The New York Yankees could be in for a big weekend

New York Yankees, Corey Kluber

The New York Yankees started out Friday with a bang. MLB Network’s Jon Morosi broke the news in the early hours of the morning that the bombers and star DJ LeMahieu were finalizing a deal to keep DJLM in the Bronx.

The Yankees fans have been starved for good news all winter. The offseason has moved tremendously slow with the Yankees making no moves of significance. However, they had been vocal that resigning LeMahieu was their first goal.

It took longer than many of us anticipated, however, at the end of the day, they got it done. With LeMahieu back, Brian Cashman is turning his focus towards the pitching. Specifically the starting rotation.

The figures on the LeMahieu deal have not come out yet, however, we know staying under the $210 million threshold is a priority. That said, the Yankees are expected to have very little wiggle room when it comes to pitching.

Fortunately for them, there is a pitcher that fits their budget and what they’re looking for. That pitcher is former two-time Cy Young award winner, Corey Kluber. Kluber recently pitched in a showcase that saw 25 teams show up to watch him pitch.

Will the Yankees sign Kluber?

I sent some messages out this morning trying to get an insider feel for the Kluber situation. I was told by a couple of different sources that the Yankees are expected to be one of the finalist for Corey Kluber.

As mentioned, it makes perfect sense for both sides. Kluber is very close with Yankees pitching coach, Matt Blake, and he lives in the North East. Kluber is also said to want to go to a team where he feels he has the chance to win and reestablish his value.

There would be no better place to do that than New York. Dan Federico reported yesterday that the expectation is that Kluber will seek a deal in the $6-8 million range. That will fit within the Yankees budget.

Signing Kluber would be a very low risk high reward type of signing for Brian Cashman. If he gets hurt, you didn’t pay much. However, if he returns to form, you’re getting an above average starter for pennies on the dollar. Definitely watch this situation this weekend. Could be a great weekend for Yankees fans.

The New York Yankees are keeping tabs on Andrelton Simmons

The New York Yankees are locked into a tug-of-war with their MVP candidate, DJ LeMahieu. LeMahieu’s camp has been insisting on a guaranteed fifth year from New York to get a deal done.

However, the Yankees have maintained from the beginning that they’re comfortable at four years. When the offseason really started kicking into gear, the Yankees and LeMahieu’s camp were making progress on a potential deal.

Both sides appeared to be comfortable with the money aspect. The talks had all the makings of talks that would result in a deal sooner than later. However, that is where everything hit a wall.

Talks started out well between the two sides. However, we’ve reached stalemate now between the two sides over the length of the contract. The Yankees started at three years, but they are only willing to go four as of right now.

LeMahieu’s side has been consistent with wanting at least five years from the very beginning. The Yankees have inched closer to that and it appears that they are willing to do four guaranteed with a potential option on the fifth year. However, that’s not going to cut it.

As of now, there will be no deal until the Yankees give in on the fifth year. Of course, LeMahieu and his camp could always come back to the Yankees four year offer. However, as each days goes on, the Blue Jays and Dodgers becoming increasingly optimistic about their chances.

The Yankees fallback option

With all of this up in the air, the New York Yankees have maintained contact with the platinum glove winning shortstop, Andrelton Simmons. Simmons is primarily a glove-first shortstop, however, he’s shown that he’s more than capable of hitting for average.

The bombers are reportedly interested in bringing Simmons in on a one-year deal. If LeMahieu goes to Toronto or Los Angeles, bringing Simmons in for one year makes a lot of sense for New York.

Simmons would instantly improve the defense of the team. He’s one of the best in baseball and signing him would allow Gleyber Torres to move back to second base where he is clearly more comfortable.

A one-year deal for Simmons would also give the Yankees more money to play with to bolster their starting rotation. If they resign LeMahieu, they are going to be very limited on their options given what they’ve said about their finances.

Also, there are a ton of elite shortstops hitting the market after next season. If they sign Simmons to a one-year deal, they could reexamine the market for more elite options after the 2021 season.

Resigning LeMahieu remains the Yankees top priority. However, Cashman has been looking into a number of different options if the talks don’t lead to a deal. If DJLM signs elsewhere, Andrelton Simmons is one of the leading options for the Yankees.

Are the New York Yankees a player for Wilson Contreras?

It is no secret that there are issues with the New York Yankees at the catchers position. Gary Sanchez was just interviewed by ESPN yesterday where he discussed that he was confused by being benched for the playoffs.

A response that seemed to trigger most people in the Yankees fanbase. The issue is not that complicated, Gary Sanchez was benched because he was awful. He was atrocious, he was basically every negative adjective you can think of last year.

