The New York Yankees are expected to be cautious with how they spend their money this off-season, but big-time signings often engages the fan base and can make the team more money than theyâ€™re worth.
Thereâ€™s always a possibility that general manager Brian Cashman gets aggressive later in the off-season, as this market was expected to be slow developing. Of course, everybody is focused on the negotiations between the Yankees and DJ LeMahieu, and recent reports have indicated that the star infielder could begin looking elsewhere since his demands arenâ€™t being met.
If DJ walks, the Yankees will have plenty of money to allocate towards a star pitcher, possibly someone like Trevor Bauer, who was linked with the team earlier this off-season. Bauer could be looking for a one year deal, cashing in and moving on in 2022.
David Cone was optimistic that one New York team will land Trevor Bauer and he will become a sensation:
â€œAll you have to do is go back to Joe Willie Namath and the Jets of â€™69 talking smack and backing it up. (Bauer) is a guy who might have the potential to light up New York, or at least (help win) that old battle for the back (sports) page, as George Steinbrenner used to talk about. Heâ€™s that type of personality. He can stir it up a little bit, and as long as he backs it up and performs well, then he could be interesting scenario for New York on either side of town.â€
Bauer finished the 2020 campaign with a 1.73 ERA, 12.33 strikeouts per nine, and only allowed 1.11 home runs per nine. At 29 years old, Bauer has plenty of juice left in his arm and is coming off as best season yet. He was a bit shaky in 2019, but he did pitch for two different teams, which can affect a playerâ€™s confidence and momentum.
In 2018 with the Cleveland Indians, Bauer finished with a 2.21 ERA over 175.1 innings pitched while this past seasonâ€™s sample size was rather small, he was so dominant that he has catapulted to the top of the market.
I wouldnâ€™t rule out the Yankees quietly monitoring Bauer and his situation, especially if he wants a one-year contract. If the Yankees make the World Series, they will earn the money back easily, and putting them in a good position to do so is essential.
Managing partner Hal Steinbrenner has indicated he wants to stay below the $210 million luxury tax threshold, and the Yankees can find ways to do it and still acquire premium talent like Bauer. However, it may require them to make some difficult decisions elsewhere.