Yankees’ DJ LeMahieu details how important having fans in the stadium is for the players

New York Yankees, Luke Voit, DJ LeMahieu

With baseball preparing to welcome back fans for the 2021 season, the New York Yankees will have a bit more excitement than usual. In 2020, operations shut down in March, and that was the last time fans were allowed to attend games, let alone practice. The Yankees face off against the Toronto Blue Jays at Steinbrenner field on Sunday, and fans will be in the stands for the first time in months.

What does this mean to the players?

2nd baseman DJ LeMahieu exuded excitement, a trait he usually doesn’t display in public.

“To me it’s just Major League Baseball with fans,” LeMahieu said on Saturday. “Last year I’m glad we played. Glad we were able to get in as many games as we could and I thought the playoffs was cool but just missed that adrenaline and excitement.”

Sunday’s game will have approximately 2,800 fans in attendance, just a fraction of the total capacity. Nonetheless, it’s a positive step forward for baseball and the Yankees, who lacked that excitement and adrenaline during the postseason.

“You can definitely tell how excited people are to go to baseball games, especially to watch the Yankees and that’s what I’m excited about,” LeMahieu said. “I enjoy the game but I know how much it means to a lot of fans to watch the Yankees and baseball.”

Fans returning will hopefully increase the revenue for baseball next season, as teams were significantly damaged by COVID-19 and the difficulties it brought.

However, that doesn’t stop the Yankees from signing LeMahieu to a six-year, $90 million contract. He will now be with the team until he is 37 years old in 2026, but his ability to play multiple positions in the infield and also offer a fantastic bat is why they locked him in over the long term.

Last season, LeMahieu finished with a .364 average, a league-high, 10 homers, and 27 RBIs. He had a career-low 9.7% strikeout rate and was once again defensively efficient. He was a player the Yankees couldn’t afford to lose, and they actually managed to retain him on a cheaper deal than previously anticipated. Luckily, the Yankees don’t have to worry about supplementing his production any longer and having fans in the stadium will only fuel his abilities.

New York Yankees: DJ LeMahieu number 14, Gerrit Cole number 11 in MLB’s top 100 players

New York Yankees, Gerrit Cole

Last night on MLB.com, it was announced that the New York Yankee slugger and batting champ DJ LeMahieu was named the 14th best player in baseball; in the same broadcast Gerrit Cole, the Yankee ace, was named the number 11th best player. Both had a great season for the Yankees in 2020. Greg Amsinger, Sean Casey, Ron Darling, and Harold Reynolds of MLB.com put their heads together to come up with these rankings last night.

Previously they named Aaron Judge just missing the top 20 as number 21 after an injured season in 2019 and 2020. Other New York Yankees to make the top 100 were home run champ Luke Voit at number 41, Gleyber Torres at number 64, Gio Urshela at number 78, and slugger Giancarlo Stanton at number 97. The top 10 will be released tonight; no Yankees will be on that list.

DJ Lemahieu at number 14 was nothing but a hitting machine for the Yankees since general manager Brian Cashman signed him before the 2019 season. In his first season with the New York Yankees, he gave the Yankees more than they could ever have hoped for; he was a Silver Slugger and hit .327 with 26 home runs and was an All-Star, and came in fourth in the MVP voting.. Yankee fans and the front office felt it would be hard for the DJ to replicate that season in 2020. But he did and bettered it with a .364 batting average that led all of baseball and crowned him the MLB batting champ. He also was a Silver Slugger and this time came in third in the MVP voting.

Gerrit Cole came to the New York Yankees after they sent general manager Brian Cashman, manager Aaron Boone, pitching coach Matt Blake and a special envoy in Andy Pettitte to California to woe the best pitcher in baseball to come to the Yankees. They brought presents and wined and dined the pitcher and his wife Amy, and even brought a special wine they enjoyed on their honeymoon. But it was probably Andy Pettitte that influenced the deal. Pettitte was a long-time idol of Cole. The deal got done, Cole came away with a record $324 million contract, and the New York Yankees got arguably the best pitcher in baseball.

The star pitcher in the Yankees’ bizarre 2020 season was 7-3 in twelve starts with an ERA of 2.84. He came in fourth in the Cy Young Award voting. The season before with the Houston Astros, he was 20-5 with an ERA of just 2.50. In that season, he was an All-Star, came in second in the Cy Young Award voting, and came second to only Justin Verlander in the MVP voting.  This season he will lead the Yankee rotation followed by a two-time Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber, Jameson Taillon, and Jordan Montgomery.

