The offseason is just about here, so it’s time to structure the ideal offseason for the New York Yankees. What route should the Bombers take this Winter?
With the offseason here, we expect the Yankees to be fully active in the free-agent and trade market. Even general manager Brian Cashman confirmed this Monday at the introduction of the GM Meetings in Scottsdale, Arizona. Although the Yankees put up 103 wins in 2019, there’s still room for improvement. Here’s an ideal Yankee offseason blueprint, which could lead the Yankees to a championship in 2020.
The Yankees (Obviously) Need Starting Pitching
This one’s a layup, but it needs to be said. The Yanks have been on the hunt for starting pitching for years, and that won’t stop this offseason, as a multitude of free agents are already under speculation to be pursued the Yankees this Winter.
The big target(s) here for the Yankees are aces Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg, but other, lesser options come to mind, as well. This includes arms like Zack Wheeler, Madison Bumgarner, and Jake Odorizzi.
Potential Free Agent Fits: Cole, Strasburg, Wheeler, Bumgarner, Odorizzi, Kyle Gibson, Tanner Roark, Dallas Keuchel, Hyun-Jin Ryu
Sure Up the Relief Corps
The Yankees, for years, have been transfixed with a strong, talented bullpen. I don’t expect that to change this offseason. With Aroldis Chapman already locked up, look for the Yankees to add another arm to join Chapman, Zack Britton, Tommy Kahnle, Chad Green, and Adam Ottavino.
One route the Yankees may look to go is with Dellin Betances. After an injury-riddled 2019, Betances is out on the market looking for a place to build back up stock in 2020. With a career 2.36 ERA, Betances may look for a one-year prove-it deal in order to set himself up for a bigger contract next offseason. Other guys the Yankees could look to bring in include Will Smith, Will Harris, and Daniel Hudson.
Potential Free Agent Fits: Betances, Smith, Harris, Hudson, Craig Stammen, Drew Pomeranz
Add a Backup Catcher
While Gary Sanchez is set to get the bulk of the starts in 2020, Yankees’ primary backup, Austin Romine, is out on the open market. Yes, the Bombers could look to bring back Romine, but they could also look internally and patch that gap with Kyle Higashioka.
With that said, Higashioka is an unproven catcher with only 156 big league plate appearances spanned since 2017. In that time, Higashioka has put up minimal numbers, with just a career .164 batting average and a .212 on-base percentage. I’d expect the Yankees to make a run at Romine on a short-term deal or go after a backup backstop in the free-agent market.
Potential Fits: Romine, Yan Gomes, Alex Avila, Stephen Vogt, Martin Maldonado