Brian Cashman finally got the team he wanted. It just took him longer than we expected.
Back in the offseason, before the frozen winter of the MLB lockout, the general manager laid out his goals for 2022. At various points in October and November, Cashman pointed to needs at catcher (where he was looking to replace Gary Sanchez), center field (where there were questions about Aaron Hicks’ ability to stay healthy and produce), first base (where Luke Voit was the only option on the 40-man roster) as well as the constant search for starting pitching. The Yankees also were focused on improving the team’s defense, searching for an upgrade at shortstop with “urgency.”
The Yankees solved the first-base situation by signing Anthony Rizzo and sending Voit to San Diego. Then they traded Sanchez to Minnesota for a package that included inexperienced catcher Ben Rortvedt as well as Josh Donaldson, who replaced Gio Urshela at third base. Isiah Kiner-Falefa also came over in that deal to be the stopgap shortstop while the Yankees wait for Oswald Peraza or Anthony Volpe to reach the majors. A few weeks later, Jose Trevino was brought in from Texas to join Kyle Higashioka behind the plate.
But there were no additions to the rotation or to the outfield — until last week. Frankie Montas arrived in a trade-deadline deal from Oakland, and the outfield was revamped with the additions of Andrew Benintendi and Harrison Bader (who was acquired at the cost of left-hander Jordan Montgomery).