The New York Yankees have been clear on what they’ve been focused on for weeks. They are focused on bringing back DJ LeMahieu. Right now, the team is in a bit of a staring contest with the MVP candidate.
The Yankees and LeMahieu’s reps are at odds over a guaranteed fifth year. Per my understanding, both sides are comfortable with the Yankees AAV offer. However, the years are keeping the sides apart for now.
While I ultimately believe that the Yankees and LeMahieu will come to terms, you have to imagine that Brian Cashman has a number of different backup scenarios. One of those potentially being a Trevor Story trade which I discussed yesterday.
However, there is another option that would probably be the sexier pick amongst Yankees fans. No, it wouldn’t be a trade for Francisco Lindor or another infielder. Instead, it would be going out and signing another ace for the rotation.
That ace being the NL Cy Young winner, Trevor Bauer. Now, the odds of the Yankees signing Bauer are pretty low. However, it’s not something that’s completely dead and there is a path to the Yankees adding Bauer to the rotation.
Before diving into why the Yankees could do this, let’s talk about the barriers. The obvious one being financial. The team is looking to cut payroll as much as possible this year. They have said there is only room for one big signing this offseason.
If the Yankees sign DJ LeMahieu, they wouldn’t go after someone like Trevor Bauer because the money would be too much. Unless they could find a trade partner that would allow them to dump the salary of Giancarlo Stanton.
The next barrier would be the potential fit with the team. The media has drummed up the story of how Trevor Bauer and Yankees ace, Gerrit Cole, didn’t get along in college. That combined with the New York media could be a problem.
However, I truly don’t believe that Bauer would be an issue with the club. I think the guy wants to win and he won’t let anything stand in the way of his team winning. Still, those are two things blocking the way.
What could bring the Yankees and Bauer together
Now, let’s take a look at why the Yankees could do it. Simply put, the Yanks need pitching help. The lack of a consistent starting rotation has hurt the Yankees tremendously over the last decade.
If they were to add someone like a Trevor Bauer to pitch behind Gerrit Cole, the rotation would be the best it’s been in a very long time. That has to be something that is on the mind of Brian Cashman and the front office.
If the Yankees ultimately do not come to terms with DJ LeMahieu, they have some money to play with. In my opinion, I would rather the team invest that money into pitching while finding someone decent to fill the infield gap at a lower price.
Someone like an Andrelton Simmons on the FA market or acquiring a controllable infielder with the Yanks surplus of pitching prospects. Doing this would allow the team the flexibility needed to add another top level starting pitcher
The offseason completely hangs on what happens with DJ LeMahieu. If they Yankees resign him, forget about the team adding a starting pitcher of significance. However, if they don’t come to a deal, Trevor Bauer’s name might become talked about even more when it comes to the Bronx Bombers.