Yankees have a massive problem brewing in the starting rotation…again

New York Yankees, Aaron Boone, jameson taillon

The New York Yankees have plenty of problems to solve this off-season, ranging from the shortstop position to the starting pitching rotation. After signing Corey Kluber to one year, $11 million deal and trading for Pittsburgh Pirates starter Jameson Taillon, the Yankees are once again facing an uphill battle at a spot they seemingly solved last offseason.

To no surprise, Kluber suffered a shoulder injury mid-season, allowing him to feature in just 16 games after pitching in 33 back in 2018 with a Cleveland Indians. Without his production and presence, the Yankees struggled in the middle of the campaign, going on lengthy losing streaks to hurt their chances at the postseason.

Taillon also dealt with injury, pitching in 29 games, logging a 4.30 ERA. However, Taillon tore a tendon in his right ankle during the latter portion of the season, which he will get surgery on in the coming weeks.

Taillon is expected to miss a minimum of five months but is expected to return by Opening Day of 2022. The Yankees now have another question to answer, and it will likely involve the front office spending more money.

Current Yankees starting pitchers:

  • Gerrit Cole
  • Domingo German
  • Jameson Taillon
  • Jordan Montgomery
  • Luis Severino

Some may look at this list of starters and see a reason for optimism, but the significant number of injuries they’ve dealt with over the past few seasons and inconsistencies undoubtedly present a problem.

There are free agents on the market, including Zack Greinke, Justin Verlander, Clayton Kershaw, Max Scherzer, Kevin Gausman, and a flurry of lesser options. While targeting some of the top arms would be ideal, the Yankees only have so much money to spend after extending DJ LeMahieu on a significant contract last year.

General manager Brian Cashman may have to push past the $210 million luxury tax threshold, but the Steinbrenner’s feel as though they’ve invested more than enough to build a winning team.

The Yankees could turn their attention to this free agent shortstop

javier baez, mets

The New York Yankees desperately want to add a shortstop to their roster for the 2022 season. They will keep Gleyber Torres at second base, where he thrived in the stretch run, and will search the free agent and trade markets for an upgrade in the infield’s most critical position.

Free agency represents the best avenue to bring a top shortstop for the Yankees. Carlos Correa, Corey Seager, Trevor Story, and Javier Baez are all free to sign with any team after the World Series ends.

The Yankees have two very good prospects knocking on the door, but Anthony Volpe seems to be at least a year and half away, and Oswald Peraza isn’t a sure bet to be ready for the start of the 2022 season. The team, as a result, has to bring someone.

Seager is said to be the primary target for the Yankees, as he is a lefty-hitting producer with known postseason success and the ability to provide both average and power. He is also the worst defender of the bunch and could move to third in a couple of years should the Yankees deem Peraza or Volpe ready to take over at shortstop.

Could Baez be an option for the Yankees?

But what about Baez? According to Andy Martino of SNY.tv, they were in on the mercurial infielder during the trade deadline.

The Yankees were “one of the most aggressive teams in pursuit of Baez at this year’s trade deadline,” per sources.

The shortstop was traded to the Mets in July and took over as their shortstop while Francisco Lindor recovered from an oblique strain. He moved to second base when he returned, and put an impressive .299/.371/.515 slash line with nine homers in Flushing, making strides with his plate discipline.

Martino reported that Baez “would be inclined to stay” with the Mets if the team makes him a “serious offer early,” but the Yankees “are expected to be a suitor” if Baez and the Mets don’t reach a deal.

Yankees face injury problems as off-season set to commence: Taillon, Hicks, Voit

New York Yankees, Luke Voit

The New York Yankees made a controversial decision to sign manager Aaron Boone to a three-year extension after his deal expired at the end of the 2021 season. General manager Brian Cashman indicated that the team still needs to solve a few spots, including a shortstop position which they hoped Gleyber Torres would fill long-term.

However, some of their current players are still dealing with injury, but most are hopeful to return by spring training and prepare for the start of the 2022 regular season.

