This Yankees’ offseason, literally to the final minutes before their 2022 opener Friday 

played out as if the franchise were trying to see just how much it could dismay and disappoint its fan base. 

The Yankees didn’t sign Freddie Freeman, They shunned the greatest free-agent shortstop class ever 

in the final hours before Gerrit Cole delivered the first pitch against the Red Sox 

general manager Brian Cashman announced a failure to reach an extension with the best, most popular player on the team — Aaron Judge. 

This served as a kind of tic-tac-toe of infuriating the loyalist 

verification for those who believe Hal Steinbrenner’s Yankees are averse to fully flexing their financial might.  

But over nearly four hours and 11 innings of what proved to be an uplifting 6-5 Yankees triumph Friday 

the club demonstrated both that it did not actually sit idly during the offseason and that it does have layers of talent on the most ridiculed $250 million-plus payroll ever.  

Anthony Rizzo, whom the Yankees gave a two-year, $32 million pact to return 

counterpunched a three-run Cole top of the first with a two-run homer off Boston ace Nathan Eovaldi in the bottom half that instantly got the Yankees back into this game.  

Josh Donaldson, who came with a two-year, $50 million commitment in a trade with Minnesota, snaked an RBI single up the middle to score Isiah-Kiner Falefa 

That closed the scoring and gave the Yankees the win.  

Cashman announced the Yankees were willing not only to give Judge between the $17 million-to-$21 million he will make in arbitration, but $30.5 million over the next seven years,  or $213.5 million 

Judge clearly was disappointed that distance included making this offer public. Judge adores privacy like 450-foot homers.