The 2015 Winter Meetings get started today, and the early action on the free agent market last week has got the hot stove boiling and the rumor mill turning quickly heading into the week's festivities. This could be a very busy few days on both the free agent and trade fronts, with multiple teams looking to make big moves. The Yankees are not one of those teams, at least not according to what they've been saying publicly. Brian Cashman declared that the Yankees' money "has been directed and committed already" on Friday, and he followed that up by saying ""we're not in a position right now to take a shot at anything that comes along... " when he arrived in Nashville yesterday. The messages in these statements are pretty simple: the Yankees aren't willing to spend top dollar on the free agent market and they aren't willing to part with top prospects on the trade market.
If that's the case, and we have little reason to think otherwise based on previous statements by Cashman and other front office members, then it's going to be a pretty quiet and boring week for Yankee fans. Normally I'd be quick to remind everybody of the smokescreen the Yankees like to throw up in front of the media when discussing their offseason plans, but this rhetoric from Cash doesn't ring as a statement designed to mask the team's true intentions. This is the continuation of a plan that the Yankees have been publicly pushing for over a year now, and there's little reason to expect that they will change it now when they're so close to getting some of those big payroll chunks off the ledger.
Which is not to say that staying the course and avoiding the hottest parts of the stove is exclusively a bad thing. While there are plenty of players who would fit the Yankees' needs if they hadn't already resigned themselves to not spending, the price boom on the second and third-level starting pitching markets has been insane. I wouldn't want to spend 5/90 on Jeff Samardzija or even 3/36 on J.A. Happ regardless of what the team's spending restrictions were, so Cash continuing to look elsewhere for more rotation depth is fine by me.
It's incredibly frustrating to see the Yankees willingly put a halt to their biggest competitive advantage, but this is Hal's plan and he certainly seems like he's ready to stick to it. He's got Cashman getting ahead of the MSM spin cycle and reciting the company line, he's got a roster that's mostly set even without any additional upgrades, and he's got the new LT threshold off in the distance. That all adds up to a quiet Winter Meetings in the making if you ask me, so don't be shocked or too disappointed if that's what we get.