Yankees’ Blueprint to ace the offseason
The New York Yankees are looking to make improvements to shore up their weaknesses and shouldn’t be afraid to spend money and dig into their prospect list to overcome their gap between World Series Champions’ Boston Red Sox and themselves. So let’s go over some offseason moves the Yankees should consider, and which free agents to stay away from.
Stay away from Manny Machado and Bryce Harper
Machado comes with baggage, and although we all know that isn’t enough to scare the “Evil Empire” away, Gregorious is an All Star caliber player, notching career high home runs in each season with the Yankees, and 27 in 2018. Miguel Andujar had his struggles defensively, but he’s a hitting machine and makes that Yankees’ lineup dangerous top to bottom. Gleyber Torres, .271, 24 home runs and 77 RBI in a season where he battled injuries. The Yankees are set in the infield which is oozing with potential and forking over $300+ million for Machado doesn’t seem like smart money. Harper reportedly rejected a 10 year, $300 million extension from the Washington Nationals and is sure to fetch more in the market. But Harper has been inconsistent and also comes with baggage. Can he handle the Yankee media, he’s been a teen phenom for years with coverage dating back to his teens. But can he handle the Yankee microscope he’ll be under if he begins to struggle? Is that gamble worth over $300 million? I don’t think so, and Cashman should be wise to think so also.
Sign Daniel Murphy to a 2-year/$29 million contract
The Yankees need a second baseman if they intend to move Torres to fill Gregorious’ spot at shortstop and a lefty bat to insert into the lineup. Murphy would fill both those needs, along with the insurance to fill in as an option at first base in the case the Luke Voit experiment fails. Murphy hit .299 last season with the Nationals and Cubs, and can be a valuable addition.
Make a big splash…but not for a pitcher
Angels Trade: Mike Trout
Yankees Trade: Sonny Gray, Greg Bird, Clint Frazier, Estevan Florial, Jonathon Loaisiga, Luis Medina
Why Angels pull the trigger:
As difficult as it is to envision the Angels‘ brass trading Mike Trout, the front office must consider their championship window and realize that they’re a few tiers below the top contenders in the American League.
Therefore would trade consisting of a former Cy-Young candidate with a career 3.66 ERA in Sonny Gray, an MLB-ready outfielder to replace Trout with a sweet swing in Clint Frazier and a former top prospect with a sweet lefty swing, who has battled injuries in Greg Bird. And from the prospect list, how about the Yankees #2 and #3, their top position-player prospect and arguably top pitching prospect who showed success in the majors. Lastly, to sweeten the pot the Yankees #9 prospect who struggled but is only 19 years old with a high-ceiling, and a fastball that can reach triple-digits.
This trade allows the Angels to stay competitive, inserting Gray into the rotation and having faith that he’ll return to form as a top of the rotation arm now that he’s no longer calling the Bronx home will give the Angels a solid rotation alongside Ohtani, Shoemaker, Skaggs, and Richards. Frazier was a top prospect in both the Indians’ and Yankees’ system and has struggled to remain healthy, but can look to regain his form. Bird could be a lefty-option platoon with Albert Pujols to start the season, but don’t be surprised if Bird puts it together, after a healthy offseason and a chip on his shoulder to show why the Yankees were so high on him. Florial and Loaisiga are high upside prospects, one who looks to be regaining his top prospect form and the latter having MLB experience after successful runs in the minors. Along with the Yankees’ second and third overall prospects, Angels receive another high upside prospect in Medina, a 19 year old who can develop and be a top rotation arm in the upcoming years when they’re expected to compete. Trading Trout is a tough pill to swallow, and a hard sell to the fanbase if Los Angeles. But this might be the best offer consisting a mixture of MLB-ready talent (3), and prospects (3 Top-10 prospects).
Why the Yankees pull the trigger:
Uh… two words, Mike.Trout.
.312, 39 HR, 79 RBI, 122 BB, 9.3 WAR
Mike Trout has been the best player in baseball, has made 7 straight All Star games, along with 2 MVP awards (‘14, ‘16) under his belt. He’s a five-tool player and can turn the Yankees lineup into a true pitcher’s nightmare. Imagine: Trout, Judge, Murphy, Stanton, Sanchez, Hicks, Andujar, Voit, Torres a strong 1-9, and picture Gregorious after returning from his injury:
Trout, Murphy, Judge, Gregorious, Stanton, Sanchez, Hicks, Andujar, Torres
How are you stopping that, who are you pitching around? There’s a healthy righty-lefty mix throughout the lineup and can be even more dangerous if Boone wants to go righty dominant, something he shouldn’t be afraid to do. The offense would be lethal, and has the potential to light up the scoreboard.
Re-sign J.A. Happ to 3-year, $42 million/ Sign Dallas Keuchel to 4-year, $88 million/ Re-sign David Robertson 3-year, $36 million/ Sign Andrew Miller 3-year, $27.5 million
J.A. Happ pitched to a 2.69 ERA in 12 starts with the Yankees, is familiar with the AL East and was a Red Sox killer up until the playoffs last season. An AAV of $14 million until his age 38 season should be enough to bring back the south paw.
Keuchel is arguably the top arm on the market alongside Corbin, who had the better season. But Keuchel has the better track record, along with a Cy-Young award in 2015 and success in Yankee stadium. Envision a rotation of Severino, Keuchel, Tanaka, Paxton, Happ, Sabathia to go along with the lethal offense. Paying $22 million AAV to Keuchel til his age-34 season may sting but the Yankees are in Championship-or-bust mode and feel the pressure to unseed their rivals’ Red Sox.
Robertson once again put together another productive season, 3.23 ERA over 69.2 innings. He was a crucial component to the Yankees’ pen and will once again be wearing pinstripes, signing a 3 year deal.
Andrew Miller how about a reunion with the Yankees? Forget about Zach Britton, Miller was a stud for the Yankees and battled injuries last season which could land the Yankees with a bargain and a potential steal if he remains healthy and back to form. A Chad Green, Miller, Robertson, Dellin Betances, and Aroldis Chapman bullpen is downright nasty, and makes Yankees a strong team all throughout its 25-man roster.
In addition to acquiring Trout, the Yankees spend a total of $256.5 million in shoring up the infield, solidifying it’s starting rotation and strengthening their bullpen without handing a contract lengthier than 4 years. Machado and Harper are expected to land deals sure to exceed $300 million, potentially between the lengths of 7-13 years. The Yankees should date back to their deal with Jacoby Ellsbury that landed him a 7-years, $153 million deal and has been disastrous after his first season with the Yankees. So why not swing for the fences for the best and most consistent player in the league if you’re going to pay someone north of $30 million a year. This would certainly put the Yankees over the tax-threshold, and may seem like an old Yankee move. But the Red Sox just won their second World Series since 2013, and fourth since 2004. The Yankees are in win-now mode and may feel the pressure to shore up their weakness and further continue to build on their strengths in seek of their 28th Championship.
How do you like my Offseason Blue-Print for the Yankees to ace the offseason? Thoughts? Agree or disagree on any moves? Comment below!!!