The New York Yankees have done little for themselves this offseason to improve a team with too many early exits from the postseason. Following a sub-par 2020 shortened season, the Yankees even lost the division to the surprising low payroll Tampa Bay Rays. The Yankees have made nearly no moves to solve any of their many problems and holes in the starting rotation and the bullpen. They haven’t even in two months been able to accomplish their main priority, the re-signing of DJ LeMahieu.
The 2020 baseball season was surely a bizarre one, with the coronavirus shortening its season down to just 60 games. Many teams and players alike have had strange seasons as well, not performing as expected. For the most part, that didn’t stop the Tampa Bay Rays from an exciting if not stunning season that saw them beat out the Yankees for the division title and go deep into the postseason. Two reasons for that beyond the poor play of the Yankees was Blake Snell and Charlie Morgan.
The New York Yankees fared terribly against Rays pitching. The Rays won eight of the ten games when they faced each other. Four of those losses came against Snell and Morton. Both pitchers won all their games against the Yankees during the regular season, and Morton killed the Yankees in the postseason. The Rays have been the opposite compared to the Yankees so far in the offseason.
The Rays have traded Blake Snell to the San Diego Padres over the weekend, and earlier, they let Charlie Morton sign a deal with the Atlanta Braves. This is wonderful news for the Yankees as they will no longer have to face these Yankee killers in the regular season. The Rays did pick up two catchers and two pitching prospects in the deal. It is very doubtful that those pitching prospects will haunt the Yankees as Snell and Morton did.
The loss of those two Ray pitchers will be significant in the 2021 season, no matter how long the season will be. 2021 will be a season like we haven’t seen in years. The competition will be much greater and closer at the end than one could imagine. With their outstanding breakout pitcher, the Ray’s, Tyler Glasnow, Anderson, Yarbrough, and Fairbanks, will surely be at the top or near the top of the division. The Toronto Blue Jays have been adding pieces to their young, energetic team and will surely be in contention in 2021. Further, the Boston Red Sox, with Alex Cora once again the manager and the continuing build of the Orioles, might surprise.
Meanwhile, back at Yankee Stadium, nothing is happening as the front office seems to be putting everything on hold to see if they can re-sign DJ LeMahieu. But for the Yankees, time is running out on two fronts. If the New York Yankees have to worry about the Toronto Blue Jays in 2021, it will be even more troublesome if they snatch LeMahieu away from the Yankees. On the other front, viable starting pitching help is being signed away to other teams that seem to be more aggressive at improving their teams.
The Yankees need to stop fooling around and sign DJ LeMahieu to the contract he wants. Without DJ LeMahieu last year, the Yankees would not only have lost the division but wouldn’t have even reached the postseason. The Yankees appear to be “satisfied” with Cole and an experimental and inexperienced rotation behind him. They need LeMahieu even more than last year that saw him a Silver Slugger and batting title winner.