To start, starting pitcher Jameson Taillon will have surgery on October 28, commencing a five-month recovery, which would conclude in March. Taillon had a rocky first season with New York, posting a 4.30 ERA, 8.73 strikeouts per nine, and career-high 2.74 walks per nine. His ground ball rate of 33.2% was a career-low, but he did show signs of flash and quality, which is why the Yankees traded for him in the first place.

With a year under his belt wearing the pinstripes, the expectation is that he will bounce back stronger in his second season with the team. Taillon was on a one-year, $2.25 million deal this past season, indicating the Bombers will have to go through arbitration or settle on a reasonable contract.

Starting centerfielder Aaron Hicks, on the other hand, is headed into the fourth season of a seven-year, $70 million deal he signed back in 2019. Hicks has been injured for two of those seasons and is expected to earn $10.8 million this upcoming year. The hope is that Hicks will be playing winter ball and preparing for next season after featuring in just 32 games and hitting .194 with four homers and 14 RBIs.

Slugger Luke Voit also battled injury throughout the 2021 campaign, but he expects to be ready for spring training after dealing with knee issues for the majority of the season. After leading the MLB in home runs during an abbreviated 2020 campaign, Voit played in just 68 games this past season, earning a .239 average with 11 homers and 35 RBIs. It was clear his knee issue was hurting him significantly, as he logged a career-high 30.7% strike-out rate.

New York Yankees top 10’s: Records that likely will never be broken

New York Yankees, Mariano Rivera

In the newest installment of my top 10 series, I examine New York Yankee and other baseball records that will likely never be broken. My other series examines top 10 pitchers, top 10 first baseman, and top ten Yankee moments in history among many other top tens. But today, we examine some of the outstanding players with outstanding records that will be very hard to break.

  1. The only player to be installed in the Hall of Fame, unanomously!

If Derek Jeter couldn’t be elected to the Hall of Fame, unanimously, it’s hard to believe anyone ever will be. But Mariano Rivera did it, and he did it in his first year of eligibility. Rivera is most often considered the best reliever of all time. Rivera, in his career, all with the New York Yankees he closed 1,115 games with 652 saves. That figure is 51 more saves than Trevor Hoffman, his closest contender.

2. With 2,632 consecutive games played, it’s a record that will not be duplicated!

This is a different time and a game that is played differently; players are constantly injured and given days off to rest. Cal Ripken’s feat is almost unbelievable. In 1995 Ripkin surpassed the Yankees Iron Horse Lou Gehrig’s 2,131 consecutive games played

3. The only perfect game in the postseason!

Don Larsen is the holder of a record that will likely not be broken. He is the only pitcher to have a perfect game in the World Series. The feat was completed in game 5 of the 1956 classic. Not only that, but there has never been a no-hitter in World Series history. Furthermore,Larsen’s record is one of the only two no-hitters in postseason history; the other was by Roy Halliday in 2010.

4. With 1,406 stolen bases, who will break that record?

Ricky Henderson, a former Yankee, played for several teams in his career. He was such a dangerous base stealer that pitchers knew he would try to steal almost every time he took base. Yet, in his remarkable entire career, he was caught stealing only 335 times. Strangely he doesn’t hold the same record for the postseason, that belongs to Kenny Lofton.

5. Who can beat Barry Bonds 762 home runs?

It’s hard to know who took steroids in the steroid era, but the fact is that most of those players were talented enough to play just as well out of the enhancement. It’s hard to tell how Barry Bond’s career would have turned out, but over his 22 years of major league play, he racked up 762 home runs. It has to be pointed out that he may only have used enhancing drugs in a couple of those years. The next closest to his record is Hank Aaron’s 755 accomplished in one more year of play.

6. Most pitching wins in a single season

In the modern era in 1904, the New York Yankee’s Jack Chesbro started 41 games in that single season, for a record that still stands today. Today there are 162 games in a season; in 1904 there were only 154 games. That means that Chesbro pitched all season long on 3.5 days of rest. No team would ever allow a pitcher to pitch regularly on less than five days’ rest, which is a reason that Chesbor’s name will be in the history book for a long time.

