Aaron Judge stacks up several endorsements!
The New York Yankees’ superstar Aaron Judge starred this past season being the Yankees’ best and most consistent player, but he also came up big in acquiring the most commercial endorsements of any baseball player during 2021. The star right fielder stacked up 13 new endorsements. Aaron has hit a milestone in his career by becoming the most endorsed MLB player this season. Those endorsements include apparel/ accessories, restaurants, leisure and recreation, beverages, consumer electronics, retail, technology, and food products. Yankee fans can look forward to seeing him in print and on TV ads during the coming season with all of these endorsements.
New coach Eric Chavez says the “end game” is to manage
The Yankees rounded off their new coaching staff by hiring Eric Chavez as an assistant hitting coach. Chavez has some impressive credentials. Eric Chavez spent 17 years playing in the MLB, and he’s ready for his second coming. Aaron Boone referred to Chavez as a Swiss Army knife. He was clearing up that the team does not see him limited to just his job as an assistant coach.
Chavez is a six-time Gold Glover at third base and a Silver Slugger. He emphasized speaking with Brian Cashman and ex-assistant GM Billy Eppler before his selection about the analytics of the game, something he was not that familiar with. He made it clear that he was well versed from the players’ perspective but not that comfortable from the front office view.
“I know the game from a player’s perspective, but then also getting to see it from the front office and getting to work with player development and the draft process, I always knew getting back on the field was going to be in my future.”
Ever since his retirement from baseball, he has always thought of entering management. He stated that “That’s kind of the endgame for me.”
No gifts under the tree for Yankees fans, but don’t lose faith
Yankee fans don’t have much in their stockings on this Christmas day. GM Brian Cashman sat idle before the lock-out in filling any of the club’s player needs. Even before the World Series ended, Cashman made it clear that his number one priority was to secure a top shortstop to replace the failed experiment with Gleyber Torres. He also indicated he would be looking for a number two starting pitcher to fill the spot vacated by Corey Kluber, who is now with the Tampa Bay Rays. A player to prop up center field was also mentioned. But as of now, he has done nothing except hire a few minor leaguers and name the 2022 coaching staff.
But have faith many analysts predict that Brian Cashman will pounce with money to spend after the lock-out is over. It is suggested that he will have about $60 million to spend. Now that all the big money players are mostly gone, that money will likely go a long way, plus there are many trade options the front office could investigate.
Is Luke Voit destined for the Milwaukee Brewers?
According to a recent post by MLB Trade Rumors, the Brewers have checked in on New York slugger Luke Voit, though it’s unknown exactly when. Their source was an article written by Joel Sherman of the New York Post, where he attempts to predict the Yankees’ post-lockout activity. If the Yankees could trade Voit to the Brewers, they might target center fielder Lorenzo Cain to fill the Yankees’ need for a center fielder. The Brewers might be willing to make that trade as they have been interested in Voit before. Although Voit had a down year last season with injuries, he led all of baseball in the shortened 2020 season with 22 home runs, which is very desirable to the Brewers.
With Kluber gone, how will the Yankees prop up the pitching rotation?
At the end of the 2021 season, Corey Kluber became a free agent two-time Cy Young award winner after the Yankees did not offer him a new contact. Kluber, in his first year back pitching after two years off due to injuries, Kluber wasn’t the best but improved and even had the Yankee’s first no-hitter since 1999. Kluber, unfortunately, had shoulder issues and couldn’t pitch for two months. The rival Tampa Bay Rays quickly scooped him up, giving him an $8 million one-year contract.
Meanwhile, the Yankees are short a starting pitcher. After ace Gerrit Cole there are only mid, and end-of-rotation pitchers left, leaving a hole in that number two spot. After finding a new shortstop, GM Brian Cashman has listed getting that number two spot filled as his second priority. Pre-lockout the Yankees have failed to do either. In addition, most of the Yankee pitching targets have already signed with other teams. So, what will the Yankees do?
Clayton Kershaw (34, 4.8) and Zack Grienke are still available on the free-agent market, although Grienke isn’t a good fit for the Yankees. They could also trade for lefty Yusei Kikuchi of the Seattle Mariners. Kikuchi was an All-Star last season. It also helps that the Yankees have had successful trades before with Seattle. Elieser Hernandez of the Marlins, again the Yankees, have been successful in the trade market with the Marlins. Hernandez started 11 games for the Marlins last year with a 4.18 ERA and is set for a breakout year. Caleb Smith of the DIamondbacks is another option.
If the Yankees want to go big after losing out on Justin Verlander, who resigned with the Houston Astros, the Yankees could go after free agent Carlos Rodón; the 29-year-old has 5WAR. Last season with the Chicago White Sox, he was 13-5 with an ERA of 2.37 in 24 starts. Rodon will likely draw a $15 million contract on a one-year deal. He will likely want a longer contract.
The Yankees didn’t need to dump Luis Cessa!
The Yankees made a mistake getting rid of reliever Luis Cessa in a salary dump. There are several reasons for this. One is that he had become an integral part of the bullpen, starting, mid-relieving, and late relief. Cessa From 2016-2018, out of his 43 total games, Cessa made 19 starts and finished 13 games. Between 2020 and 21, hit pitched in 69 games with an ERA of just 3.50. Dumping Cessa from the $4 billion Yankees franchise was the equivalent of you losing a snickers candy bar.
Secondly, the impact on the clubhouse was detrimental to the whole team and interrupted the team chemistry. Cessa was very close friends with several Yankee players, including Gary Sanchez, Gio Urshela, Gleyber Torres, and even Aroldis Chapman. Losing a player so close to you is at the very least demoralizing in the clubhouse. To add insult to injury, while the Yankee bullpen struggled at times last season, Cessa burned the barn doors down in Cincinnati. In 24 games, he had a tiny ERA of 3.13. He even hit three home runs for the Reds.