Whether it results in a 2014 playoff spot or not – and the odds remain long against the Yankees making it to October – the organization’s in-season additions provided a road map on how, I believe, they will construct their roster moving forward. I would think of this like “follow the leader.” The Yanks did it a decade ago when the Red Sox’s use of analytics moved Brian Cashman to implore George Steinbrenner to invest finances to follow that revolution or fall hopelessly behind. Now, the Rays and especially the A’s have become the leader the Yankees are following. Those clubs, recognizing their inherent monetary disadvantages, determined they would have difficulty spending on stars. So, rather than thinking about assembling top-heavy rosters from 1-to-25, they fixated on doing so from 25-to-1. They could not have pricey gems, which works to their benefit in a post-steroid age when buying expensive stars has become more unfulfilling than ever. But thinking of a roster from the bottom up also has meant having good players throughout, avoiding soft spots. To do this, they thought about versatile players and varying skills, particularly when it came to platoon strengths – guys who could really hit lefties to be complemented by guys who could really hit righties – or really run or really defend, etc. The Yankees, after the disaster of 2013, when they deployed so many players who were not of major league quality, tried to follow this theory last offseason. They hoped Kelly Johnson, Brendan Ryan and Yangervis Solarte would offer Joe Girardi maneuverability as multi-positional pieces who had distinct skills: Ryan’s defense, Solarte’s switch-hitting, Johnson’s potential for lefty power.
Yankees’ plan: A’s and Rays roster tactics meets big spending
New York Post | Aug 28