The upcoming season is a lot more important than some may think, starting with the $324 million New York Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner invested into Gerrit Cole. The league’s best pitcher, arguably, will feature as the ace of the Yankees’ starting pitching rotation, and considering the Bombers have exited the playoffs in the ALCS for two consecutive seasons, his efforts should push them beyond the dreaded series.
A lot lies on the 2020 campaign, as reaching the World Series would break a decade long drought of failing to reach the finale of the postseason. While ownership is betting massive on their chances, individual players are also fighting for their future in Pinstripes:
Here are three players the New York Yankees could move on from after 2020:
1.) Miguel Andujar
Andujar is low hanging fruit in the trade rumor category, especially after missing all of 2019 with a torn Labrum. His 2018 numbers have made him an attractive target for teams looking to cash in on a talented player with lowered value. The Yankees would be smart to hold onto him and help him develop into a full-time defender, but as of now, he’s purely a designated hitter. If his offense doesn’t prove to be effective, he could be in the line of the fire at the trade deadline. Some would say selling low would be a colossal mistake for Andujar, but if the Yanks have other needs, he could be a bargaining piece.
2.) Clint Frazier
Frazier will slot into the 5th outfield spot this season, at least until Aaron Hicks returns in August from Tommy John surgery. The offensive talent is another interesting specimen. After being assigned to minor league duties last season due to a tough defensive outing and a lack of respect for pesty reporters, optimism regarding Frazier took a nose-dive. “Red Thunder” has elite bat speed and secretive power, but his defense remains an issue, and the Yankees could look to him to add some bullpen support if they feel as though it’s a necessity.
3.) Gary Sanchez
Some will disagree with me here, but Gary Sanchez could become a liability very quickly if he fails to remain healthy in 2020. With the hiring of strength and conditioning coach, Eric Cressey, I’m hopeful Sanchez won’t succumb to any significant injuries, however, his history hasn’t provided us with much evidence of that scenario.
Having missed 129 total games over the past two years, Sanchez is dangerously close to a full season of inactivity. Factor in his lack of productivity during the postseason, and there’s an argument to be made that he didn’t deserve the $5 million contract he earned this offseason. However, he did launch 34-homers last season, and if new catching instructor, Tanner Swanson, can help refine his abilities behind the plate, Sanchez can save himself some unwanted negative publicity.