Gary Sanchez is not a defense first catcher. His biggest asset is his ability to swing the bat. Well, going back to 2018 for the Yankees, Sanchez is hitting under 200 combined over the last few seasons.

Yes, I know people will talk about his injuries and the COVID season of 2020. Nevertheless, Gary Sanchez has been awful for the Yankees. Combine that with the fact that he’s terrible behind the plate and you don’t have much going for you.

With Sanchez, the questions have never been about his talent. Frankly, his raw talent is the only reason the Yankees refuse to get rid of him. However, there is a catcher available that might make them strongly consider it.

The Yankees and Cubs to make another deal?

It has been reported all offseason that the Yankees have been looking into the catching market. Of course, publicly they say they are behind Gary Sanchez, however, behind closed doors they’ve been looking into replacement options.

A very interesting option just hit the trade market. USA Today and MLB Trade Rumors reported today that the Chicago Cubs are actively shopping All-Star catcher, Wilson Contreras. The Cubs are in the middle of a fire sale after non-tendering Schwarber and trading Yu Darvish.

The Yankees and the Cubs have a history of doing deals. The Cubs can thank the Yankees for Aroldis Chapman’s contributions to their WS victory and the bombers can thank the Cubs for Gleyber Torres.

Make no mistake about it, Contreras is an upgrade from Gary Sanchez for the Yankees. Both players are actually in the exact same spot in terms of their control, but Contreras is much more proven as an overall catcher.

If the Yankees were to pull off a deal for Contreras, they could either send Sanchez back to Chicago or put him in a different trade. However, acquiring Contreras would allow the Yankees to finally let go of Sanchez without thinking twice.

Now, there is no word on the Yanks potential interest in Contreras. All I can tell you is that the bombers have been catcher shopping and they are not sold on Sanchez. If a deal can materialize with Chicago, don’t be shocked to see the Yankees involved.

The Rays falling back creates a new headache for the New York Yankees

New York Yankees, DJ LeMahieu

Last night, the New York Yankees biggest threat in the AL East took a major step back. The Tampa Bay Rays traded away former Cy Young award winner, Blake Snell, to the San Diego Padres for a package of prospects.

Combining that with the loss of Charlie Morton earlier in the offseason, and you can expect the Rays to take a big step back next year. While they won’t be a bad team, they won’t be the biggest threat to the Yankees.

Instead, you will have to look north of the border to find the Yankees biggest threat. The Toronto Blue Jays are going to be a major player in the AL East in 2021. There are some analysts already picking them to win the division.

However, the Rays taking a step back could create a different headache for the Yankees than some would expect. While the Rays getting worse is seen as a good thing, it also opens the window even more for the Blue Jays.

The Blue Jays now can look at the Yankees as their soul competition in the AL East. What’s one way you can really hurt your only competition? Signing away their MVP candidate who has shined for them over the past two years.

The Yankees AL East bidding war?

It was reported last week that the Toronto Blue Jays are a serious threat to take DJ LeMahieu away from the Yankees. New York and LeMahieu have been at a standstill for the past couple of weeks after making initial progress. 

The talks have halted over a potential fifth year. The Yankees do not want to give LeMahieu a guaranteed fifth year factoring in his age while DJLM’s camp is insisting on the bombers making the fifth year guaranteed.

Since the two sides are not blinking, other teams have been getting more serious about their pursuit of LeMahieu. Obviously one of those being the Toronto Blue Jays. The Blue Jays are very serious about signing LeMahieu.

They are also the kind of team that would more than likely give him the guaranteed fifth year to secure him. Everything we’ve heard up until this point suggests the Yankees and LeMahieu want a reunion. However, will one blink to make it happen?

If not, the Blue Jays could be staring at a golden opportunity in the East. The Rays have fallen back and the Yankees MVP candidate is there for the taking. This is definitely a situation to keep your eye on as we move forward.

Don’t close the door on the New York Yankees signing Trevor Bauer just yet

trevor bauer, New York Yankees

The New York Yankees have been clear on what they’ve been focused on for weeks. They are focused on bringing back DJ LeMahieu. Right now, the team is in a bit of a staring contest with the MVP candidate.

The Yankees and LeMahieu’s reps are at odds over a guaranteed fifth year. Per my understanding, both sides are comfortable with the Yankees AAV offer. However, the years are keeping the sides apart for now.

While I ultimately believe that the Yankees and LeMahieu will come to terms, you have to imagine that Brian Cashman has a number of different backup scenarios. One of those potentially being a Trevor Story trade which I discussed yesterday.

