The New York Yankees faced nearly unmeasurable losses last season with not fan revenues. Being strapped for money, the team will have to go through a transformation not recently seen if they want to get to postseason play in the 2021 baseball season. The Yankees have made it a priority to re-sign batting title holder DJ LeMahieu. Right next to that priority, they have to solve their pitching rotation behind last year’s major acquisition of Yankee ace Gerrit Cole.
If that wasn’t enough to deal with, they also have questions at the backstop and backstop. Of somewhat lesser concern but still important is if the New York Yankees will address their left-handed hitters’ shortage. When the Yankees failed to bring back shortstop Didi Gregorius last season, it left the team with only Brett Gardner and Aaron Hicks to hit from the plate’s left side. Now there is the danger of Brett Gardner not being with the team either. If the Yankees don’t work out a deal with Gardner, they will have only one left bat in the regular lineup.
The Yankees do have Mike Ford and Tyler Wade that are lefties, but after poor seasons from both of them in 2020, you will not likely see them in the lineup unless there are injuries. No matter how they work it out, the Yankees need at least one if not two left-hand hitters in the otherwise righty heavy lineup. There are two excellent free-agent options out there. Michael Brantley and Kyle Schwarber.
Kyle Schwarber has been on the New York Yankees’ radar for some time. With all the outfield injuries in the last several years, general manager Brian Cashman has been actively interested in Schwarber. Still, he never could put a deal together to obtain him. When the Chicago Cubs surprisingly let him become a free agent, the Yankees really don’t have a great need for him.
Nevertheless, Schwarber could be a good addition to the lineup. Number one is that he is a lefty hitter. Schwarber has good power that can make an impact on any at-bat. He had 38 homers, a career-high, during the 2019 season and 11 during the shortened campaign last year. On the wrong side of the issue, the Cubs most likely let him go due to his .188 batting average last season.
Although the Yankees have plenty of outfielders, it would seem that there is no place for Schwarber. That is mostly true, but if you look at outfielders Stanton, Hicks, and Judge, you see the possibilities of injuries based on history. Having Schwarber in the mix would be helpful. Although he is not a utility player and can fill in at first base should Voit be injured, he could also give the injury-prone Gary Sanchez a rest as he has catching experience.
Another pro for Schwarber is that he stays healthy. In 2019 he played in 155 games of the 162 game season. The seven days off were for rest, not injuries. This past season he played in 59 of the 60 games played by the Chicago Cubs.
Michael Brantley is a different story, he hasn’t been on the Yankees’ radar, but the team and front office are very familiar with the lefty; he had done a lot of damage to the Yankees during his time with the Houston Astros.