The New York Yankees’ focus on sluggers when it comes to their offensive system, and with left-fielder Brett Gardner seeing his club option declined for the 2021 season, finding an alternative option could be in the books.
While Gardner could be retained on a cheaper deal as a reserve option, several players could fit the bill for the Yankees and their home-run centric mentality.
With 8 PM on Wednesday being the deadline to tender contracts to players on expiring contracts but are still controlled by the team, one player was cut five Chicago cubs.
Chicago released 27-year-old Kyle Schwarber, and he is the perfect player to add for the Yankees and their desire to add home runs. Nearly every season for Schwarber has resulted in double-digit homers, but his batting average has always taken a backseat. Schwarber also strikes out a monstrous amount, logging a 29.5% rate in 2020.
His numbers eerily resemble Gary Sanchez’s, hitting .188 with 11 homers and 24 RBIs this past season. He earned a 0.4 WAR and made 48 appearances in the outfield. Every inning he participated was in left field, allowing zero errors and earning 70 put-outs. However, his efficiency hasn’t been so great in the past, seeing six errors in 2019.
The New York Yankees should heavily consider singing Schwarber:
Ultimately, signing Schwarber would be a cheap option for the Yankees as a competitor. If they elect to move on from Gardner, they still have Clint Frazier and Mike Tauchman in the outfield.
I believe Frazier will get the first crack at starting reps in left field next season, after having a break out 2020 campaign. He finished the season with a .267 batting average, 15.6% walk rate, eight homers, and 26 RBIs. He did strike out 27.5% of the time, and he needs to increase his efficiency in that category. If he can make more contact and increase his vision at the plate, he could be a staple on offense for the Bombers.
I believe with more at-bats, Clint will only get better, which is a great sign for the Yankees after he was benched in 2019 for defensive deficiencies. He was a Gold Glove finalist this past season, finishing with a .984 fielding percentage and just one error over 280 innings.
He made several impressive diving catches and looked the part of a professional outfielder. Nonetheless, with Tauchman representing depth in the outfield currently, adding a player on a reasonable contract like Schwarber is only beneficial for a Yankees team who likes to rotate players and stick to their analytics.