However, there is another option that would probably be the sexier pick amongst Yankees fans. No, it wouldn’t be a trade for Francisco Lindor or another infielder. Instead, it would be going out and signing another ace for the rotation.

That ace being the NL Cy Young winner, Trevor Bauer. Now, the odds of the Yankees signing Bauer are pretty low. However, it’s not something that’s completely dead and there is a path to the Yankees adding Bauer to the rotation.

Potential Barriers

Before diving into why the Yankees could do this, let’s talk about the barriers. The obvious one being financial. The team is looking to cut payroll as much as possible this year. They have said there is only room for one big signing this offseason.

If the Yankees sign DJ LeMahieu, they wouldn’t go after someone like Trevor Bauer because the money would be too much. Unless they could find a trade partner that would allow them to dump the salary of Giancarlo Stanton.

The next barrier would be the potential fit with the team. The media has drummed up the story of how Trevor Bauer and Yankees ace, Gerrit Cole, didn’t get along in college. That combined with the New York media could be a problem.

However, I truly don’t believe that Bauer would be an issue with the club. I think the guy wants to win and he won’t let anything stand in the way of his team winning. Still, those are two things blocking the way.

What could bring the Yankees and Bauer together

Now, let’s take a look at why the Yankees could do it. Simply put, the Yanks need pitching help. The lack of a consistent starting rotation has hurt the Yankees tremendously over the last decade.

If they were to add someone like a Trevor Bauer to pitch behind Gerrit Cole, the rotation would be the best it’s been in a very long time. That has to be something that is on the mind of Brian Cashman and the front office.

If the Yankees ultimately do not come to terms with DJ LeMahieu, they have some money to play with. In my opinion, I would rather the team invest that money into pitching while finding someone decent to fill the infield gap at a lower price.

Someone like an Andrelton Simmons on the FA market or acquiring a controllable infielder with the Yanks surplus of pitching prospects. Doing this would allow the team the flexibility needed to add another top level starting pitcher

The offseason completely hangs on what happens with DJ LeMahieu. If they Yankees resign him, forget about the team adding a starting pitcher of significance. However, if they don’t come to a deal, Trevor Bauer’s name might become talked about even more when it comes to the Bronx Bombers.

Could the New York Yankees pivot from DJ LeMahieu to Trevor Story?

The New York Yankees have been very transparent about what their top priority is this offseason. Their top priority is resigning their MVP candidate, DJ LeMahieu. However, resigning him is proving to be harder than expected.

A few weeks ago, we reported that the Yankees and LeMahieu were making progress on a deal. Jack Curry has since reported that the parameters that we laid out in the article is what he believes the final deal will be.

A four year deal for LeMahieu to return to the Yankees with a option for a fifth year. However, LeMahieu’s camp is adamant about getting a fifth year guaranteed. As of now, the Yankees are not comfortable doing that.

This is becoming a staring contest with both sides waiting for the other to blink. Both sides seemingly want a reunion, however, they are not willing to give in just yet. With things dragging on, other teams are growing more optimistic about their chances.

The Blue Jays are seen as real contenders to take LeMahieu away from the Yankees. With no guarantees, the bombers are likely exploring options outside of LeMahieu. They would be stupid not to. A real possibility lies within the same organization that LeMahieu came from.

The Yankees and Rockies Megadeal?

MLB.com’s Matt Kelly posted an interesting article yesterday regarding trade deals that could ignite the Hot Stove. One of those deals that he mentioned involved the New York Yankees and Colorado Rockies.

The proposed deal would send Clarke Schmidt and Adam Ottavino to Colorado for All-Star shortstop, Trevor Story. Story is entering his final season before free agency, and by all accounts, the Rockies would love to keep him.

However, if they get the sense that he might walk, they will look at dealing him when they can get the highest return. That’s where the New York Yankees could enter the picture. However, the trade price above might be too steep for the bombers to pay for Story.

As mentioned, the bombers are currently trying to resign LeMahieu to play second base. Gleyber Torres would stay at shortstop if they resign DJ, but even Brian Cashman has said that Torres is better at second base.

The longer the negotiations with LeMahieu go, the Yankees might seriously look at the shortstops that could be available. If they pulled off a deal for Story, they could move Torres back to his best position, second base.

By all accounts, Cashman and the front office will continue their full-court press on LeMahieu. Just keep in mind that the longer this situation goes, the lower the odds will get. We might be hearing the Yankees mentioned with available shortstops more and more.

Will the New York Yankees pursue a Luis Castillo trade?