7. The most career hits 4,256

Pete Rose has more career hits than any player to play the game. The number he achieved is just 67 hits higher the the second place leader who was centerfielder, Ty Cob. To put it into perspective, Pete Rose’s record is 791 more hits than the 20 year career of Derek Jeter. Pete Rose would be a shoe in for induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame if it wasn’t for his betting on baseball. He has been banned for life. Many believe the ban should be lifted.

8. Most Career Postseason innings pitched

The winningest postseason pitcher in modern times is Andy Pettitte, he also has pitched the most innings in the postseason, a record that still stands today. Pettitte was19–10 with a 3.83 ERA and 173 strikeouts in the postseasons from 1995 to 2005. He has five World Series wins to his name.

9. The most career Postseason hits

The unlikely record to be broken is postseason hits, that belongs to Derek Jeter. He has 180 hits in the post season.

10. Who owns the most World Series rings?

The undisputed owner of the most World Series rings is Yogi Berra, Berra got rings for 10 World Series wins. Berra played for the Yankees from 1946-1965. In his remarkable career he was a 16 time MVP candidate winning the Award three times. Only Barry Bonds has more MVP wins.

Obviously, I could have picked dozens of other records, but these ten are among my favorites. Others are the most hits in a single season, 262, Ichiro Suzuki. Most complete games, 749, Cy Young. The longest hitting streak, 56 games, Joe DiMaggio. Most career World Series home runs, 18, Mickey Mantle, and the list goes on and on. For more wonderful baseball records, go here

Yankees’ Hal Steinbrenner praises Aaron Boone’s “baseball acumen”

New York Yankees, Hal Steinbrenner

The New York Yankees had to take a few days to analyze his future and his fit with the organization, but ultimately, they decided to bring back manager Aaron Boone on a deal that expires after the 2024 season. For three more campaigns (he has a club option for 2025), at least, the Bombers are committed financially to Boone.

Will they honor their commitment and maintain him in the position for the three years? That will be dictated largely by the results he can get, but owner Hal Steinbrenner showed a lot of faith in the 2003 postseason hero as a player and skipper since 2018.

“As a team and as an organization, we must grow, evolve and improve,” Steinbrenner said, according to NJ Advance Media. “We need to get better. Period.”

The Yankees finished the 2021 season tied with the Boston Red Sox for the Wild Card in the American League, but lost the Wild Card game against their archrivals. Boone has been at the helm for four campaigns, with the 2019 American League Championship Series the furthest he has advanced.

The Yankees’ manager has the backing of the owner

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman and Boone himself are expected to take questions from the media on Tuesday afternoon.

“We have a person and manager in Aaron Boone who possesses the baseball acumen and widespread respect in our clubhouse to continue to guide us forward,” Steinbrenner said.

“I know Aaron fully embraces our expectations of success, and I look forward to drawing on his intelligence, instincts and leadership in pursuit of our next World Series championship.”

The Yankees opted not to retain the now former third base coach Phil Nevin (a close friend of Boone) and hitting coaches Marcus Thames and P.J. Pillitere. The team hasn’t announced their respective replacements yet.

New York Yankees make big decision on Aaron Boone’s future

New York Yankees, Aaron Boone

The New York Yankees made a big decision with manager Aaron Boone’s future on Tuesday morning, electing to sign him to a three-year contract through the 2024 season with a club option for 2025.

According to the Yankees’ PR:

The New York Yankees today announced that they have re-signed Manager Aaron Boone to a three-year contract through the 2024 season with a club option for 2025.

It seems as if management believes that Boone was the right man to lead them into the future, despite his shortcomings the past few years, including a Wild Card defeat to the Boston Red Sox this past season. At 48-years-old, Boone has compiled a 328–218 managerial record, and while he’s led them to postseason opportunities in each of his first four seasons, he hasn’t been able to reach the World Series.

Most fans would feel some sort of hatred toward this decision, despite him averaging 98 wins per season over the past four years. Boone ranks ninth in the Yankees’ all-time list for career managerial wins, but he will have an opportunity to push past some of the more well-known names from the past.