Placing in the top 100 of baseball players is indeed an honor hoped for by all baseball players, but to place in the top 20 is an extreme honor. The New York Yankees now have six team members in the top 100 players in baseball. The top 10 will be released tonight on MLB.com.

 

 

New York Yankees: The Yankees have made over 2 dozen moves to improve the team for 2021

New York Yankees, Darren O'Day

During this offseason, the New York Yankees almost stood still waiting to see if they could re-sign DJ LeMahieu and how much it would cost them to keep him in pinstripes. Since then, there has been a flurry of activity both by signings and trades. Today is a good time to look at how the Yankee front office has improved the team; here are some major acquisitions, although there are other dozen minor league signings.

Adam Warren 12/15:

This is a reunion, Warren has pitched for the New York Yankees before. Last year with the San Diego Padres, he was 4-1 with an ERA of 5.36. He played for New York from 2012. He started one game and gave up 2 runs in 2 innings for a 23.14 ERA. From 2013 to 2016, he was 17-17 with an ERA of 3.23. Again with the Yankees from 2017-18, he was 3-3 with an ERA of 2.53. Now he is back with the Yankees on a minor league deal.

Nestor Cortes Jr. 01/04:

Nestor Cortes Jr. is another returning Yankee. Nestor was 0-1 with an ERA of 15.26 last year with Seattle. With the Yankees in 2019, he 5-1 with an ERA of 5.67 across 33 games.

Jhoulys Chacin 01/06:

Chacin has spent most of his ten-year career with the Colorado Rockies. He has a career record of 78-87 ERA 4.04. Last year with the Milwaukee Brewers, he was 1-0 ERA 7.20.

Greg Allen 01/06:

Greg Allen was an outfielder for the Indians for four years, but they played for the San Diego last year. He throws right but is a switch hitter. Greg Allen is 6′ 0″, 185 pounds. He has been invited to spring training. He was obtained via the trade with the Padres.

Tyler Lyons 01/06:

Lyons spent most of his career with the St. Louis Cardinals. He pitched in 2019 for the Yankees, and he was again with the Yankees in 2020. He combined for 12 games with an elevated ERA. He pitched in only one game in 2020 with an ERA of 21.60.

Andrew Valazquez 01/06:

Valazquez is a highly rated prospect that has played three years in the Majors. He started with the Tampa Bay Rays. Last year with the Baltimore Orioles, he had a .159 batting average. He is a good defender.

Jameson Taillon 01/24:

The New York Yankees sent four prospects to the Pittsburgh Pirates for starting pitcher Jameson Taillon. The acquisition puts buddies Taillon and Gerrit Cole back together again as they both pitched together with the Pirates. He is returning from his second Tommy John surgery, but if he can return to his 2018 form, the Yankees will have a bonified star.

DJ LeMahieu 01/27:

The Yankee’s priority this offseason was to re-sign DJ LeMahieu, and they put most everything else on hold until they could sign him. They finally agreed to a six-year deal that will keep DJ here until he is 38. The Yankees got him for $15 million a year. He was last year’s batting champ.

Corey Kluber 01/27:

As soon as the Yankees re-signed LeMahieu, they immediately completed a deal that they had been working on with 2 time Cy Young Award winning Corey Kluber. Kluber was hit by a pitch in 2019 that ended his season. He was traded to the Rangers but only pitched one inning in 2020 after injuring his shoulder. The Yankees will have a real deal if he can return to his 2018 form. The Yankees deal was for one year and $11 million.

Darren O’Day 02/01:

The Yankees hired Darren O’Day, one of last year’s best relievers. He went 4-1 with a tiny ERA of 1.10. The addition of O’Day to the bullpen will give the bullpen an entirely different look. He is a submariner, the first the Yankees have had in years. His sidearm delivery will give manager Aaron Boone a lot of flexibility in giving hitters totally different looks.

Asher Wojciechowski 02/02

Acquiring Asher was also a reunion of sorts; it puts him back with his old teammate Zack Britton. They both played for the Baltimore Orioles together. Last year with the Orioles, he was 1-2 with an ERA of 6.81. The deal will pay Wojciechowski a $750,000 salary if he makes it to the big leagues

Kyle Barraclough 02/03:

The Yankees have taken another chance with a pitcher that did not pitch last year. Barraclough pitched in the MLB during the 2019 season, having also played for Washington and Miami. Last year with the Padres, he didn’t make it out of the Padres minor league system. In 2019 he pitched just 33.2 innings and logging a 5.61 ERA.