New York Yankees, Luis Castillo

There is no secret that the New York Yankees have struggled with starting pitching over the last few years. They have made moves over the past few years to attempt to address it, but nothing ever led to a World Series.

The Yankees signed the best pitcher in baseball last year in Gerrit Cole. However, the rotation behind Cole completely fell apart. James Paxton was acquired the year before but couldn’t stay healthy in 2020 to help the Yankees.

Luis Severino was out for the year due to Tommy John and Domingo German was suspended. Masahiro Tanaka and JA Happ were inconsistent as well as the young pitchers like Jordan Montgomery and Deivi Garcia.

Simply put, the Yankees had no consistency behind Gerrit Cole. If they want to win a World Series, they need to have a bonafide number two starter that sits behind their ace. Right now, they don’t have that.

When at his best, Luis Severino could be that guy. However, the Yankees don’t know what to expect from Severino as he attempts to come back in 2021. The Yankees are currently examining the market looking for pitching reinforcements.

It’s widely known that the bombers are not going to spend to sign a guy like Trevor Bauer. Bauer played for the Reds last year and won the Cy Young. However, there is a pitcher who pitched for the Reds that the Yankees should pursue.

The Yankees and the Reds to make another deal?

No, the Yankees shouldn’t go after Sonny Gray who’s reportedly available. That’s a been there, done that type of situation. Instead, the Yankees should definitely pursue the young All-Star, Luis Castillo.

Supposedly, the Reds are listening to offers for the young pitcher. Dan Federico was first to report this and it was later confirmed by Jon Heyman. The Yankees should be all over this potential trade.

Luis Castillo would be the perfect option to backup Gerrit Cole in the Yankees rotation. Castillo was 4-6 with a 3.21 ERA last year on the heels of an All-Star season that saw him go 15-8 with a 3.40 ERA.

Acquiring someone like Castillo would cost the Yankees a lot. In terms of prospects, this would be a much steeper price than getting a guy like Francisco Lindor considering Lindor’s pending free agency.

Castillo wouldn’t hit the free agent market until after the 2023 season. If the Yankees could pull off a deal for Castillo, that would instantly make them much better. Imagine a rotation with Cole, Castillo, and a healthy Severino.

There is no word on if the Yankees are pursuing Castillo. However, I would expect them to take a hard look if the Reds are serious about dealing him. This is a situation to watch.

New York Yankees’ Domingo German struggling mightily in Winter League

New York Yankees, Domingo German

New York Yankees GM Brian Cashman said that Domingo German is at worst a number two starter recently on the YES Network. Domingo German missed the entire 2020 season due to suspension, but the Yankees are planning on his return in 2021.

Prior to that suspension, German had a very solid 2019 season for the Yankees. In 24 starts and 27 total appearances in 2019, German pitched to a 18-4 record with a 4.03 ERA. German looked like a pitcher who was coming into his own.

However, late in the season, the Yankees were informed of a domestic abuse situation with German. We won’t go into details for this article, but after an investigation, German was suspended for the 2019 postseason and part of 2020.

With the shortened season, German ended up being suspended for the entire season. The Yankees had been planning on getting German back in the rotation for 2021. However, German has not looked promising in the Dominican Winter League.

So far, German has pitched 16.1 innings and allowed 13 runs. That’s good enough for an ERA of 7.16. He’s also allowed 17 hits and 9 walks which translates to a WHIP of almost 1.6 which is absolutely atrocious.

Should the Yankees be concerned?

It’s important to remember that this is Winter League baseball. This is more about German getting back in the rhythm of pitching and getting back on the mound. However, these numbers should alarm the Yankees.

Again, it’s hard to imagine these numbers sticking since German is just now getting back into the swing of things. However, if you’re telling yourself that this guy is your number two starter, there should be an alarm going off.

When on, I really like Domingo German for the Yankees rotation. However, I don’t like him as the number two to Gerrit Cole. If the Yankees go into the season planning on German as the number two, it’s going to be a rough ride.

As of now, the rotation would look something like this: Gerrit Cole, Domingo German, Jordan Montgomery, Deivi Garcia, and Clarke Schmidt. Luis Severino will come back at some point to take a spot in the rotation.

That rotation is not a World Series caliber rotation for the Yankees. The Yankees are currently exploring the trade market for starting pitching options, but the options are limited.

They are not in on Trevor Bauer either because of the price tag and their desire to shed payroll. Domingo German is a better pitcher than he’s showing in the DR right now. However, his start should be alarming to a team that’s planning on him being the number two in a rotation.

