Despite the Yankees spending an exorbitant amount of money this off-season, they still have weaknesses that must be addressed within the next few months prior to spring training.
General manager Brian Cashman is skirting the luxury tax threshold, meaning he will likely try to offload a few bloated contracts to increase their financial flexibility. This upcoming season, they have a projected total payroll of $270 million after arbitration, locking in Aaron Judge at $40 million per season and Carlos Rodon at nearly $23 million per season in adjusted salary.
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However, left field remains a question, and more bullpen support could be on the way. Third base and shortstop are expected to be filled by new faces, notably DJ LeMahieu on the hot corner and Oswald Peraza, but there’s a lot left to be determined with Josh Donaldson and Isiah Kiner-Falefa still on the roster.
Manager Aaron Boone indicated that the team was in a good spot heading into 2023 but did not rule out the front office making more moves to plug weak positions.
“I think we’re in a pretty good spot with who we have right now and the talent we have,’’ the manager said Tuesday. “I wouldn’t be surprised if something happens between now and spring training.”Via Dan Martin of the New York Post.
Spring training will officially begin on February 24, so that gives the Yankees about two months to add a few pieces.
The Yankees could plug left field with Oswaldo Cabrera:
Despite leftover needs, Boone is still confident that they can plug the positions with available players on the roster. Notably, Oswaldo Cabrera, who projects to serve as a super-utility option, could end up starting in left field as a last resort. His value is limitless, given his capacity to play multiple positions at a relatively high-level, but filling left field with an established player would help smooth over any inconsistencies the Yankees may face during the regular season.
“I think with the people we have on the roster, we can certainly get it done,’’ Boone said.
Cashman signed Tommy Kahnle to a two-year contract, but adding more bullpen pieces could be part of their plan this off-season. With Scott Effross undergoing Tommy John surgery and projected to miss all of 2023, there are a few holes that need to be filled.
Michael King managed to dodge Tommy John surgery and should be ready for the beginning of the regular season, but adding insurance policies isn’t a bad move.
Having just invested a significant amount of money in Judge and Rodon, stopping now before finishing the roster and putting them in a competitive spot to reach the World Series would be foolish.