The New York Yankees will be watching the postseason from their couches the rest of the way after a disappointing defeat to the Boston Red Sox in the Wild Card game.
Despite having their primary core of players and starter/ace Gerrit Cole on the mound, the Yankees really never stood a chance against Boston, who were clearly more inspired, attacking the Bombers in various different ways to throw off their game.
Not having DJ LeMahieu available and Cole struggling to finish the year certainly spelled trouble, but there is no excuse for the team to perform so poorly. In fact, after essentially turning over the majority of the roster, Boston managed to piece together another team capable of pushing deep into the playoffs. Former Yankee, CC Sabathia, had choice words for a team that didn’t even stand a chance.
“Our core lost to a team in ’18 that’s not even the same Red Sox … Mookie (Betts), Jackie Bradley, (Andrew) Benintendi … they traded all them,” Sabathia said on his R2C2 podcast. “We still have the same core. We come back to Boston four years later and lost to a completely different core … What the f— are we doing wrong?”
Sabathia asks what the Yankees are doing wrong, and I think it is fair to point to management and a consistent string of injuries throughout the year. The Yankees have been unable to avoid the injury bug the past few seasons, with LeMahieu suffering a sports hernia at the end of the season and Luke Voit hitting the 60-day injured list with a knee issue. The team never really gained back Domingo German, and Luis Severino was just starting to get into the groove of things.
Moving forward, the Yankees need a legitimate shortstop instead of pulling Gio Urshela from his third base spot. They will likely target a few options in free agency, including Corey Seager and potentially Carlos Correa. If they can add another high-quality defender with above-average offensive talents, the Yankees will be in good shape, especially since they have Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton for the foreseeable future.
The team might be inclined to go hunting for another starting pitcher as well, which might require them to push past the luxury tax threshold as they seek continuity.