Mariners v Yankees: The Evil Empires Offseason Summary
As we said earlier, the Yankees found themselves at a critical point in franchise history after another playoff disappointment. The team has not lived up to expectations since 2015, and now their franchise icon was set to hit free agency. The Yankees had the decision to either open the checkbooks and spend like crazy trying to catch the Astros or hit the reset.
When it appeared the San Francisco Giants were on the doorstep of signing Judge away, the Yankees stepped up and gave Judge a massive 9-year $360 million dollar extension, confirming they were going all in. Returning to New York with Judge was Anthony Rizzo on a 2-year deal for $40 million.
After these two deals were done, the Yankees turned their eyes to stabilizing a rotation that faded hard after the all-star break. 6 years and $162 million dollars later, the Yankees signed ace left-hander Carlos Rodon to make for a formidable 1-2 punch with Gerrit Cole.
Adding all those deals up, the Yankees have committed 17 years and $562 million to three players, spending around $82 a year for a chance to win a championship in the next two seasons.
Why the Yankees are a threat
The Yankees looked like an all-time team in the first half of 2022, and a sub-.500 team after, so heading into 2023, why do I view them as the 2nd biggest threat to the Mariners?
I believe they are a true threat in 2023, because they lost their focus and composure when things got rough. In 2023, the Yankees no longer have the drama of Judge's future hanging over them, and I think that will mean a lot.
If this team can get healthy, they have the depth and star power that the Mariners may not be able to match. Add in a powerful lefty ace in Carlos Rodon, and I'm nervous about a playoff series, especially a game 5 or 7 if that game is in Yankee Stadium.