Yankees and Mets have MLB’s top second basemen, per MLB Network’s Top 10 Right Now

DJ LeMahieu has led the New York Yankees in fWAR (Fangraphs’ version of Wins Above Replacement) in the last two seasons, and while he was a free agent for months after the 2020 season ended, the Bombers and his agents were able to hammer out a six-year, $90 million deal.

Meanwhile, the New York Mets have a very good and versatile second baseman on their own right. Despite a slow start in 2020, his stats at the end of the abbreviated year were more or less on par with what he has done in his previous two campaigns: a .311/.383/.454 line, a .360 wOBA, and a 130 wRC+.

Both are excellent offensive performers, versatile with the glove (they can play several positions in the infield) and, overall, the two best second baseman in MLB according to MLB Network’s Top 10 Right Now.

The Yankees’ veteran infielder topped MLB Network’s “Top 10 Players Right Now” second basemen rankings, beating McNeil for the highest spot.

As NJ Advance Media notes, the most recent Gold Glove winners didn’t make the top 10: Kolten Wong and Cesar Hernandez.

The top 5, led by the Yankees’ star

1. D.J. LEMAHIEU
Club: Yankees.
Age: 32 (33 on July 13, 2021).
Bats: Right.
2020 stats: .364 average, 195 AB, 41 runs, 71 hits, 10 doubles, 2 triples, 10 HR, 27 RBI, 3 SB, 18 BB, 21 K, 1.011 OPS, 50 games.
2020 ranking: No. 2.

2. JEFF McNEIL
Club: Mets.
Age: 28 (29 on April 8, 2021).
Bats: Left.
2020 stats: .311 average, 183 AB, 19 runs, 57 hits, 14 doubles, 4 HR, 23 RBI, 0 SB, 20 BB, 24 K, .836 OPS, 52 games.
2020 ranking: Not in top 10.

3. KETEL MARTE
Club: Arizona Diamondbacks.
Age: 27 (28 on Oct. 12, 2021).
Bats: Both.
2020 stats: .287 average, 195 AB, 19 runs, 52 hits, 14 doubles, 1 triple, 2 HR, 17 RBI, 1 SB, 7 BB, 21 K, .732 OPS, 45 games.
2020 ranking: No. 1.

4. BRANDON LOWE
Club: Tampa Bay Rays.
Age: 26 (27 on July 6, 2021).
Bats: Left.
2020 stats: .269 average, 193 AB, 36 runs, 52 hits, 9 doubles, 2 triples, 14 HR, 37 RBI, 3 SB, 25 BB, 58 K, .916 OPS, 56 games.
2020 ranking: No. 5.

5. CAVAN BIGGIO
Club: Toronto Blue Jays.
Age: 25 (26 on April 11, 2021).
Bats: Left.
2020 stats: .250 average, 220 AB, 41 runs, 55 hits, 16 doubles, 8 HR, 28 RBI, 6 SB, 41 BB, 61 K, .807 OPS, 59 games.
2020 ranking: No. 8.

New York Yankees: Cashman has a lot to say about the coming season

New York Yankees, Darren O'Day

The New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman took to Zoom yesterday to talk about the rotation, the team, and his hopes to win a World Series. After a very quiet offseason, the Yankees came alive in the past two weeks. The first thing they did was complete the negotiations for the long-awaited resigning of second baseman DJ LeMahieu last year’s batting champ. Once they got that done and knew how much money they had to spend, they immediately signed two-time Cy Young Award-winning Corey Kluber.

In more recent moves, they made a trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates giving up four low-level prospects for starting pitcher Jameson Taillon. Then they, in a surprising move, managed to trade diminished reliever Adam Ottavino to the Red Sox in basically a salary dump, making room for more improvements in the team. Just two days ago, they signed quality reliever Darren O’Day a feared sidearm pitcher to bolster the bullpen. According to several sources, the New York Yankees still have about $7 million left to spend while remaining under the Steinbrenner mandated luxury tax threshold.