“We have a person and manager in Aaron Boone who possesses the baseball acumen and widespread respect in our clubhouse to continue to guide us forward,” said Yankees Managing General Partner Hal Steinbrenner. “As a team and as an organization, we must grow, evolve and improve.  We need to get better.  Period.  I know Aaron fully embraces our expectations of success, and I look forward to drawing on his intelligence, instincts and leadership in pursuit of our next World Series championship.”

The Yankees have a lot to do this upcoming off-season, including filling the shortstop position with a free agent acquisition. The unfortunate Gleyber Torres experiment failed, and the starting pitching rotation fell apart midway through the season, so the Steinbrenner’s will have to be prepared to spend some money in hopes of improving the team once again.

New York Yankees: Aaron Boone to return for three more years

New York Yankees, Aaron Boone

A familiar face will be returning to the New York Yankees next season and beyond. Sources have confirmed to ESPN that Aaron Boone will remain the Yankee manager for the next three years. After not making it to the World Series in four tries, the Yankee organization felt that Boone had done enough to give him to give it another go.

After not even getting past the wild card game this season, many thought that Boone’s time with the Yankees was over, but that is not the case, as we found out this morning. Boone has had two 100 plus seasons, the short season, and this year winning just 92 games, but enough to face the Red Sox in the wild-card game in a game they lost to the Sox 6-2. To read more about the debate to rehire Boone go here.

Here is a look at how Aaron Boone got to be the manager of the Yankees:

The New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone was a baseball player for twelve years, mainly with the Cincinnati Reds. During the last half of the 2003 season, he famously played 52 games for the Yankees. Boone became a Yankee star when the 2003 Red Sox won the sixth game of the ALCS forcing a game seven.

Tim Wakefield pitched a scoreless tenth for Boston and, in the bottom of the 11th, faced Aaron Boone, who had entered earlier as a pinch-runner. On Wakefield’s first pitch of the inning, Boone launched a walk-off home run into the left-field seats of Fenway Park.   ALCS MVP Rivera was running to the mound and collapsing in joy, Boone jumping on home plate, and Rivera being carried off on his teammates’ shoulders as the Yankees won the ALCS. Boone was forever entered into Yankee’s lore.

After the 2017 season and loss to the cheating Houston Astros (not known at the time), the New York Yankees decided it was time for a managerial change. Joe Girardi, who brought the Yankees to their last World Series win, did not renew his contract. So the Yankees searched for a new manager, interviewing several prospects. Considered for the job was Girardi’s 10-year veteran Rob Thompson, Eric Wedge, who worked in the front office of the Blue Jays, Hensley Meulens, a hitting coach, and Aaron Boone. The Yankees ended choosing Boone and gave him a four-year contract.

Yankees fans, upon learning of the hiring, said Aaron, who? Boone had no managerial experience and was only known for hitting the walk-off homer in 2003. Most fans thought the Yankees should have kept Joe Girardi, but the Yankees wanted a manager that could better communicate with younger players and was not as strict as Girardi.

In the eyes of New York Yankee fans, Boone had some pretty big shoes to fill. The Yankee brass claimed that one of the main factors in his removal, besides his overbearingness, was that he didn’t communicate well with the young players. This was the same manager who brought a young Miami Marlins team that nothing was expected to fourth place in the National League and was named Manager of the Year in 2006. The first time a Manager of the Year was ever awarded to a manager of a fourth-place team.

It wouldn’t take long to gain some faith in Boone and his approach to management. Boone and the team won 100 games in 2018. At the end of the season, the Yankees won their Wild Card games against the Athletics but lost the divisional series against the Red Sox. In 2019 Boone bettered his record and won 103 games and the AL East. In the postseason, they swept the Minnesota Twins in the divisional series. They went on to the ALCS against the Houston Astros but again excited early in losing to the Astros.

Still, Boone was praised for bringing the team to the postseason with unprecedented injuries. Fast forward to the 2020 coronavirus season when injuries again plagued the Yankees. The Yankees would lose the East to the Tampa Bay Rays. But in the expanded playoffs, the Yankees got a berth in the Wild Card Series sweeping the Cleveland Indians. Then, the Yankees would have to face their foe in the south, the Tampa Bay Rays in the ALDS. The Yankees lost again.

