle.
Keep in mind, Kahnle was originally a Yankee to begin his career before he made pit stops with the Rockies and White Sox before finding his way back to New York.
Overall, he had a 2.70 ERA last season. This season hasn't been as kind as he currently has over an ERA over 6.00. But overall, this move was a good one, especially when it comes to October.
19 Haunts Them: Signing Chris Carter
In February of 2017, the Yankees were looking for more power in their lineup as Aaron Judge hadn't arrived yet and Giancarlo Stanton was still in Miami. They thought a good move would be to sign big slugging first baseman Chris Carter. Carter was not around for long as he signed in February of 2017 and was shortly released in July. He hit .204 with eight homeruns in his short time with the Yankees.
This was a move that the Yankees thought could be a buffer move for a year. But unfortunately, it fell through and the Yankees will be haunted by the lack of production from Carter.
18 Got Right: Trading For David Robertson
The Yankees just know how to get guys back that they originally drafted. In the same trade that brought Tommy Kahnle over, David Robertson was also a part of that package. Robertson was very familiar with the Yankees as he was even an All-Star with the Yankees in 2011. He spent a very brief period with the Chicago White Sox before he was sent back to New York. In the year and a half that he has been back in New York, Robertson has an ERA hovering around 2.00. The Yankees are going to need their bullpen at full strength and getting Robertson back was a good move to help that bullpen in October.
17 Haunts Them: Trading for Todd Frazier
Todd Frazier will always be known as a Little League World Series hero. Now of course, he won a Home Run Derby in Cincinnati when he was with the Reds. However, Frazier spent a brief period of time playing for the New York Yankees as he was the other piece that was sent over with Kahnle and Robertson.
In 66 games with the Yankees in 2017, he hit .222 with 11 home runs.
That isn't exactly the average the Yankees and their fans were hoping for. Now granted, 11 homeruns was decent for only playing in 66 games. But, in the grand scheme of things, Frazier was a move that will haunt them for years to come.
16 Got Right: Re-Signing C.C. Sabathia
This next signing just made sense in every way imaginable. The Yankees starting pitching has always been a mystery. One mystery the Yankees solved in the off-season was re-signing C.C. Sabathia to a one year contract. Sabathia gave the Yankees a left-handed pitcher they could depend on. People were not sure if Luis Severino would be the same as he was a year ago. Masahiro Tanaka is a wild card due to the fact that he has been injury prone over the past few seasons. This was great from a security standpoint.
He may be hovering around a .500 record, but at least he takes the ball every fifth day and gives the New York Yankees a very good chance to win.
15 Haunts Them: Signing Nick Swisher
Sometimes, one impression is enough and going back to something you know isn't always best. That was the case for Nick Swisher. Swisher played with the Oakland Athletics before going to the Yankees. The Yankees were very good for Swisher as he finished his Yankees days up with a .268 average, along with 105 home runs and 349 RBIs. This wasn't the problem. The problem was when he wanted to re-sign with the Yankees in 2016. He signed a minor league contract and then when he wasn't being called up, he opted out of it and was given his release. This wasn't a good move for the Yankees to entertain.
14 Got Right: Trading for Luke Voit
One position that the New York Yankees are weak in is first base. They went out and traded for Luke Voit from the St. Louis Cardinals. Voit had only played in eight games this season for the Cardinals before he was traded to the Yankees.
He has made the most of his opportunity so far with the Yankees.
Now granted, he's still going on a pretty small sample size. But if he can continue at a decent pace, the Yankees will have their answer at first base when the postseason comes around. For now, they got this right.
13 Haunts Them: Trading for Brandon Drury
The Yankees realized they needed to upgrade at the third base position. Alex Rodriguez had retired and Todd Frazier had left in free agency to go to the Mets. They made a rade with the Diamondbacks and received third baseman Brandon Drury. Drury was going to be a starter and delay Miguel Andujar from coming up to the big leagues. He was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays and hasn't done much better. Drury was not a good addition for the Yankees and it is a move that will haunt them because they delayed Andujar's promotion to the majors.
12 Got Right: Releasing Alex Rodriguez
There comes a time when every MLB player has to hang up his cleats for good. In 2016, it was Alex Rodriguez's turn. A-Rod had many good years with the Yankees and was with them through a lot. He was with them when they blew a 3-0 lead to the Boston Red Sox in the 2004 ALCS. He was also there for the Yankees World Series title in 2009. But, all good things come to an end.
A-Rod was struggling and going through major slumps at the plate. He was given his release and named as a special adviser to the Yankees. Considering he was a seven time All-Star, hit 351 home runs, and won a World Series with the Yankees, his release was perfect timing.
11 Haunts Them: Trading For Lance Lynn
The Yankees needed another right-handed starting pitcher that was going to give them some life. Severino was hitting a bit of a skid and Tanaka is always questionable with his health. The Yankees figured getting a guy like Lance Lynn would help the cause.
Lynn was an All-Star in 2012 with the Cardinals and the Yankees figured they would be getting a steal.
So far, he has not been what the Yankees were looking for. The Yankees need dependable starters in the postseason, and Lance Lynn doesn't look to be that guy. This move will haunt the Yankees when the postseason comes.
