The Yankees have locked up a few of their players with long term deals as of late, but what would it take to lock up their whole core?
The past couple of weeks at Yankees camp have been a whirlwind. With the extensions for Luis Severino (4 years $40M) and Aaron Hicks (7 years $70M), the Yankees can now focus their attention on the likes of Didi Gregorius and Dellin Betances. Both are set to hit free agency next year and both figure to make serious cash.
Another name to watch is Aaron Judge, who is still under team control for 4 more years. In regards to his contract, there have been rumblings of the Yankees giving him an extension Pre-Arb. While the ladder is least likely this offseason, DIdi and Dellin figure to negotiate deals before the season starts. Cashman has made it known that he wants to lock up the core of the past two seasons so this cohesive unit becomes a powerhouse for more years to come.
The Case for Didi
Didi Gregorius was tasked with the hardest job in the sport with taking over shortstop duties previously held by The Captain, Derek Jeter. Over the course of his 4 years with the Yanks, he has amassed a total of 81 home runs, 299 RBI’s, 582 hits, .274 BA, and a .765 OPS which has been top 10 in every shortstop category since the 2015 season. His outstanding defense and clubhouse leadership have helped this team increase their overall record in the past couple of seasons.
The heart and soul of the position players; Didi has played a significant role in helping out the community and playing fundamentally sound baseball in his time in the Bronx. His market value is 23.3M AAV per spotrac.com. While high, Cashman has proved he is able to work out team-friendly deals.
Gregorius is 29 and has proven to be injury-prone over the past couple of seasons, but his pure lefty swing would be sorely missed in the middle of the lineup.
The Case for Dellin
Its been a love/hate relationship with the four-time All-Star setup man Dellin Betances. He went from an integral piece of the bullpen to not being used in high-leverage situations, noticeably in the 2017 postseason run. Former manager Joe Girardi deemed Betances unusable because of his high walk rate and out-of-control command. Fans were on board and it all seemed to crumble for Betances.
What no one realized was how over the five years of service he’s provided, his fWAR (11.6) leads all right-handed relievers. His K/9 of 14.63 is amongst the highest in the sport. He has been through thick and thin of some of the unfortunate Yankees teams to not make the playoffs.
Most notably, the critical two innings he had in the 2018 Wild Card game helped supplant the Oakland A’s in what was a dominant outing by the Yankees. He is a proven commodity and a strikeout machine who is sure to get a handsome payday. Betances will likely be the setup man for the 2019 season, but he is sure to move around which he has shown to be effective in most spots.
Overall, he fits the current culture in the Yankee clubhouse. The homegrown talent wants to be apart of the core for the foreseeable future and there is no reason why Cashman wouldn’t pull the trigger on an extension. He is sure to command more than Zack Britton and Adam Ottavino. It shouldn’t surprise anyone if he gets more than Britton.
The Case for Judge
Pay the man whatever he wants.