Trade Gleyber Torres? Why the New York Yankees would do it

New York Yankees, Gleyber Torres

The New York Yankees offseason is moving at a snails pace at the moment. The reason being is the holdup in the DJ LeMahieu negotiations. There were several reports out stating the Yankees and LeMahieu are currently $25 million apart on a new deal. 

However, from my understanding, that money is primarily coming from an extra year. The Yankees have been firm on offering four years while LeMahieu’s camp is looking for a fifth year. While the two sides remain apart, I believe they will get a deal done eventually.

For the sake of this article, let’s say that the Yankees get a deal done with DJ LeMahieu. Now, let’s dive into the title that might throw many Yankees fans through a loop. Why on Earth would the Yankees look at trading their young star, Gleyber Torres?

Let’s take a look at the Yankees infields situation. If they resign LeMahieu, he will likely be sticking to second base moving forward unless the Yankees think about transitioning him to first base or third base in the future.

With that, Gleyber Torres would need to stay at shortstop. The problem is that he is just simply not very good there. Even Brian Cashman said last week that Torres is much better at second base than shortstop. 

A comment like that doesn’t seem to convey confidence that the Yankees see Torres as a long-term solution at shortstop. So if they sign LeMahieu to play second base for the next four-five years, what does that mean for Torres?

The Yankees Potential Plan

The reality is that the Yankees might look at moving Gleyber Torres after the 2021 season. I don’t believe that they will look at moving him this offseason because they will try to give him one more shot at shortstop next year.

If next year goes similarly to this year in terms of his performance at the position, the Yankees will look at moving him. The free agent shortstop class next year is stacked with some of the best shortstops in the business.

Guys like Francisco Lindor, Carlos Correa, Javier Baez, Corey Seager, and Trevor Story are all hitting the market next year. All of those guys are better options at that position than Gleyber Torres.

Torres is a young star in baseball which would make him very desirable. The Yankees desperately need starting pitching help. A situation we could very well see is the Yankees go after a free agent shortstop while shopping Torres for a starter.

While it would hurt to trade a young star like Torres, the Yankees could take care of two issues in doing so. They could land an actual all-star shortstop while improving the rotation. I love Gleyber Torres as a fan, but the reality is, the best move might be moving him after 2021.

What’s the latest with the New York Yankees and DJ LeMahieu?

New York Yankees, DJ LeMahieu

A couple of weeks ago, I reported that the New York Yankees and DJ LeMahieu were making progress on a potential deal. Since then, we have continued to hear from a variety of outlets that talks have gone well between the two sides.

However, there’s still work to do on a potential deal. Two weeks after my initial report and there’s still no deal between the Yankees and DJ LeMahieu. So what exactly is holding things up at this point?

I think it’s pretty well known by virtually everyone that LeMahieu is the top priority for the Yankees. They aren’t even really looking into additional moves at the moment. They are laser focused on bringing LeMahieu back.

The Yankees have a limit on where they will go for DJ LeMahieu and that is where this whole thing is being held up. I was told a couple of weeks ago that a deal was heading in the right direction and it would be four years with a potential option on a fifth year.

We are now hearing that the fifth year is the holdup in this entire thing. Dan Federico also reported yesterday that LeMahieu was seeking a 5-6 year deal around $20+ million AAV.

The Yankees are sitting at four years and my understanding is they are only wanting to do a fifth year if it’s optional. LeMahieu and his camp are good with the first four years of the Yankee offer. However, that guaranteed fifth years is why it hasn’t crossed the finish line just yet.

Will the Yankees budge?

What fans should know is that the Yankees and LeMahieu want to renew the relationship. LeMahieu wants to return and the Yankees want their MVP candidate back for the next few seasons. However, business is still business at the end of the day.

There are plenty of additional suitors for LeMahieu including the Blue Jays and the Mets. From my understanding, those teams are far more willing to go to that fifth year than the Yankees are at this point.

From everything I have personally heard and everything that has been reported, I truly believe the deal would be done if the Yankees would guarantee a fifth year. However, they continue to stand firm in their current offer.

I expect the LeMahieu deal to be finished before Christmas this year. The deal could happen as early as this week. However, it should still be known that the Yankees aren’t guaranteed to bring back DJ LeMahieu.

If they go to a fifth year right now, I believe the deal would get made today. However, if the Yankees wait too long or if LeMahieu doesn’t budge, the odds go up that another team could swoop in with an offer that’s too good to pass up. Something like a six year $135 million deal.

This is a situation we will continue to watch. It’s far from a done deal, however, I still believe that LeMahieu will be back with the Yankees. The two sides want to be together, but again, business has to be taken care of first.