The New York Yankees made a controversial decision to sign manager Aaron Boone to a three-year extension after his deal expired at the end of the 2021 season. General manager Brian Cashman indicated that the team still needs to solve a few spots, including a shortstop position which they hoped Gleyber Torres would fill long-term.
However, some of their current players are still dealing with injury, but most are hopeful to return by spring training and prepare for the start of the 2022 regular season.
To start, starting pitcher Jameson Taillon will have surgery on October 28, commencing a five-month recovery, which would conclude in March. Taillon had a rocky first season with New York, posting a 4.30 ERA, 8.73 strikeouts per nine, and career-high 2.74 walks per nine. His ground ball rate of 33.2% was a career-low, but he did show signs of flash and quality, which is why the Yankees traded for him in the first place.
With a year under his belt wearing the pinstripes, the expectation is that he will bounce back stronger in his second season with the team. Taillon was on a one-year, $2.25 million deal this past season, indicating the Bombers will have to go through arbitration or settle on a reasonable contract.
Starting centerfielder Aaron Hicks, on the other hand, is headed into the fourth season of a seven-year, $70 million deal he signed back in 2019. Hicks has been injured for two of those seasons and is expected to earn $10.8 million this upcoming year. The hope is that Hicks will be playing winter ball and preparing for next season after featuring in just 32 games and hitting .194 with four homers and 14 RBIs.
Slugger Luke Voit also battled injury throughout the 2021 campaign, but he expects to be ready for spring training after dealing with knee issues for the majority of the season. After leading the MLB in home runs during an abbreviated 2020 campaign, Voit played in just 68 games this past season, earning a .239 average with 11 homers and 35 RBIs. It was clear his knee issue was hurting him significantly, as he logged a career-high 30.7% strike-out rate.