(Where do we go from here, Hal? Courtesy of the AP)
Championship or bust. That's the mentality in Yankeeland. It's a mentality that has served them incredibly well during the Steinbrenner Family Era. Say what you want about the methods, but it's hard to argue with the results. Consistent postseason appearances, a bunch of division titles and AL pennants, and more than a fair share of championships. These aren't things that every other team in MLB can lay claim to over the last 40 years.
Last season, the Yankees deviated from that mentality. Concern over dollars and cents overrode the desire to win, and a haphazardly thrown together plan to get the team payroll below the luxury tax threshold was the main focus. The on-field results predictably suffered as a result and the Yankees were completely shut out of the postseason for only the second time since 1994. Jarred by those results, the front office returned to their old ways this past offseason, spending big on the free agent market and reloading the team for another playoff run.
While it was an impressive spending spree, the overall strategy this offseason doesn't appear to be a full return to the "championship or bust" ways of the past. Instead, it comes off as a more tactful strategy, one designed to straddle the line between championship contention and rebuild and bridge the gap between the last 5-year generation of Yankee teams and the next generation.