On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, the New York Yankee fans sat idly by waiting for a Christmas gift from the Yankee front office only to find they would get nothing, not even a lump of coal. It’s been that way for weeks now, and now we face the holiday week between Christmas and New Year’s Day when most MLB teams basically shut down their front offices for a holiday. So don’t expect any encouraging news or even rumors.
The Yankee’s most important offseason job and priority were to sign DJ LeMahieu, their leadoff batting champ. It’s now been eight weeks, and they still haven’t been able to accomplish that task. The Yankees obviously wanted to get him back and for as little as possible after having a huge money-losing season in 2020. After weeks news started to leak out that the best available free agent would want security with a five-year contract for $100 million.
It was further leaked that the Yankees knowing that indicated they would like a three-year deal at just $75 million. But as the week dragged on and the interest in LeMahieu blossomed, LeMahieu stuck with his desire for a five-year contract, cut upped the deal to $125 million.Â The Yankees sought a compromise of three years at $88 million. Neither side seems interested in compromise, so the negotiations seem to be stalled. So here is where we stand. General manager Brian Cashman seems more interested and waiting it out until it becomes clearer what a 2021 season will look like before meeting DJ’s demands.Â The danger in that strategy is that another team like the Blue Jays or Angels will swoop in that steal him away for the New York Yankees.
Trevor Bauer/Masahiro Tanaka:
It’s no secret that the New York Yankees need starting pitching after losing Masahiro Tanaka, James Paxton, and J.A. Happ. With minimal movement on repairing the rotation following Gerrit Cole, in fact, with the LeMahieu re-signing, there haven’t even been many rumors. The names that have been tied to the Yankees are disappearing. It was reported that the Yankees would be interested in Charlie Morton of the Rays, but the Atlanta Braves have signed him on a one-year deal.
There have also been constant rumors that the Yankees would like to find a way to sign the Cy Young Award-winning Trevor Bauer to back up ace Gerrit Cole and allow a one-two punch that would be hard to beat in a postseason. However, with the Yankees not wanted to spend much money on pitching, the only likely way they could sign him would be on a one-year deal, as they are not looking to allow any more big-money deals after LeMahieu. Just this past week, Bauer has announced he will not be signing any one-year deals. The is probably the end of the Bauer/Yankee news.
Meanwhile, the New York Yankees and Masahiro Tanaka negotiations are even quieter if any talks are going on at all. We know that Tanaka is waiting for talks to start; he is celebrating the offseason in Japan. Of course, Tanaka being in the country is not a necessity to have talks. The Yankees have made it known that they would be interested in taking Tanaka back but for a short contract and at far less than the $23 million he earned last season.Â Rumors say that the Yankees might only be willing to go for one year at just $8 million.
Gleyber Torres/Gary Sanchez:
These two players will not be highlighted in the rumor mills because the Yankees have pretty well set in stone that both will be with the Yankees for the 2021 season. Gary Sanchez’s future has been solidified with a new 2021 contract for around $5 million. The Yankees have also made it clear that Gleyber Torres will most likely cover the shortstop position for 2021. The only questions still to be answered are the Yankees bringing in a catcher to back up Kyle Higashioka or if they will go with just two and rely on Scranton for a back up if needed.
The Gleyber Torres story pretty clear, except for one thing. If the Yankees can’t find a way to keep DJ LeMahieu at second base, that will likely mean that Torres will move back to second base, his natural position. That move will open a huge can of worms with who will replace Gleyber at short. That could turn out to be the sub-story to the whole offseason. We know that recent reports have indicated that the Yankees haven’t even contacted Franciso Lindor. That would say to us if they do get a shortstop, it will likely be on the cheap.
Luke Voit’s name has been thrown all over the place as a trade piece to get a new Yankee pitcher. You can pretty much put those rumors to rest; the Yankees are not getting rid of the 2020 baseball home run leader. Voit is just too good to let any team have him. Voit can hit homers, get on base, and, as demonstrated last year, is a true Yankee playing through a foot injury that would have put most players on the IL.
Summing it up:
You can pretty much put your money on nothing or little happening until the New York Yankees know if they can resign DJ LeMahieu. Suppose they can don’t look for many other big deals to happen. However, if the Yankees can’t sign him, it opens up a whole plan B operative that could provide some surprises. There is something else that you need to keep in the back of your head. The whole Cashman/Steinbrenner stance of spending no money could be a sham just to beat down all of those in free agency. Don’t be surprised if there are some big surprises in store for Yankees fans.