In a Zoom call on Friday, general manager Brian Cashman had a lot to say about pretty much nothing but indicated that he was pretty happy with what the club had now and could win with:

“The roster’s not complete, ever,’’ Cashman said on a Zoom call Friday. “But at the same time, we’re ready to go with what we have.”

After the season ended, the Yankee pitching staff was pretty much dismantled. Masahiro Tanaka, James Paxton, and J.A. Happ became free agents when the Yankees did not offer any of them qualifying offers. Tanaka has since signed a contract with the Eagles of the Nippon Pro League in Japan. Paxton is still a free agent, but Happ has signed with the Minnesota Twins. The Yankees also lost a key cog in the bullpen when Tommy Kahnle refused assignment and then signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Cashman said of the team as it is now set up:

“I think if you’re evaluating it, I’ve got quality at all positions,’’ Cashman said. “I’ve got depth in the starting rotation with the additions of Taillon and Kluber that’s pushed everybody, in theory, back.”

Cashman also talked about the return of pitchers Domingo German and Luis Severino. Throughout the offseason, both manager Aaron Boone and Brian Cashman have referred to Severino’s return to the team in June or July. For the first time yesterday, Cashman said of his return as being late in the summer. To me, late in the summer would mean not before August. Why the change in timing is unknown, or it could just be an off the cuff remark. When pressed on the matter of the budget limitations, Cashman had this to say:

“I’m not going to speak about budget or limitations or what our lack of limitations might be,’’ Cashman said. “I’m not here to say that I’m under a mandate we have to be under a tax threshold. … But I do know this: the Steinbrenner family has always been supportive. We tried to reconfigure the game plan appropriately and come up with a roster that’s maybe a little bit stronger, maybe a little bit more resilient,’’ Cashman said. “But that doesn’t mean that’s what going to play out.”

There is no question that the front office had made substantial changes/upgrades in last year’s team when they lost in the ALCS to the better Tampa Bay Rays with one-fourth of the payroll. When asked about the delay in the signings, Cashman had this to say:

“I don’t know if it matters the time frame it takes,’’ Cashman said. “I was very public about what our intent was. When a player becomes a free agent, you have no idea how that’s going to play out. If DJ wanted it to be over in two weeks, he should have just said yes to my first offer.” he also offered on if he is now satisfied with the team ““I can’t tell you I’m satisfied because satisfaction only comes with success,’’ Cashman said. “Every move we make is intended to get us closer to accomplishing a world championship title again. We just won’t find out until later if the decisions we make now, which are intended to have that occur, [are] going to play that way.”

Brian Cashman has always been creative in putting teams together that he hoped can win another World Series for a team that has won 27 World Champions and more championships than any sports franchise in the world, And this year is no different. Well, maybe a bit different as he is relying on returning pitchers that, in some cases, have not pitched in a year and a half. But with the spring training just over two weeks away, the Yankees, who still have a bit of money left and many prospects that can be traded, may still work to improve the team.

 

 

 

 

Yankees News/Rumors: DJ LeMahieu questions Brian Cashman’s negotiation strategy

New York Yankees, DJ LeMahieu

The New York Yankees officially signed star infielder DJ LeMahieu to a six-year, $90 million deal, according to team representatives. LeMahieu, who has produced two fantastic seasons in pinstripes since joining the organization in 2019, will  remain a focal point moving forward.

However, his experience during the negotiation process these past few months was “frustrating,” as he noted during a zoom conference on Thursday.

LeMahieu finished the 2020 campaign with a .364 batting average, a league-high. He also tallied 10 homers and 27 RBIs, recording a career-low 9.7% strikeout rate. He seems to continue improving offensively while maintaining his defensive prowess at the same time. His ability to maneuver in the infield makes him an invaluable asset and one the Yankees simply couldn’t afford to lose. Nonetheless, that didn’t stop general manager Brian Cashman from testing his market value and eventually managed to settle on a price far less than most expected.

“For me, I don’t understand why it takes so long,” LeMahieu said of the process.. “I don’t know why we couldn’t get it done two weeks after the season. But I guess that’s the business side and that’s how it is right now… I thought the whole time we could get something done and it wasn’t happening, so I just didn’t know what the heck was going on.”

Clearly, LeMahieu wanted to stay in pinstripes the entire time, as he indicated during an interview following the 2020 season. His interest in other teams seemed to be a tactic by Cashman, who hedged his bet on alternative options offering less than the Yankees. While the Toronto Blue Jays reportedly offered him more per season, they wouldn’t provide him with the years he desired. Locking him in long-term gave the Yankees some additional flexibility in free agency, as it lowered his AAV.