10 Got Right: Trading Andrew Miller
This next move is one that the Yankees probably didn't want to make at the time, but it would benefit them for the future. Andrew Miller is one of the best left-handed relief pitchers in the MLB. With an upper 90's fastball and a wipeout slider, he is a nightmare for most hitters to face. The Yankees traded Miller at the trade deadline in 2016 to the Indians in return for Justus Sheffield, Clint Frazier, and two other prospects. Miller has continuously shown that he can be the guy on the mound with the game on the line, but this was a trade that ended up working out for both sides involved.
9 Haunts Them: Trading For Zach Britton
The Baltimore Orioles were having a fire sale for all of their big impact players, everyone knew that. Manny Machado went to the Dodgers. The Yankees inquired and eventually acquired Zach Britton. Britton was a dominant closer for the Orioles and even had a season where he was perfect with save opportunities (2016). Britton has not been good so far since he has put on the pinstripes. Britton surely won't be closing as that job is Aroldis Chapman's to lose. But, Britton needs to be better so this move doesn't haunt the Yankees when October starts.
8 Got Right: Trading For Ronald Torreyes
In 2015, the Dodgers had a prospect in Ronald Torreyes that looked to be one of the future faces of the league. He was then traded to the Yankees and it is a move the Yankees have been happy with since.
There of course was a small bump in the road when he was sent down to Triple A this season back in May and was called back up in August.
Torreyes has made his time with the Yankees memorable as he hit .292 last season and is hitting roughly around that same mark this season, even in limited opportunity. Torreyes will have a great future if he stays with the Yankees.
7 Haunts Them: Signing Matt Holliday
Matt Holliday has always had a reputation as being a big presence at the plate and a power threat. Holliday became a free agent in 2017 and ended up signing with the Yankees for one year and 13 million dollars. Holliday certainly did not put up the numbers that he is used to putting up when he was in Colorado and St. Louis. He hit .231 and had 19 home runs along with 64 RBI's. The big thing to remember here is that Holliday was getting $13 million in that one season. If it was $5-7 million, the signing would look better. However, this move surely backfired on the Yankees because of production.
6 Got Right: Trading Carlos Beltran
One of the better postseason hitters that had a long and successful career was Carlos Beltran. Beltran spent time with the Royals, Astros, Mets, Giants, and Cardinals as well. He also was a Yankee from 2014-2016. He was an All-Star in 2016 with 22 home runs and 64 RBI's in his time with the Yankees before he was traded to the Rangers before the 2016 season ended. The Yankees realized they could get a few prospects and Beltran would be a free agent and likely leave at the end of the year. Beltran got a World Series out of it the next season with the Houston Astros. Everyone won in that deal.
5 Haunts Them: Signing Neil Walker
This next signing is one that will scratch a lot of Yankees fans heads when they think about the prior off-season. The Yankees signed Neil Walker away from the Pittsburgh Pirates. They signed him to a one year deal worth four million dollars. The only question about this signing is: why?
The Yankees had Ronald Torreyes who already was hitting close to .300 the season before. The move is one that is definitely confusing to say the least.
Walker is hitting in the low .200s with disappointing home run and RBI numbers on the year. This is certainly a move that will look worse if Walker is getting a majority of the starts in the postseason.
4 Got Right: Trading for J.A. Happ
Sometimes, you just need to look inside of your own division to fix your problems. That seemed to be the case for the New York Yankees as they continued to make move after move at the trade deadline. They went out and traded with the Toronto Blue Jays to get J.A. Happ. He was a left-handed veteran starting pitcher who was also an All-Star for the Blue Jays this year. Happ has done well for the Yankees so far, recording win after win and putting up a solid ERA. He will be big down the stretch if the Yankees want to make a playoff run.
3 Haunts Them: Trading for Sonny Gray
The Yankees thought they had a diamond in the rough when they traded for former All-Star pitcher Sonny Gray. The Yankees traded with the Athletics to get Gray over and have him help out in the rotation to bring the Yankees that much closer to a World Series title. Gray has not been as advertised.
He has not had an ERA under 3.70 since he arrived in the Bronx.
He was even demoted to the bullpen by Yankees manager Aaron Boone. Things do not look great for Gray and the Yankees. If he doesn't deliver in October, this will look like one of the worst moves in recent history.
2 Got Right: Trading For Giancarlo Stanton
One thing about the New York Yankees is that they always seem to get the big marque free agent that is available according to all of the rumors. For weeks, it had been the talk of the league that Giancarlo Stanton was available for trade talks. Eventually, the Yankees made the right players available and ended up getting the reigning National League MVP. Keep in mind, Aaron Judge was a close second in the MVP race for the AL.
Stanton is hitting like the slugger he was advertised to be after a very slow start to the season. Stanton, Judge, and Gary Sanchez in the same lineup? Well played Yankees, well played indeed.
1 Haunts Them: Re-Signing Aroldis Chapman
The last move that may haunt the Yankees is a move that a lot of people would not suspect was a terrible move in the long-term. Aroldis Chapman had the reputation for being a hard-throwing left handed closer that could top out at 105 miles per hour. Chapman was traded to the Cubs in 2016 for prospects and then ended up re-joining the Yankees for five years at $80 million. However, he has shown that he is unreliable and wild at times.
When he is wild, he cannot seem to get back on track with his control. The Yankees need Chapman to go back to his dominant self. Otherwise, it will haunt the Yankees come October and possibly for the duration of the contract.