It has been six days since the Yankees were knocked out again, now that the dust has settled what is the current state of the Yankees?
The “New” New York Yankees
Let’s begin with the obvious: this is not the same New York Yankees of the late 90s and early 2000s. Since 2009, the Yankees have not made a World Series appearance and it’s tough to tell if management cares. Hal made a comment about how the Yankees were hit harder financially than any other team in the league. Granted, the pandemic hurt every team, but if you’re the Yankees you should be able to recover and push to get over the hump. The Yankees have the money to spend to make this team better. They just don’t want to spend it.
Going along with the theme of the “new” New York Yankees, we are in the midst of an era where a season ended dreadfully and it wasn’t labeled a failure. Getting knocked out in the ALDS to a division rival, after an underwhelming regular season and a 2nd place finish in the division, is a failure. If you’re the Yankees, and this specific roster, it’s a World Series win or bust. Settling for anything less is embarrassing. Finding silver linings and bright spots in a tough season is fine and can be encouraging. For example, seeing Luke Voit perform the way he did and the emergence of Deivi Garcia are great signs for the future. But these bright spots are not enough to label the season a success.
Were you wishing that Aaron Boone would leave this organization? Well, Hal has some bad news for you. According to Hal, Boone is going to be the manager, and “that’s a fact”. In Boone’s first three seasons, the Yankees failed to make it further than they did in 2017 where they had far less talent on the roster. Boone made countless head-scratching bullpen and lineup decisions, and let’s not get started with his managing in this year’s ALDS. Contrary to popular belief among Yankees fans, Brian Cashman made it very clear that Boone is not a puppet. He makes the final decisions, and that alone should be enough to fire him. As fans, we can point to instances where Boone cost the team a win. We’d have a really tough time pointing to instances where he won us games.
What can we expect for 2021?
Based on all three of these press conferences, the Yankees won’t be making a splash in free agency. Boone will back, but the rest of the staff is up in the air. A change at hitting coach is highly possible, and sticking with Matt Blake at pitching coach should be a no brainer. Judging him off of only 60 games would not be fair, and it looks like he can work well with the young pitchers.
When it comes to the lineup, rotation, and bullpen, it’s tough to guess what is going to happen. One big signing that has to be made no matter what is DJ Lemahieu. DJ has been the Yankees’ best and most consistent player in the last two seasons, and he can’t be replaced easily. As far as the rotation goes, Cole is the only guy locked into a position. Looking at the rotation, Masahiro Tanaka and James Paxton are free agents. Whether or not they come back is completely up in the air. As far as Luis Severino goes, he can’t be counted on fully in 2021. Finally, who we bring in from the outside will depend on where Deivi Garcia and Jordan Montgomery land.
We hope for upgrades and moves that help push this team to the World Series, but there are no signs pointing in that direction. The unfortunate reality is that the New York Yankees aren’t winning with all the talent in the world.