“I definitely had to consider going other places,” LeMahieu said. “I had to put myself in other situations, even though it would have been a really tough page to turn. Thankfully, I didn’t have to.”

Now that LeMahieu’s contract has been settled, Cashman has been active in acquiring starting pitching and resolving their rotational issues following the departure of James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka, and JA Happ.

It doesn’t seem as if the Yankees are done making moves, but locking in DJ was a priority, and while it did take a bit longer than most anticipated, they managed to secure him on a deal that was more cost-efficient than expected.

New York Yankees News/Rumors: LeMahieu on a World Series, Kluber on his health, and more

New York Yankees, DJ LeMahieu

The New York Yankees announced the finalized $90 million, six-year contract between the Yankees and batting champion DJ LeMahieu. Upon doing so, LeMahieu took to Zoom on Thursday to talk about the contract. He stated that he didn’t know why it took so long to complete; he thought it could have been completed in two weeks, he expressed his frustration. But all being said, he is happy to be back. As much as getting the security he wanted, he said he had unfinished business; he is back with the Yankees to win a World Series.

“This is an exciting group. We need to get over that hump. There’s no secret we need to get over that hump. There’s one goal with the Yankees and that’s to win a World Series. We haven’t been able to do it.”

LeMahieu ended the shortened season with an amazing .364 batting average that won him the batting championship for all of baseball. He had 71 hits, 10 of them long balls. He impressed with a 1.011 OPS. He continued to earn his nickname “the machine” for his ability to get on base, hit or not; he even stole 3 bases in the process. He in the call also expressed his views on the Tampa Bay Rays:

“I think we ran into a really hot Tampa team,” LeMahieu said. “I thought we were better than they were. I think they just made a couple plays that we didn’t and that was the bottom line. Going forward, we’ve got to make those plays, whatever it is. I thought last year, they just had our number. It was disappointing and I really think we’re gonna get over the hump here.”

Corey Kluber talks about being ready on day one

Corey Kluber will be pitching for the Yankees this year after not pitching for nearly a year and a half. His season was ended in 2019 when he got hit by a comebacker, which resulted in a fractured right arm. During the offseason, he was traded to the Texas Rangers. That didn’t go well at all, as he ended up pitching one inning during the entire season due to an injured shoulder.

The New York Yankees did not blindly sign Kluber to his $11 million contract; they had the inside information provided by the Yankee’s Eric Cressey, their training and strength/conditioning head. Kluber had long been with Cressey and did his rehab there at his Florida Facility. Kluber is a two time Cy Young Award winner. If he can regain his previous form, he could be every bit as good as Yankee ace Gerrit Cole. On Zoon Thursday, Klube talked about his health:

“I consider myself to be healthy at this point,’’ Kluber said. “I’m not rehabbing anything or tending to any issues lingering with anything. I’m basically at the normal stage of my offseason right now, which is a good feeling to be at: to be out of the rehab mode and just try to get ready for the season.”

It’s finalized Masahiro Tanaka returning to his Eagles in Japan

For seven years, Masahiro Tanaka was a New York Yankee stalwart of the pitching rotation. After the 2020 season, when he posted a 12.37 ERA in the postseason, the Yankees decided not to give him a qualifying offer of $18.9 million. During 2020 he would have earned $23 million had it been a normal season. With the Yankees’ priority of resigning DJ LeMahieu, Tanaka waited for the Yankees to give him an offer, an offer that never came.

The Yankees hired Corey Kluber and traded with the Pittsburgh Pirates for pitcher Jameson Taillon. Tanaka saw the writing on the wall and re-engaged with his old team, the Rakuten Eagles, the team Tanaka spent his first seven professional seasons with. According to reports, he signed a deal with them for a two-year contract worth nearly $9 million US dollars annually. The Eagles confirmed the deal but did not provide financial details.

In his seven years with the New York Yankees, Tanaka posted a 3.74 ERA over 174 games, including seven complete games. Nicknamed the “Tank,” he was a fan favorite of many Yankee fans; many will miss him. After the signing with the Eagles Tanaka he took to Twitter and thanked the Yankee fans:

EmpireSportsMedia.com’s Columnist William Parlee is a member of the Society for American Baseball Research. Follow me on Twitter @parleewilliam.