With their third early exit in a row from the postseason, many began to question Boone’s leadership, at least in the postseason. Boone is now in the last year of his contract, and a contract extension was in question. Maybe in the eyes of the fans, but not so with the Yankee front office. General Manager Brian Cashman made it known he wants Boone to be the manager for the next ten years.

With the New York Yankees’ full faith and a new rotation of pitchers to work with, Aaron Boone will have a chance to prove that Cashman’s faith in him was warranted. The Yankees probably have the best chance of advancing this season than they have had in several years. If Boone fails to win the division with several weakened teams or has another early exit in the postseason, we may again be having this discussion. As it turned out, those weakened teams excelled. But, the debate is over; the Yankees still have faith in Boone and have extended his contract into the 2024 season.

What the Yankees should do with Gleyber Torres moving forward | Off-season brings big questions

New York Yankees, Gleyber Torres

The New York Yankees have a big decision to make at shortstop this off-season, and that will not include homegrown talent, Gleyber Torres. Torres spent 108 games at shortstop this past season, delivering a .952 fielding percentage and 18 errors over 915.2 innings. Eventually transitioned over to second base after his inconsistencies forced the Yankees to make an unfortunate decision, plucking Gio Urshela from his normal third-base spot to take over at SS.

Torres spent the final 19 games of the season at 2B, logging a .986 fielding percentage and one error over 170 innings. It is clear he’s far more proficient at second base, and an MLB scout confirmed that reality.

“Torres’ best position is second base,” a scout told SNY’s Anthony McCarron. “You can see it — he looks more comfortable there. His offense won’t rebound at shortstop. But what do you do with LeMahieu then? The question is, do you trade Torres? But what would you get for him right now?”

The most troublesome aspect of Torres’s development is his batting. Even the fans knew that Torres would likely fail at the shortstop position, but his hitting has been extremely inconsistent ever since posting an impressive .271 batting average in 2018 and hitting 24 homers.

Torres took a step in the right direction this past season, but his power has fallen off dramatically, hitting just nine homers two years after logging 38 in 2019.

“It seems like he was a more confident hitter previously and confidence has a lot to do with it,” the second scout said. “I think he was thinking about those errors at shortstop. Then he was hurt and I think it all contributed to it. I think he was reading the newspapers. You start trying to hit three home runs in one at-bat, try to do too much.”

Confidence is an essential part of hitting in the MLB, and Torres seems to be in his own head. Putting him in a position where he can thrive and limit his mistakes would likely benefit him offensively. Torres posted a 20.2% strikeout rate this season and his lowest WAR excluding the abbreviated 2020 campaign.

The Yankees need to make the executive decision to maximize Gleyber instead of putting him in deficient spots. They have done him no favors forcing him to play shortstop, but with a strong market this off-season, we should expect the Yankees to be active in finding a replacement, moving Gleyber to second base permanently. This could shift DJ LeMahieu into a full-time first base role.

Yankees: Former nemesis David Ortiz shares his thoughts on the Bombers’ manager situation

New York Yankees

For years, slugger David Ortiz tormented the New York Yankees with timely hits and home runs during his time with the Boston Red Sox, where he is an absolute legend (deservedly so). Now that he is retired from the diamonds, he works as an analyst, and has an opinion about the Bombers’ manager situation.

Aaron Boone is the current Yankees’ manager, but the organization hasn’t made his return for the 2022 official. In fact, while ownership is reportedly leaning towards keeping him and offering him a new contract, there is also a strong chance that he leaves for greener pastures. He has had winning seasons in the four years he has been at the helm, but hasn’t been able to take the club to the World Series.

Ortiz, according to NJ Advance Media, was caught by TMZ cameras in Beverley Hills on Friday, and he offered his thoughts about Boone and the Yankees’ manager situation.

The Yankees’ foe said managers “don’t play”

“The manager don’t play, man,” Ortiz said. “The manager just makes moves. Nowadays, the game is more played out coming from the front office than anything else. That’s why you see all these young managers trying to do their thing, but they get to be managed by the front office.”

He is, in fact, right, as many of today’s top clubs rely on their analytics department to build lineups, design bullpen usage, and establish some rules and patterns for the manager to follow.

