November 27, 2021

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GM: Yankees 'must tackle' Shortstop in Offseason

GM: Yankees ‘must tackle’ Shortstop in Offseason

During the press conference announcement Aaron Boone’s return As manager, Yankees GM Brian Cashman provided insight into the club’s off-season plans. Cashman has been open about the Yankees’ needs, telling reporters he’ll need to give Boone more flexibility in creating the squad (Twitter links via Lindsey Adler from Athletic).

In particular, GM addressed the club’s need directly and candidly, saying:[s]hortstop is an area of ​​need. We have to address it.” With one of the most respected short-stop categories in free-agent history on the verge of hitting the market, the big market, the big-spending Yankees, is almost certain to feature prominently in the casual rumor mill.

As MLB.com Mark the fine sand And ESPN’s Marley Rivera Note as well, that Cashman has posted several news on the injury front: Beginning Jameson Telon He will have ankle surgery on October 28 and is expected to stay out of hospital for five months. DJ Limaheu, who performed below expectations after 2020, had a procedure to treat a sports hernia that would keep him out for about eight weeks. As Cashman referred to that player Aaron Hicks, since his wrist surgery in May, should be ready to resume baseball activities by December and hopefully play winter ball. Assuming everything goes as planned, LeMahieu’s surgery shouldn’t have an impact on his readiness to start the 2022 season, but Taillon’s schedule suggests he will only be ready to get back into the action of the game at the end of spring training, making him available for the 2022 season. Opening day list in question.

While Cashman has suggested he hopes to add more math and communication skills to a lineup that has racked up the sixth highest K% (24.5%) in majors in 2021, Yankees fans are already starting to salivate over the upcoming free agent market. all three of Cory SeegerAnd Carlos Correa, And Trevor’s story It would bring great potential for star-level productions to the Bronx – as it is Marcus seeds or the mysterious Javier Baez, likely – and each will offer a significant defensive upgrade to the incumbent Jaleber Torres.

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Any of this group could represent an upgrade on both sides of the bombers, but how Cashman viewed them remains unknown. Although none of them are poor with the gauntlet, Correa and Story (which combined 68 and 69 DRS careers in a nutshell, respectively) were way ahead of the others. Correa will turn 27 next season, giving him an edge in the age group, although Seeger is not far behind in his 28-year-old campaign. Story and Baez will play next year at the age of 29, while Simien – who has played second base in Toronto this season but has a long track record at shortstop – will play next season at age 31.

Although the Yankees regularly play at the top of the free agent market, payroll implications may also play into their approach, as with specifics prospective collective bargaining agreement (Assuming, of course, that this is coming.) The club’s payroll came in just below the $210 million luxury tax threshold in 2021, which could allow them to pay a lower rate if they become taxpayers again in 2022, but the only significant salary that gets dumped is Corey Kluber($11 million in 2021).

With a number of players set to receive significant increases in refereeing (most notably Aaron Judge, anyway Both club and player You may prefer to access an extension agreement), it is unlikely that there will be much room below the tax limit for free agent signatures. Owner Hal Steinbrenner hasn’t announced any plans to cross the threshold, but the club may have fallen below it in 2021 for some reason. Paired with Cashman’s assertion that the Yankees will be “open to anything and everything” (Twitter link Via SNY’s Andy Martino), the stage is at least set for an active winter.

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After a season that saw them settle for a spot of unruly playing cards and bounced from playoffs by contender Red Sox, Cashman’s mixed tone was no surprise. for every RiveraGM has long described Yanks’ notable inconsistency for 2021, noting that while at times they were “unstoppable,” in other cases they were “unable to watch.” As MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch relay, Cashman addressed fans’ disappointment head-on with his “obvious” warning that we “want more. Expect more.”

Injuries clearly played a role, but poor performances loomed large as well. Among the players who have participated in more than 100 matches, only the judge, Giancarlo StantonAnd luke you, And Anthony Rizzo (obtained from Cubs on Deadline) WRC+ posted over 100 while wearing a pencil case. The club performed somewhat better, but it was also bitten by the injury bug, only Gerrit ColeAnd Jordan Montgomery, and a Taillon who scores 20 or more starts and a high probability correct Louis Severino He scored just six innings in four appearances while on his way back from Tommy John surgery in February 2020. With Kluber and Taillon out in question, the club will likely be looking to plunge into the shooting market for at least one or two pieces.

How, exactly, Cashman will deal with these shortcomings remains an open question, but he has offered some thoughts on other off-season plans at the Bronx, including making clear that the club views Torres as a second baseman moving forward and is not fully committed to it. Gary Sanchez Like daily fishing.

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Both players were disappointed in 2021. Torres scored a .259/.331/.366 streak (below career marks of .271/.340/.493 entry of the year) and was eventually moved from a short spot to second base. Sanchez has regained some of the pop (23 home runs in 440 games) he had shown in 2016-2019 along with 52 walks in his career but has continued to struggle overall; It only scored 307 OBP driven by a dismal hit average of .204 and 27.5K%. By DRS, both players also struggled with the gauntlet, with Torres costing the Yankees nine rounds on the field and ten Sanchez (while expelling only 17% of potential thieves).

With Torres moving permanently to cornerstone and Rizzo’s future uncertain, LeMahieu will likely serve as the Yankees’ third baseman in 2022, perhaps sharing time there with Jiu Orchila So is Voit at the beginning – assuming Voit returns next year. With the Yankees looking to add a short stopping point to the mix, they will be left with four regular players (LeMahieu, Urshela, Voit and Torres) in the other three locations. With none of this group having any much experience on the court, a sound roster could leave Boone with something of a predicament for the bats.

With Severino expected to deliver a little more on the hill in 2022, better health from Hicks and Voit and rebound years from LeMahieu and Torres could go a long way toward correcting the ship for a club that used to compete for titles year after year. Fulfilling their Shortstop needs with a sophisticated signature that improves the team on both sides of the ball may take them even further.