By Kevin Aherne (@KAherne17)
Some Major League General Managers treat their job like a game of checkers, others like chess... but the New York Yankee's GM Brian Cashman insists on treating his role like a game of shuffleboard.
So, per usual, Cashman decided to bypass player development, going after another overpriced veteran instead. This time, they shiiped in the familiar, but much older face of Alfonso Soriano. The veteran second baseman turned outfielder has had a very good career; he has accumulated nearly 2,000 hits and 400 home runs. He was having a pretty decent season out in Chicago, batting .254 with 17 home runs and 51 RBI, but he was playing in a city where with virtually no pressure to win.
Yes, New York was able to acquire Soriano for a little more than a bucket of balls; and yes, Chicago is paying a large portion of his current contract... but adding an aging veteran who hasn't had to hit American League pitching in six years is not going to turn this club around. The Yankees have been living foolishly now for almost a decade. At one point, they were able to find success by overpaying veteran talent, but the game has changed, leaving the Bombers in its wake.
Baseball has experienced a youth movement. If you look at the best teams in baseball, you will see a common theme; young, multi-tooled prospects with some veteran leadership sprinkled in. Consider Baltimore, Washington, St. Louis, Cincinnati, and Tampa; these squads have some of the best home-grown talent, who were cultivated into productive Major Leauge players. If you look at the teams who have ignored this trend, you will see mediocrity. The Yankees, White Sox, and Phillies all filled their teams by trading prospects for veterans, and spent big bucks in the off-season... and you will find each of these teams near the bottom of the standings.