Yankees GM Brian Cashman spoke for multiple hour final week, explaining how quite a lot of the workforce’s misfortunes this season — resulting in the short exit within the postseason — was on him. He additionally touched on what this workforce must do to get higher, hinting at some areas the workforce will certainly improve.
It is a essential offseason for the Yankees. This can be a workforce that was a spring coaching favourite to win the World Sequence. By July of this yr, some puzzled if the Yanks would make it to the postseason in any respect. They began off very sluggish, and had been the definition of a curler coaster, however they managed to eke into the postseason solely to be rapidly ousted by the Boston Pink Sox.
So how does what transpired on this disappointing season mirror on the Yankees’ offseason plans? Does proprietor Hal Steinbrenner enable Cashman to open up the verify ebook, go over the luxurious tax, and do what must be finished to compete in what has turn into a powerhouse AL East?
That is what ought to occur. Competitors throughout the American League, not to mention the division, has positioned the Yanks in a spot the place they should reassert their dominance. The fact is the hole Aaron Boone mentioned was closing on the Yanks has been closing for fairly a while.
So readjusting to at the moment’s local weather surrounding the workforce that hasn’t been to a World Sequence in additional than a decade — the Yankees normal makes this an actual concern — is crucial. Cashman and his crew must get issues excellent this offseason.
After all, that is simpler mentioned than finished with the varied methods of enhancing a workforce and the competitors of others attempting to do the identical. However let’s attempt to create the perfect offseason for Cashman, prefacing it with Steinbrenner permitting him to go over the luxurious tax (we promise to not make this a Los Angeles Dodgers splurge regardless of some followers wanting it to be).
Let’s first begin with these on the roster…
Because the Yanks haven’t got anybody who’s qualifying provide worthy, we’ll preserve to the non-tenders.
For many who do not know, the Yankees have 19 arbitration-eligible gamers on their roster who they should tender a contract to earlier than the Dec. 1 deadline. In the event that they non-tender a participant, he robotically turns into a free agent.
Listed below are the Yanks’ arb-eligible gamers: Aaron Choose, Joey Gallo, Miguel Andujar, Clint Frazier, Domingo German, Chad Inexperienced, Kyle Higashioka, Clay Holmes, Jonathan Loaisiga, Tim Locastro, Lucas Luetge, Jordan Montgomery, Wandy Peralta, Gary Sanchez, Jameson Taillon, Gleyber Torres, Gio Urshela, Luke Voit, and Tyler Wade.
Of those gamers, it will make sense to non-tender Frazier and Locastro. The latter was introduced in as outfield depth earlier than the Gallo commerce and gamers getting wholesome once more. He would not have a spot with the workforce.
As for Frazier, it is a sophisticated state of affairs. He is projected to earn $2.4 million, per MLBTradeRumors, however he is handled vertigo and concussion points since his most up-to-date one this season. He is a fantastic participant when wholesome, because the 2020 shortened season proved, and the Yankees gave him the left area spot to maintain.
Nevertheless, Frazier’s damage historical past, matched with the addition of Gallo and the return of Aaron Hicks, go away the Yanks with their arms tied. With little to no commerce worth on account of his illnesses, it could be a troublesome resolution to non-tender Frazier.
Who to re-sign
The arbitration guys have a spot, it is only a matter of what either side decide on.
As without cost brokers, there’s just one the pinstripes ought to actually think about: Anthony Rizzo.
He rapidly grew to become a staple within the Yankees’ clubhouse when he was traded for on the commerce deadline, and that was to be anticipated. With Voit coping with accidents (extra on him later), Rizzo got here in and performed a fantastic defensive first base whereas offering much-needed, contact-first hitting from the left facet of the dish.
As a result of he was well-acclimated with the group, Cashman ought to extremely think about protecting that veteran presence within the Bronx.
Different free brokers like Corey Kluber and Andrew Heaney (self-explanatory on this one) should not be targets of curiosity.
Exterior free brokers to focus on
Now we get to the enjoyable half.
Let’s first begin with the realm of want Cashman identified particularly: shortstop.
Everyone knows by now how good the free agent crop shall be right here, and the Yankees will make sure you do their due diligence on every one of many All-Star caliber gamers on the market.
Those this author likes, although, are Trevor Story and Marcus Semien. After all, Corey Seager and Carlos Correa shall be very intriguing choices, however what’s going to the associated fee be? Cashman must create a well-rounded workforce, and people two are anticipated to get probably the most cash.
The Yanks had been related to Story on the commerce deadline, however nothing got here of it. Cashman admitted that he did not work arduous sufficient to get one other shortstop within the constructing with Torres struggling (he was ultimately pushed again to second base with Urshela shifting to brief). One thing will get finished right here. It is a matter of who.
Then, the Yanks want a legit quantity two choice behind Gerrit Cole.
Kevin Gausman is somebody the Yanks can goal, and based on Spotrac, his estimated market worth is near $22 million, which is not horrible for somebody within the NL Cy Younger dialog this season.
