If the New York York Yankees and general manager Brian Cashman really want to improve their chances of winning a World Series in 2021, they need to find starting pitching, but the problem is, they still have the DJ LeMahieu contract lingering over their heads. DJ is looking for over $25 million more than the Yankees are willing to spend in years and average, creating a road-block between the two negotiating sides.
Ultimately, Cashman has stated that they feel LeMahieu will remain in Pinstripes, even if it takes some time for the deal to come together, but other teams are now interacting with DJ’s agents and there’s serious interest from teams around the league. The Toronto Blue Jays and New York Mets are two clubs to keep an eye on as Cashman draws out the process into January.
However, pitching remains a serious need, and unless DJ walks, Cashman will likely settle for cheaper, more cost-efficient players with an injury history. Despite gaining $52 million back with the departures of James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka, and JA Happ, all of that money is going toward fueling the Yankees’ finances after a tough 2021 season and potentially LeMahieu.
In the case that DJ walks, we could see the Bombers take a gander at star Reds pitcher Trevor Bauer. His agent updates SNY’s Jim Duquette on what kind of deal he’s exploring. Bauer reportedly wants more than a one-year deal, something he preferred early on in his career as he bounced around a bit. At this point in time, though, coming off a great 2020 campaign, Bauer is looking to cash in as the best pitcher on the market. Clearly, his reps believe waiting out December was beneficial, so I expect things to start picking up after Christmas.
New York Yankees Christmas Wishlist:
The Yankees need some depth at specific positions and upgrades, but I’m going to incorporate price into these wishes.
1.) DJ LeMahieu
We all know the value DJ brings to the team landing a .364 average this past season, and he’s already considered one of the best hitters in baseball, let alone his three Gold Glove awards.
2.) ST Corey Kluber
Kluber hasn’t pitched much (36.2 innings over two years) the past two seasons, but he’s a cheaper option who, when healthy, was considered one of the best starters in baseball. Signing him would give the Yankees a high-upside player at a bargain price.
3.) Roberto Osuna
While Osuna might be out of the Yankees’ price-range, if they can somehow manage to unload Adam Ottavino and his $9 million for the upcoming season, the former Astro could make perfect sense. He’s one of the best relief arms in baseball, and Otto has been a liability in relief recently.