The New York Yankees have several big decisions they need to make this off-season, ranging from solving the shortstop position to adding starting pitching talent.
General manager Brian Cashman only has so much money to spend, but we should expect an aggressive strategy after a disappointing 2021 season where the Yankees couldnâ€™t push past the Wild Card. Significant injuries held the team back once again, as the starting rotation was beaten down, and the team lost DJ LeMahieu in the final days of the regular season.
With plenty of moves to make, letâ€™s take a look at a few smart ideas Yankees can execute.
Three smart moves for the Yankees this offseason:
1.) Re-sign Anthony Rizzo, but at the right price
It has been reported that first baseman Anthony Rizzo desires to stay with the Yankees for the foreseeable future, and thereâ€™s a good chance the 32-year-old lefty is extended. Rizzo spent 49 games with the Yankees after being traded at the deadline, enjoying a .249 average with eight homers and 21 RBIs. He finished the season with 23 total homers, 61 RBIs, and a .248 average.
Rizzo posted only a 15.1% strikeout rate, a low number for a Yankees team that predominantly hovers in the 30% range. His 9% walk rate was a bit down from his 11% career average, so we should expect to see that bounce back. Retaining Rizzo ultimately depends on his price.
The veteran has a market value of about $21.7 million per season, per Spotrac, which might be a bit pricey if the Yankees also want to allocate funds toward shortstop. If he would settle around a similar number as last season, $16.5 million, that could be an opportunity there for the Bombers and Rizzo to connect. Overspending on Rizzo might be a bad move, as the Yankees could theoretically allocate that money toward a big shortstop and move DJ LeMahieu to first base full-time.
2.) Sign Corey Seager
If the Yankees are looking to add more diversity to their batting order, Corey Seager fits the bill quite well. Coming off an impressive 2021 season where he hit .306 with 16 homers and 57 RBIs, the Yankees will be intrigued by his contact hitting and efficiency.
He is a reliable hitter that gets on base frequently but has endured injury spells the past few seasons. If Cashman is willing to overlook those injury problems, they shouldnâ€™t hesitate to add a lefty bat who will likely take a vantage of the short right porch in Yankee stadium.
3.) Target Zach Davies to add to starting pitching rotation
At this point, the Yankees donâ€™t have much funds to continue spending, but one decent starting pitcher is Zach Davies of the Chicago Cubs. Davies is only 28-years-old but is coming off an anomaly of a season where he posted a 5.78 ERA.
Just one year prior, Davies hosted a 2.73 ERA with a 41.3% ground ball rate. In fact, ever since he left Milwaukee in 2019, his stats have slowly deteriorated. If he can join a team that is able to extract his best version, he could be a steal at a lower price tag.
Davies’s main pitches consist of a cutter, sinker, change-up, and curveball. The Yankees love sinkerball pitchers in their stadium, creating more ground ball opportunities. Back in 2017, Davies posted a 50% ground ball percentage, a number they can look at and see value.