 

 

Yankees’ DJ LeMahieu about returning: ‘It took a while, but this is what I wanted’

New York Yankees, DJ LeMahieu

It took a while, but in the end, the New York Yankees secured the services of their primary target in the offseason: infielder DJ LeMahieu. After months of rumors, negotiations, and flirting with other teams, in LeMahieu’s case; and with replacements on the Bombers’ part, things got done with a six-year, $90 million commitment.

The Yankees’ star, who led the team in fWAR in both 2019 (5.4) and 2020 (2.5), spoke with New York media on Thursday via Zoom, covering several topics including his negotiations and Masahiro Tanaka.

About his former teammate, he said that it was disappointing to see him leave (he signed to pitch in Japan with the Rakuten Eagles) “but just wanted to mention what a great teammate he’s been and what an impact he’s had on the Yankees and the city and I obviously wish him well and I’ll be following him.”

“As exciting as it is (to be back), I’m disappointed that I won’t be able to play with him anymore,” he said.

The Yankees achieved their objective

Then, the second sacker explained the process that took place for him to sign with the Yankees. “I wanted to explore other options, but deep down, I wanted to be a Yankee. I wanted to be back with this group. I couldn’t be more excited,” he said.

Signing LeMahieu virtually unlocked the whole offseason for the Yankees: they signed Corey Kluber, traded for Jameson Taillon, and inked reliever Darren O’Day, among other minor moves.

“It was frustrating at times because it took so long, but this is what I wanted from the beginning. I wanted to be back,” LeMahieu explained.

Now, the Yankees’ roster is almost finalized with a eye towards the 2021 season. Re-signing Brett Gardner and bringing another reliever are possibilities, though. But the Bombers can go to the battle ground knowing they achieved most of their objectives.

New York Yankees Analysis: Looking at Yankee pitching, depth will be key

New York Yankees, Corey Kluber

The New York Yankees significantly improved their pitching rotation in the past week. Less than a week ago, the Yankees acquired two-time Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber and yesterday traded four low-level prospects for former Pittsburgh Pirate starter Jameson Taillon‘s services. Yankee fans now have something to be excited about, although there are risks involved with both of these pitchers who did not pitch last year. Taillon, after the trade yesterday, had this to say on his Twitter account:

“Bittersweet day for me over here! Trying to process everything- have SO much to say to the city of Pittsburgh and my teammates. Also have SO much to say about this incredible opportunity and to the city/fans in New York. Thanks to everyone that has reached out! More to come soon.”

Although there are tremendous upsides to both of these pitchers, there is risk involved, as I said. Taillon is coming back from his second Tommy John surgery, and Cory Kluber pitched only one inning last year after a shoulder tear. Both pitchers are said to be ready to start the season, but the Yankees will have to be careful with them. The addition of Taillon also puts best friends Cole and Taillon together again. They both pitched for team USA and were teammates in the minors and pitching together during 2016 and 2017 with the Pittsburgh Pirates. The two developed a very close friendship.

As certainly as the 2020 season was bizarre with its 60 game schedule and other restrictions, the 2021 season, although not as bizarre, will be far from normal. We are not talking about the health protocols or if fans are in the stands, we are talking about the players and pitchers themselves. It is not out of the question that a pitcher can have 33 to even 35 starts in a normal year. This year it is doubtful that the Yankees will push any pitcher for more than 25 or so starts. You can’t expect a pitcher to go from 10 starts to over 30 starts in a year.

Unless other additions being doubtful, the New York Yankees starting rotation will look like this at the start of the season. 1. Gerrit Cole, 2. Corey Kluber, 3. Jameson Taillon, 4. most likely Jordan Montgomery, and 5. will be Domingo German. This could change with how these players pitch in spring training.  At this point, it is almost a surety that both Deivi Garcia and Clarke Schmidt, who both made their Major League debuts last year, will start their year at Scranton Wilkes/Barre. If either German or Montgomery fails during the spring, that could change.

This season for all teams will be similar to rehabbing all their pitchers to a 162 game season. After several starts, the Yankees may move to a six-man rotation just to give all pitchers an extra day’s rest. This is where the Yankee’s depth comes into play. The Yankees will have fresh arms ready to step in. Even if they start in the minors, you will see Deivi Garcia, Clarke Schmidt, and Micheal King at some point. There is also the issue of injuries to anyone in the staff, causing these arms to be used earlier than wished for.