Ortiz declined to go into specifics when he was asked if he had any advice for Yankees’ general manager Brian Cashman or owner Hal Steinbrenner. “I don’t know, man. I don’t know how they roll,” he said.

He did speak about Red Sox’s skipper Alex Cora, stating that he should get a “10-year” extension.

Lastly, Ortiz said his former foe and current friend Alex Rodriguez, who played for the Yankees during his prime and helped the team win the 2009 World Series, would be a good manager.

“As a manager, I think A-Rod would do great, too,” Ortiz said. “A-Rod has a lot of baseball knowledge. He’s a guy that loves baseball. Who knows? A-Rod has a lot of things going on now. He works everywhere. Eh, I don’t think so. He’s too busy with so many things.”

Yankees shortstop sweepstakes could boil down to two awesome players

yankees, corey seager

The New York Yankees have various avenues they can travel down this upcoming off-season at the shortstop position. With a desperate need to fill the spot with a quality player, general manager Brian Cashman has another busy off-season spending money correcting his team.

It is pretty disappointing that Cashman has been unable to piece together a unit capable of remaining healthy and playing consistent baseball, but his home run centric mentality has bitten him in the butt at times. Nonetheless, there are a few contact specialists that could help provide some much-needed discipline and diversity in the batting order.

However, there is one player who represents the most lucrative option of the bunch, but the Yankees’ hatred might run too deep for them to even consider his services.

Joel Sherman of the NY Post believes that the Yankees’ hate for the Astros and their sign-stealing will deter them from pursuing Carlos Correa in free agency:

The hatred for the 2017 Astros sign-stealing scandal still pulses in the Yankees’ organization — within which many harbor the belief that if Houston had not cheated, the Yanks would have won it all. So, I just can’t believe they would swallow that to sign Correa. 

Even if the Yankees pay no attention to Correa, they still have plenty of options to replace the failed experiment at shortstop in Gleyber Torres. He will likely move back to his more comfortable spot at second-base and force DJ LeMahieu to either find a home on the hot corner or first base, which could spell the end of Anthony Rizzo. Luke Voit could still serve in a DH and reserve first-base role.

Two shortstops could make the most sense for the Yankees:

Corey Seager:

Seager is having himself a solid season with the Los Angeles Dodgers, who are currently in the NLCS. As a lefty batter, he would contribute a bit of diversity to the Yankees’ batting order.

As a former first-round pick back in 2012, Seager has two All-Star appearances to his name and is currently 27-years-old. He hit an impressive .306 this season with 16 homers and 57 RBIs.

Clearly, he contributes far more as a contact hitter, earning 67 singles, 22 doubles, and three triples this year. He struck out just 66 times over 353 at-bats. His 16.1% strikeout rate might be the lowest on the Yankees’ starting team, and he also contributed an impressive 11.7% walk rate this year, indicating more patience at the plate.

Defensively, Seager hosts a .975 fielding percentage, giving up just eight errors over 803 innings this year. Comparably, Torres picked up 18 errors over 915.2 innings, representing a far higher clip.

There is no question that Seager offers more than Torres as a contact hitter and defensive weapon, and given his acumen, the Yankees will likely pursue him this off-season.

Marcus Semien:

Another strong alternative is Marcus Semien of the Toronto Blue Jays. Semien is capable of playing shortstop, second base, and third base, and as a right-handed batter — he would likely fit into the Yankees mold a bit better.

Semien hit 45 homers this year in his first All-Star caliber season. He posted a .265 batting average and .873 OPS. He also contributed 102 RBIs. Semien has played in all 162 games twice in the past three years, minus the shortened Covid season.

Given Semien‘s impeccable health and evident power, the Yankees will likely be highly attracted to the 30-year-old slugger. He signed a one-year, $18 million deal this past off-season, but that price tag could jump even further given his unbelievable numbers.

Defensively, Marcus posted a .984 fielding percentage with eight errors, playing the majority of his games at second base. Traditionally, he is a shortstop, spending six seasons at the position with the Oakland Athletics before making the transition. Semien has never dipped below a .970 fielding percentage, showcasing he’s a quality defender at the most important infield position.