Wilpon v. Steinbrenner seems like a match geared more to the country club than the ball club. Fred/Jeff v. Hal/Hank does not make the blood boil. Apparently Hal's policy was to hold his breath and not sign ANY free agents. How long Hal can maintain either of those positions remains to be seen.
Only the Toronto Blue Jays scored more runs than the Yankees in 2015, so maybe the Yankees could be excused for not going after free agents Cespedes, Davis or Justin Upton. But they also let arch rival Boston Red Sox sign a free agent pitcher whom the Yankees also needed: David Price. At least the Yankee policy kept them from paying way too much for Jason Heyward as the Cubbies did.
I used the ad hoc query function in baseball-reference.com to determine who was the big bopper for the last three seasons. I had to use the very low criteria of only 36 home runs to include Heyward who hit 38. 131 batters hit at least 36 home runs. Heyward was number 111. Cespedes was number 15 with 83. Upton was number 17 with 82 homers.
From 2013 to 2015, (requiring HR>=36), sorted by greatest Home Runs
Too limited? OK, let's look at OPS+. Again, I had to use the low number of 113 to include Heyward. 55 batters were found.
12. Davis 140
27. Upton 126
35. Cespedes 118
54. Heyward 113
From 2013 to 2015, (OPS+>=113 and At least 1,500 plate appearances), sorted by greatest Adjusted OPS+
Either the Yankees or the Mets could have done just fine signing any of the three boppers (Davis, Upton, Cespedes) to the contracts that they signed. Both did the right thing in ignoring Heyward. The Mets just upstaged the Yankees. Good for them.
It reminds me a bit of when the late George Steinbrenner signed free agent Reggie Jackson Nov. 29, 1976: $525,000 for each of five years. Reggie was 31 in his first Yankee season. Today many Yankee fans would not consider someone that old, not for five years.
Davis and Cespedes are 30. Cespedes is signed for three years at an annual pay of $25 million (50 times more than Jackson). And Cespedes can opt out after year one. George would have appreciated this move and would have made it himself. George was impetuous and not terribly bright but he understood star quality and that there's no such thing as bad publicity.
How much is fielding worth? Heyward? Cespedes? Saturday, January 23, 2016