The Yankees are heading into a short 2020 season, composed of just 60 games in which they will utilize three impending free agents. Next off-season will be interesting, as they will have to make decisions on three starting pitchers: James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka, and J.A. Happ.
The Yankees will be unable to retain all three, so general manager Brian Cashman will have to decide on one or none. There are other options on the market the team can pursue, but all three of these players are capable of starting in the MLB and should be heavily considered for retention.
Let’s take a look at the three free agents to New York Yankees will have to decide on:
1.) Masahiro Tanaka
Tanaka performed well in 2019, earning an All-Star appearance for a dominant first half of the season. He finished the year 11-9 with a 4.4 5 ERA over 182 innings pitched. He allowed 28 homers and 90 earned runs, significantly more than 2018, but a poor second half of the season damaged his numbers.
Aside from being a consistent pitcher, for the most part, Tanaka has playoff experience, pitching in elimination rounds the last three seasons.
The Japanese native will earn $23 million in 2020, an astronomical number that the Yankees will be unwilling to offer next season. Nonetheless, if he’s willing to accept something in the $12-15 million range, the Yankees might have a better shot at retaining him.