There’s additionally Robbie Ray and Carlos Rodon, who had good 2021 campaigns. Nevertheless, the Yanks should take into consideration their observe data — the numbers aren’t that constant. Justin Verlander, coming off Tommy John surgical procedure, could be somebody to reunite with Cole. A one-year pact to show himself may bode effectively.
Lastly, the bullpen can use some work, particularly contemplating Aroldis Chapman‘s contract expires after subsequent season. Raisel Iglesias, Corey Knebel, and Mark Melancon can be nice targets to shore up the again finish of the ‘pen.
Exterior free brokers to keep away from
The primary one is Craig Kimbrel if he is out there. He struggled mightily when he obtained to the Chicago White Sox, placing an enormous pink flag over his title. He had troubles in 2019 and 2020, too.
Talking of veterans, on the starter market, Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw shall be out there, however the Yanks would do finest to steer clear. Greinke is 38 years previous now and his velocity on his pitches falls by the yr. He nonetheless manages to submit respectable numbers, however the Yanks do not want respectable. They want a No. 2.
As for Kershaw, he is at the moment coping with an damage that stored him out for the postseason for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Baseball followers additionally know that even throughout his prime, he had hassle within the postseason, too.
Lastly, the Yankees might have a look at stopgap shortstop choices due to high prospects Anthony Volpe and Oswald Peraza of their system — being in a championship window, they should not go on All-Star expertise, however that is a subject for one more time.
In the event that they go that route, avoid Jose Iglesias. He may be flashy at shortstop, however based on FanGraphs, the vet posted a minus-21 defensive runs saved in 2021 on the place. That is atrocious, as is his 16 errors.
If the Yanks are going with a stopgap, have a look at Andrelton Simmons or Freddy Galvis as an alternative.
Who (and who not) to commerce
The Yankees have a few candidates worthy of buying and selling. However the one who makes probably the most sense, particularly with re-signing Rizzo, is Voit.
That was the final consensus of the fan base when Rizzo was added to the workforce within the second half. Voit was coping with a number of accidents that did not enable him to get right into a rhythm and he in the end completed the season harm, whereas Rizzo took over first base duties with DJ LeMahieu splitting time when wanted.
This could be a troublesome participant to half methods with as a result of Cashman believed in Voit when he did not have a spot with the St. Louis Cardinals. However with the infield logjam, Voit is the primary one to go right here. Buying and selling him for a bullpen piece can be probably the most superb consequence. He ought to have suitors given his energy and having led the league in homers in 2020.
There’s additionally Andujar. The Yanks have tried to transition him to the outfield, however there’s actually no place for him. Sadly, the commerce worth is low however the Yanks ought to get one thing out of him as an alternative of getting him sit and waste away.
Lastly, Cashman ought to put out feelers on Torres and Urshela. Why? Effectively, if Rizzo is again, the place does that go away LeMahieu? Sure, you may DH Rizzo, however his first base glove is just too beneficial to make him that hitter every evening. So LeMahieu will get both second or third with the brand new shortstop in place.
Lastly, as for gamers who should not be dealt, Choose is on the high of the listing. He is coming off an MVP caliber season, however followers nonetheless have a look at the damage historical past — as they need to. However he is the heartbeat of the workforce and will very effectively be named the subsequent Yankee captain when he will get an extension. Does that occur this yr?
The Yanks have to be sensible about the way forward for Choose, however that should not be with one other membership.
Prospects who must be untouchable
The 2 who rapidly come to thoughts are Luis Gil and Jasson Dominguez.
Gil proved that he can pitch within the Bronx in probably the most high-pressure moments throughout his main league debut. Whether or not he stays a starter or not, he’s a gifted participant with some MLB innings beneath his belt who may be utilized for years to return.
Dominguez is self-explanatory. He is gotten all of the Mike Trout/Mickey Mantle comparisons and is simply getting began in his skilled profession.
You may argue Volpe, MLB Pipeline’s high Yankees prospect in the mean time, however do you retain him locked up if in case you have an All-Star veteran shortstop in your workforce already?
Exploring trades, as Cashman ought to, will imply prospects being introduced up. Gil and Dominguez are the one two who should not be.
To reiterate, it is a unfastened guideline for what the Yankees ought to do that offseason if, and provided that, Steinbrenner lets the reins off Cashman and provides him carte blanche to get the blokes he wants just like the “good previous days.” It is a transfer his father — the late, nice George Steinbrenner — would probably approve of, particularly contemplating the championship drought.
Because the offseason begins to unfold after the World Sequence, anticipate Cashman to be within the shadows however the rumors to be heavy both manner. We’ll ultimately know what Steinbrenner’s directive in direction of Cashman is.
However the Yankees know their championship window is closing and now could be the time to strike. The division is getting tougher, groups are evolving throughout them, they usually’ve gotten shut however no cigar.