The New York Yankees have made it clear that re-signing reigning MLB batting champ DJ LeMahieu is the team’s primary goal in the offseason. However, it has been harder than they ever imagined, as there is a substantial gap between the two parties. After that, the organization badly needs some starting pitchers and relievers.
Those aren’t the only needs for the Yankees, though. As it turns out, general manager Brian Cashman said that the offense, considered one of the best in the league, could use another potent lefty bat.
â€œI I can find a way to balance out and incorporate some left-handed, quality bats to balance this out, I think thatâ€™s optimal,â€ the Yankees GM said on MLB Network Radio on SiriusXMâ€™s The Front Office with hosts Jim Duquette and Jim Bowden on Sunday.
There is a chance that it doesn’t happen, however.
â€œBut itâ€™s easier said than done because, ultimately, what you donâ€™t want to do is remove the high-end bat â€” whether itâ€™s an elite hitter or an above-average right-handed hitterÂ â€” from your lineup and drop down a category or two just because youâ€™re trying to insert the left-handed bat and now all of a sudden youâ€™re not as good because of it,â€ Cashman said.
The Yankees have a collection of right-handed power bats
Most of the potent weapons in the Yankees’ lineup are right-handed: Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Luke Voit, Gary Sanchez, Gio Urshela, Gleyber Torres, and others. Aaron Hicks is a switch-hitter.
According to NJ Advance Media, the Yankees’ OPS vs. left-handed pitchers was just .715 â€” the 20th-best mark in the game, but against righties, it was .811 â€” the fifth-best in MLB.
Free agent outfielder Brett Gardner and reserves Mike Tauchman and Mike Ford are lefties.
â€œWe do have a collection of really high-end talent, right-handed bats that do handle right-handed pitching,â€ Cashman said. â€œBut that doesnâ€™t mean itâ€™s not susceptible and vulnerable when you have some elite reliever coming in that can match up with you to neutralize you later in the game or to shorten the game as they exploit that area. I wouldnâ€™t say itâ€™s a weakness, but it makes you more vulnerable. If I can alleviate that, great. If I canâ€™t, I donâ€™t want to sacrifice the overall strength of a player and drop down a category or two by swapping out a player. Those are the inner discussions we have internally. â€˜Hey, do you acquire this guy? Heâ€™s not as good as the guy you currently have but he is left-handed and whatâ€™s the cost to acquire and does it make you better?â€™ If the answer comes back that the cost is prohibitive or it doesnâ€™t really make you better, but it does balance you out a little bit, weâ€™ve treaded water on that so far.â€