Analysis

Yankees: A way-too-early look at potential 2021 free agent targets

These external free agents could make sense for the Yankees next offseason. 

The New York Yankees and the rest of MLB are anxiously awaiting their chance to take the field in 2020. No one knows when it may happen or even if it will happen, but no matter what, each player in baseball will get a year of service time.

This means players in line to become free agents after the 2020 season will be if they play or not.

With that, we look a way-too-early look at a few potential external free-agent options for the Yankees for the 2021 season. 

Marcus Semien, SS, Oakland A’s

As of now, DJ LeMahieu is set to become a free agent after the 2020 season. While the Yankees will likely look to re-sign him, they could turn their attention to A’s shortstop Marcus Semien if contract talks go south.

Semien finished third in AL MVP voting in 2019 as he slashed .285/.369/.522 with 33 home runs and 92 RBI’s. He also proved to be one of baseball’s most durable players as he played in all 162 games for the A’s a year after playing 159 in 2018.

If LeMahieu were to depart, the 30-year-old Semien would make a lot of sense on a two or three-year deal and allow Gleyber Torres to move back to second base where he has looked more comfortable.

José Quintana, SP, Chicago Cubs

Both James Paxton and Masahiro Tanaka will become free-agents after the 2020 season, which means New York will likely only be able to retain one of them.

If one does go, they should take a hard look at Cubs southpaw Jose Quintana to replace the departed. With injuries in the rotation the past several seasons, the Yankees have needed an inning-eater like Quintana. Since his arrival in the majors in 2012, he’s pitched at least 104 innings all but once and had pitched at least 200 innings four times.

The former all-star had the worst season of his career in terms of ERA in 2020, which means he could be available at a lower price and become a free-agent steal.

Liam Hendricks, RP, Oakland A’s

With Tommy Kahnle set to hit the open market, the Yankees will be looking for a right-handed reliever next offseason. If they decide to upgrade rather than stick with a mid-relief arm, Liam Hendricks is the name to circle.

The 2019 all-star appeared in 75 games for Oakland last season and pitched to a 1.80 ERA while picking up 25 saves.

New York is known for shortening games with their bullpen. Hendricks would give them another late inning arm opposing teams won’t like their chances against.

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