The New York Yankees just secured AL MVP Aaron Judge on a nine-year contract. They also brought in reliever Tommy Kahnle and have a solid rotation even though Jameson Taillon departed.
They are said to be exploring the chance of signing Carlos Rodon or a similarly talented pitcher, but most of their needs remain on offense even though Judge returned.
Let’s take a look at the Yankees’ biggest weaknesses heading into 2023.
Yankees’ most pressing weaknesses
3. Left field
The Yankees currently have Aaron Hicks (90 wRC+) and Oswaldo Cabrera (111 wRC+) as viable options to start at left field, and you could also throw in Giancarlo Stanton.
The position is considered a weakness, however, because the organization is probably looking to trade Hicks and prefers to have Cabrera as a super-utility. We wouldn’t be discovering anything if we also say that they would prefer to preserve Stanton’s health by playing him as their designated hitter most days.
Make no mistake: left field is a position the Yankees should address. They just los Masataka Yoshida, but quality alternatives such as Brandon Nimmo and Andrew Benintendi remain unattached.
The shortstop position is ranked second because of the potential volatility tied to it: if Isiah Kiner-Falefa starts in 2023, it could be the team’s biggest weakness, but if he doesn’t, it could disappear from this list entirely.
Believe it or not, IKF should have a place in the Yankees’ roster because he is a fine utility player. He can field three positions (one of them catcher) and has some speed and contact. He shouldn’t be a regular by any means, though, and that’s on the Yankees.
The shortstop hit .261/.314/.327 with just an 85 wRC+. Nobody, on any squad, should start with that kind of OBP and slugging percentages.
If the Yankees want to have a chance in 2023, they need to bring in a quality shortstop or hand the keys to one of their prospects: Oswald Peraza, Cabrera or Anthony Volpe.
Simply put, the Yankees just can’t field Josh Donaldson at third base entering the 2023 season. He is actually the most accurate representation of the front office’s stubborness, together with Kiner-Falefa: they just didn’t want to move on from both of them last season because it would have been conceding defeat.
Donaldson was a quality fielder in 2022, and has been one for his whole career. But just isn’t an offensive threat anymore. It’s not his fault, since he is 37 and declining, but the Yankees need more than a .682 OPS and 15 homers from their third baseman.
Upgrading third base for 2023 is a must.