WHAT THE NEW YORK YANKEES SHOULD DO THIS OFFSEASON

The season is over and the Boston Red Sox are World Champions, eliminating New York along the way. The Bronx Bombers will want to have an offseason that will keep this from happening again in 2019. With that in mind, I decided to write my suggested blueprint for it.

The number one concern for the team should be starting pitching. Luis Severino and Masahiro Tanaka are not going anywhere, J.A. Happ, Lance Lynn and CC Sabathia however are free agents and all should be allowed to move on. Happ was decent during the season, but based on his age and playoff performance isn’t worth a multi-year deal at $13+ million a year that he’ll likely command. Sabathia’s age and peripherals imply that it’s best to move on from him as well. Lynn has actually pitched well in New York but should only be looked at as a bottom of the rotation starter at this point.

Patrick Corbin is likely to end up in his home state but I’m concerned about the fact that his only ace-like season happened in his contract year and that he will likely be paid like one. That said, he’ll probably be signed and may actually work out. The next best available free agent starter is Charlie Morton, but he’s turning 35 in November and has never reached 200 innings in a season. That said, would he take a 2 or 1 year deal with a high AAV? Another top free agent option is Dallas Keuchel, but with Scott Boras as his agent, his non-ace like performance in the last few seasons and a low strikeout rate, I would easily pass on signing him to a contract that Boras will almost certainly demand for him. Nathan Eovaldi has too much of a shaky track record and will likely be overpaid based on his second half and playoff performance.

Of course Clayton Kershaw would be the best option if he opts out of his contract, but he’s no longer as good as he was before, is only going to decline further and will likely command a record contract. In other words, he’s not a good target. On the trade market, Robbie Ray is an intriguing target if Arizona decides to rebuild due to his Cy Young caliber 2017 and high strikeout rate. Alex Wood, Rich Hill and Yu Darvish (who I think will rebound in 2019) are other trade targets as I previously suggested. What about trading Miguel Andujar for Carlos Carrasco or Shane Bieber? Would Cleveland consider either trade? I would also keep in mind that Gerrit Cole and Madison Bumgarner are free agents after next season barring unlikely (in my opinion) extensions. My ideal result would be signing Corbin and Morton and acquiring Wood and Hill.

Moving on to the bullpen, New York has arguably the best one in the game and can afford to let both Zach Britton and David Robertson leave as free agents instead of likely overpaying for them to stay. They can then look for bargains for depth. Tyler Wade is worth a shot on the bench and could be a solid and cost-efficient replacement for Neil Walker (another free agent). Clint Frazier should replace the free agent Brett Gardner on the bench or they can sign a veteran for the job on a one year deal, (which might actually be better as unless Andrew McCutchen is willing to take a bargain deal, he shouldn’t be re-signed when he hits free agency due to his decline). In that case, Frazier can directly replace McCutchen in left field.

Moving on to the lineup, I would look to trade Giancarlo Stanton for starting pitching and I think that he might waive his no-trade clause to leave, as long as he goes to a team that he would be willing to play for. His skillset is redundant in New York and doesn’t justify his contract. Taking his contract off the books should also allow a pursuit of Bryce Harper for either left field and first base. I would let Luke Voit and Greg Bird compete for first base or DH based on his signing. If Andujar is traded then Manny Machado is the better target. He should actually be a target anyway to replace Didi Gregorius, who will miss a significant portion of next season. If Harper is signed instead of Machado, or if neither is signed, the large second base market offers plenty of alternatives as Gleyber Torres moves to his natural position: shortstop. A third baseman would then still be needed, but then Josh Donaldson is an intriguing free agent target if he’s willing to take a 1 year deal. That said, I would prefer to stick with Andujar and hope that he can improve defensively unless Machado is signed, in which case I’d try to move him for starting pitching. If Machado is signed, then the Yankees can look for an affordable second base option or just a backup for Tyler Wade. In any case, I prefer Harper to Machado based on skillset and reputation, as well as since he’s a lefty and the Yankees need more lefty bats.

POTENTIAL 2019 PITCHING ROTATION

RHP Luis Severino

LHP Patrick Corbin

RHP Masahiro Tanaka

LHP Rich Hill

LHP Alex Wood

POTENTIAL 2019 OPENING DAY LINEUP

1. SS Gleyber Torres

2. RF Aaron Judge

3. LF Bryce Harper

4. CF Aaron Hicks

5. 1B Luke Voit

6. 3B Miguel Andujar

7. C Gary Sanchez

8. 1B Greg Bird

9. 2B Tyler Wade

The New York Yankees can be contenders again next season, but smart starting pitching acquisitions need to be the priority this offseason. Signing Harper or Machado and trading Stanton are necessary steps as well. This will be an intriguing offseason to watch and it will be interesting to see what New York will do to be better than Boston in 2019.

