The off-season for the New York Yankees is going to be interesting, with a slow-moving market and free agency capped by a financially stressful 2020 campaign. COVID-19 undoubtedly left its mark on the Yankeesâ€™ revenue, as they lost the most money of any team in the MLB.
I donâ€™t expect them to make any significant moves during the off-season, but they did have a sizable chunk of salary open up with the departures of James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka, and JA Happ. Approximately $52 million will be added to the books, which I imagine they will allocate toward retaining star infielder DJ LeMahieu and signing a number two pitcher to pair with Gerrit Cole.
However, letâ€™s take a minute to look at some more recent news, specifically targeting two former Yankees prospects and the Gold Glove finalists from Tuesday evening.
The Yankees are set to lose several minor leaguers, who will test free agency after a tumultuous season, or lack thereof. Prospects Domingo Acevedo and Leonardo Molina will hit free agency, looking for better deals. However, relief arm Luis Avilan and utility man Rosell Herrera will also be seeking new contracts elsewhere.
Herrera pushed for a big-league spot with the Yankees before COVID-19 shut down operations. With Tampa Bay, he hit .400 with four RBIs and a 1.044 OPS over 11 games. One of his better attributes was his ability to play multiple positions, including second, third, and right field.
As for Acevedo, he spent a majority of 2020 sitting at the Yankeesâ€™ alternate training site. Trying to get him some work and regular action behind the scenes was essential, as the Yankees preferred to keep more experienced players readily available in case of positive COVID cases or injuries.
The Gold Glove finalists:
Both outfielder Clint Frazier and Gio Urshela were named Good Glove finalists this year, but unfortunately, they were both snubbed from earning the accolade. Third baseman Isiah Kiner-Falefa earned the win, and in the outfield, right fielder Joey Gallo (AL) won the award, deservedly so.
Despite the loss, nobody expected Frazier to be a finalist in the first place. After posting a .963 fielding percentage with three errors in 2019, Frazier backed up his poor defensive performance with a .984 fielding percentage and just one error over 34 games. While the sample size was smaller, it is a great sign that he is developing so efficiently. The Yankees expect him to a significant part of their outfield in 2021.