The New York Yankees are gearing up for Game 5 of the ALDS against the Cleveland Guardians on Monday night in the Bronx. Having tied up the series at two apiece following a win in Cleveland, the Bombers will feature Jameson Taillon on the mound in a Do or Die scenario.
This obviously isn’t how the Yankees preferred the ALDS to play out, hoping to have Frankie Montas available as one of their top starting pitchers. However, dealing with a shoulder injury toward the end of the regular season forced the team to shut him down for the beginning portion of the postseason.
In his stead, Taillon will have to make his most important start of the year on the back of Gerrit Cole’s dominant performance in Game 4.
Taillon is preparing to get free agency, and there are teams considering his services after a decent 2022 regular season.
The Red Sox are eyeing two Yankees free agents after the the2022 season concludes, per Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe:
RHP Jameson Taillon: A good No. 4 option.
UTIL Matt Carpenter: Here’s a player who could DH 75 times and get starts at first, third, left, and right.
The Yankees should let Jameson Taillon go and retain Matt Carpenter:
Taillon finished the regular season with a 3.91 ERA, 7.66 strikeouts per nine, a 75.3% left on-base rate, and a 40.1% ground ball rate. He generates weak contact but isn’t known for his high strikeout numbers.
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With the Red Sox needing some pitching support, he could fit the bill at a cheaper price point. After earning $5.8 million this season in arbitration, the Yankees will have to make a decision on his future, but it is more than likely they let him walk, given a few inconsistencies down the stretch.
The Red Sox are also eyeing Matt Carpenter, who the Yankees should 100% bring back at a cost-efficient salary. Considering Carpenter was playing for the Texas Rangers’ AAA squad before the Yankees scooped him up, it is unlikely he earns a massive deal in free agency at 36 years old.
In fact, over just a 47-game sample size, it is impossible to tell if Carpenter will be able to replicate his incredible statistics. Over that time frame, he produced a .305 average with a 41.2% on-base rate, 15 homers, and 37 RBIs.
Carpenter also managed a 217 wRC+, indicating he was 117% better than the average MLB player. Defensively, Carp’s days are likely over as an integral part, but he can offer fantastic value as a lefty slugger with some utility purposes.
Considering how big a part Carpenter has played in the clubhouse, he’s a player the Yankees should prioritize bringing back. Conversely, Taillon is likely on his way out following the end of the postseason.