The New York Yankees have the big Prize, but do they still need help?

New York Yankees, Gerrit Cole
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If we have learned one thing this offseason, and that is that Brian Cashman and the New York Yankee’s front off the ice are finally tired of waiting for another World Championship, and are willing to do something significant about it.  The Yankees have not had a Series win since Joe Girardi’s World Series win in 2009.  The last two year’s of 100 and 103 wins per season has given the Yankees a taste of postseason success, and now they are willing to make the moves and spend the dollars to make it happen, for the fans and all of New York.  Managing owner Hal Steinbrenner opened his wallet and signed the biggest free agent out there, arguably the greatest pitcher, in Gerrit Cole to the tune of $324 million for nine years.  They have also made significant changes in the coaching and medical staff, in the hopes of less injuries and better performance from the pitching department.  They have hired a new pitching coach in Matt Blake, a new coach to oversee strength and conditioning in the name of Eric Cressey.  Steve Donohue is out and assistant Trainer Michael Schuk is in, to head the training staff.  Donohue will remain in an emeritus and consulting role.

These are all very positive for the team going forward, but questions remain.  Some will be ironed out during spring training, some not.  The first is first base, Luke Voit or Mike Ford, whoever does best in spring training will win the starter role.  With the loss of Dellin Betances, there is a gap in the bullpen, although without Betances they still have one of the strongest bullpens in baseball.  One must remember they didn’t have Betances all of last season. Another question is at the backstop.  Are the Yankees satisfied with injury-prone Gary Sanchez as starting catcher with Kyle Higashioka as the backup, now that they have lost Austin Romine to the Tigers?  The Yankees did acquire veteran catcher  Erik Kratz from the Indians in exchange for cash considerations.  But is that enough?

We know one thing for sure, several sources have indicated that the Yankees are in hot pursuit to get Josh Hader from the Brewers as an upgrade to Dellin Betances, that is now with theNew York Mets.  Hader is arguably the best reliever there is out there.  But at what cost?  The Brewers would want a good multi-player trade.  Probably including Miguel Andujar, Deivi Garcia and possibly a Clint Frazier.  The Brewers need starting pitching, but I’m not sure J.A. Happ would fill the bill for them.  We know the Yankees have made a trade package for him, although the details have not been made public.  The Yankees are not the only team that would like to see their bullpen improved.



The second big prize out there this offseason is Francisco Lindor. Lindor is 26, has been an All-Star and an MVP candidate in all of the past four years, and has hit 30 homers in each of the last three years. Lindor batted .284 with 74 RBI’s. Lindor is also a switch hitter which would nice to have with their right heavy line up.  Another plus with Lindor is that he will not be a free agent until 2024.   There is not a huge need for Lindor but he would be a definite upgrade defensively at short.  I guess that if any team gets Lindor it will probably happen sometime during spring training. 

Another question is the elephant in the room.  Miguel Andujar is a prime trade piece or will be a giant luxury for the 2020 Yankees.  Everyone knows his deficiencies defensively at the hot corner.  But what if Gio Urshela was a one year wonder, Miggy could handle third and would add a big bat the to lineup, although Urshela with his .314 average did a fine job.  My guess is the manager Aaron Boone will be trying several options during spring training assuming he is not traded.  Those options could include the first base and the outfield.   There is no question on the 2nd.  Silver Slugger DJ LeMahieu has that nailed down.