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16 comments

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  • Ha. Yankee Fans. HA

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    • What’s unrealistic about these suggestions?

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      • Trade Giancarlo Stanton? Maybe if the Yankees include 100MM plus with it. That doesn’t even cover his NTC – He said no to STL and SFG, two places that might actually have a use for him. If you think the Yankees can trade him, and that he will waive his NTC to magically go wherever Cashman wants to send him, you are delusional.

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      • Stanton is getting paid market value and there’s no need for the Yankees to eat any money in a trade. He’s a year removed from a monster MVP season and his bottom line results are good even in a “down season”. His preferred destination last offseason was LAD and he’s from California. CHC were another team he was willing to be traded to last season.

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  • tbreak is right; Stanton is a salary liability; his skills do not translate to $30+MM per year through 2027. He has no defensive value, struck out 211+7 times and often looked totally lost at the plate. He is not tradable without the NYY buying down his crazy contract and it’s hard to buy down its length. Have to wonder how many strikeouts he will be running up by 2027; Albert Pujols all over.

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    • If he was a free agent right now, he’s easily make $25+ million per year for 7-8+ years. You’re talking about anecdotal opinions (“lost at the plate”), irrelevant facts (strikeouts) and false opinions (“no value defensively”.

      He’s in his prime, in his 20’s and a top 5 power hitter in the game who won an MVP award a season ago. It’s silly to think that teams will focus on 2018 and his “down year” on a new team. He’s easily tradeable to a big market team with a need for a power hitting OF as long as Stanton waives his NTC.

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    • Stanton is not getting $30M+ a year through 2027, please clarify why you think that? Further, if he doesn’t opt out in 2020, the Marlins retain an additional $30M in salary. This doesn’t impact Stanton, but further reduces what the Yankees owe him.

      Judge led the league in strikeouts last year, guess they should have released him and his .422 OBP? Goldschmidt, Story and Harper all finished in the top ten in strikeouts this year. The latter will shortly be the highest paid player in baseball, the other two are pretty damn good too. Still think strikeouts are a good metric to use in judging a hitter’s performance? You really want to focus on Stanton’s K’s?

      Stanton will make under $21M (annually prorate the above mentioned $30M the Marlins kick in) during the last year of his contract, when he’s 37. Pujols is due an additional $114M after his age 37 season. You think that is comparable? Stanton is subsequently due a buy-out of $10M, and Pujols is due $10M in the form of a services contract – that’s the only comparable. I did not include those numbers above.

      I’m not going to quote an arbitrary award that Stanton won last year to justify his value, but his numbers don’t lie. He can play the game at a high level.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you for taking the time to write this. You’re 100% right. It’s unfortunate that some people think that Stanton suddenly has no value or that strikeouts matter that much to GM’s that they will ignore other statistics.

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  • You can’t have two players in your line-up listed as first basemen, and no DH.

    One of the reasons you don’t want Happ is because of his bad post season game. He pitched to a 2.69 ERA for us down the stretch and overall an above average season, but he has one bad start and he’s out? You mention Morton as a possibility, but did you forget the 7 runs we scored against him in the playoffs last year, or his last post-season start this year? What if the Astros applied your logic? Your reasoning is faulty, you can’t crush one guy for his one game and then ignore the other’s playoff hiccups. Another recommendation, Wood, gave up 3 HR’s in under 7 playoff innings this year. I would never hold that against him. I’d be happy with any of the three. Playoffs are a small sample, you can’t dismiss Happ because of one game – it’s illogical, and an out dated way of looking at player value. That logic would have removed Rivera from his closer role in ‘97.

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    • Voit and Bird can share 1B and DH. Actually the main reason I don’t want Happ is his FIP, age and track record of innings pitched. He’s a bad contract waiting to happen. I’m not sure if your point about Morton as you just implied that basing things on a small sample size is a bad idea.

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  • Why do Yankees fans think that the Indians are willing to trade one of their pitchers? I see this on every Yankess blog out there. The Indians are a virtual lock to continue winning their division for at least a couple more years; they aren’t trading any of their bullets.

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  • Why do Yankees fans think that the Indians are willing to trade one of their pitchers? I see this on Yankees blogs all the time. The Indians are a virtual lock to win their division for the next couple of years at least; they aren’t trading any of their bullets while their window is open.

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