Baseball is never really itself unless the New York Yankees are out there embracing their status as one of the biggest villains in all of sports, so we should all be thanking the team’s GM Brian Cashman for making things right on Wednesday at MLB’s winter meetings.
While, again, denying the team’s interest in Bryce Harper, Cashman used some interesting language to describe just how he feels the team stands in the baseball landscape.
— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) December 13, 2018
Well, they’re not called the “Evil Empire” for nothing.
Why Brian Cashman called the Yankees a Death Star
In case you wanted the full context of Cashman’s quote, here you go.
Per the New York Daily News, Cashman was asked about the Yankees’ interest in this offseason’s biggest free agents, like Harper, after Harper’s agent Scott Boras implied the team wasn’t as cold on his superstar as many believe.
Cashman responded by basically saying, yeah, the team isn’t zeroing in on Harper now, but things change:
“I don’t have any reaction other than to say we try to promote that we are a progressive and open-minded operation and that every day is different, that we are prepared to pivot and react if things change, if the rosters adjust,” Cashman said. “If something doesn’t make sense today, it doesn’t mean it won’t make sense tomorrow. All I can tell you is where our current focuses are. But at the same time, we’re a fully functional Death Star.”
Cashman was obviously joking, but there’s definitely a sliver of truth in there. Sure, the Yankees still haven’t won a World Series since 2009, but it’s hard to think of a time in the last decade when they were better positioned than they are right now.
The Yankees have an MLB roster that won 100 games last year and returns basically every major contributor, a farm system deep enough to keep them in the trade market and no luxury tax bill from last year. That last point is quite important, as it means the team gets to reset its base tax rate from 50 percent to 20 percent, potentially saving millions if it were to, somehow, go over the tax threshold this year.
The Yankees have major league star power, minor league talent and even more financial flexibility than usual. It’s not a stretch to say anything is possible right now, even with a player like Harper who doesn’t seem to fit the team’s current plans.
Then again, we all know what happened to the Death Star at the end.
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