The offseason is almost here, and with that, it’s time to preview the upcoming Winter for the Yankees. Who goes? Who stays? Let’s find out.
A walk-off blast off the bat of Jose Altuve ended the Yankees season on Saturday. Now, with the World Series underway and the offseason beginning shortly after, it’s time to look towards the future. What can the Yankees do to improve the team? Who’s played their last game in pinstripes? What new Yanks will come in over the offseason? Let’s find out.
Didi’s Last Days?
As we all may know, didi Gregorius is a free agent at the end of the season. This has led to a multitude of questions on whether or not the Yanks will retain their shortstop for the past five years in free agency.
Personally, I think we see Gregorius leave in the offseason. Didi had a down year in 2018, batting .238 with just a .276 on-base percentage. Although Gregorius had some strong years previously, his recovery from Tommy John Surgery may give the Yankees pause to sign him to a long-term deal, or even extend the one-year, $18 million qualifying offer to him.
Although Gregorius has come up big in the playoffs before, I believe the Yankees think it’s time for them to let their shortstop go, and either replace him in-house or off the free-agency/trade market.
Starting (or Bullpen) Pitching on the Way?
The Yankees are always in the market for starting pitching, and I don’t expect that to change this offseason. Max Mannis already toyed with the idea of Nationals’ righty Steven Strasburg and the Yanks possibly making a run at the ace, and, along with Gerrit Cole, the two World Series studs should be at the top of the Yankees wish list.
However, I do not expect the Yankees to make a serious charge at either pitcher and rather target a cheaper option, although I, as long as many other Yankee fans would disagree vehemently with this. I expect the Yankees to be heavily linked to a guy like Tanner Roark or Zack Wheeler as the offseason gets underway shortly.
Starting pitching won’t be the only Yankee area of need, however, as Dellin Betances, who’s coming off an injury-riddled season is a free-agent to be. On top of that, closer Aroldis Chapman has an opt-out clause, so he has the potential to hit the market shortly, too.
With this noted, I expect the Yankees to add at least one bullpen arm to the mix, as they would at least like to replace Betances if he leaves or even Chapman if he decides to test the market.
It should be an exciting offseason for the Yankees. Expect a busy, robust Winter around baseball, with the postseason wrapping up shortly.