Sometime in late June, but most certainly before the All-Star break, the Yankees pitching rotation will get another boost with Luis Severino’s return. His return will certainly cause a realignment of the starting rotation. Severino will be in spring training, although it is unknown if he will pitch in any exhibition games. After not pitching for nearly two years, the New York Yankees will be cautious with him going forward.

The addition yesterday of Jameson Taillon to the rotation means the Yankee fan has probably seen the last of Masahiro Tanaka. It is not likely that Tanaka will want to end his career by bouncing around MLB. He has made it pretty clear that he wants to come back to the Yankees or return to finish out his career in Japan, where he can make more money. His contract demands for a few years at $10-15 million is another reason he will not likely be a Yankee. Although he has been a solid pitcher for the Yankees, he isn’t worth that amount of money, especially with them wanting to stay below the luxury tax threshold. However, with the Yankees, you can’t rule anything out.

As all these pitchers prepare for at 162 game season, the Yankee’s depth will be key to keeping the pitchers healthy and paving their way to success as they as always make a postseason push.

 

 

 

New York Yankees: What have the Yankees actually done this offseason?

We all know what the New York Yankees lost after the season’s end. They lost Masahiro Tanaka, that is still a free agent; they lost James Paxton, who is drawing interest from the Giants, J.A. Happ, who has signed with the Twins, and Tommy Kahnle, who has signed with the Dodgers. But the Yankees holding out waiting for DJ LeMahieu to sign; what have they really done this offseason to stock the organization with players that can help this year and in the future?

11/17/20: Yankees sign free agent OF Michael Beltre to a minor league contract. Has played 6 years in the minors, last year with AA Lookouts.

11/20/20:   Yankees selected the contract of RHP Alexander Vizcaino from Tampa Tarpons, selected the contract of RHP Yoendrys Gomez from Charleston RiverDogs, selected the contract of RHP Roansy Contreras from Tampa Tarpons, and selected the contract of SS Oswald Peraza from Charleston RiverDogs.

12/11/20: Yankees signed free agent LHP Lucas Luetge to a minor league contract.

12/12/20: Yankees signed free agent OF Ryan LaMarre, to a minor league contract and signed free agent C Rob Brantly to a minor league contract.

12/13/20: Yankees signed free agent OF Thomas Milone to a minor league contract.

12/14/20: Yankees signed free agent C Kellin Deglan to a minor league contract and signed free agent RHP Matt Bowman to a minor league contract.

12/15/20: Yankees signed free agent RHP Adam Warren to a minor league contract. This will be Warren’s third stint with the Yankees, previously going 20-20 with an ERA of 3.18 during seven years with the Yankees.

01/04/21: Yankees signed free agent LHP Nestor Cortes to a minor league contract. Cortes Jr. was with the Yankees during 2019 when he was 5-1 with a 5.67 ERA. With the Seattle Mariners last year, he had an ERA of 15.26.

01/05/21: Yankees signed free agent 3B Andrew Velazquez to a minor league contract.

01/06/21: The New York Yankees signed free agent LHP Tyler Lyons to a minor league contract. Lyons was with the Yankees in both 2019 and 2020. He pitched in 12 games over the span with an ERA of 6.97, signed free agent P Jhoulys Chacin to a minor league contract, signed free agent RF Socrates Brito to a minor league contract, and traded P James Reeves to San Diego Padres for CF Greg Allen.

01/15/21: Yankees accomplish their number one priority with the resigning of second baseman DJ LeMahieu. Yankees sign two-time Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber to a one year $11 million contract.

01/18/21: Yankees signed free agent RHP Stephen Ridings to a minor league contract. Ridings is a monster of a pitcher; he is 6′ 8″ and 220 pounds from Huntington, New York.

If you happen to think these are a lot of transactions, it’s not; actually, it’s among the fewest moves made by any MLB team. The Los Angeles Dodgers that arguably have the best team in all of baseball, have made as many moves as the New York Yankees in just one day. The Yankees have accomplished their main desires, re-signing LeMahieu and getting a number two starter behind Gerrit Cole. But the Yankees still have needs, possibly another starting pitcher and bullpen help.

The image accompanying this article is of Stephen Ridings. EmpireSportMedia.com’s Columnist William Parlee is a member of the Society for American Baseball Research. Follow me on Twitter @parleewilliam