Analysis

The Yankees Have Finally made some Moves. What’s Next?

The New York Yankees have finally made some noise this offseason. However, it doesn’t seem like they’re done.

After months of dormancy this offseason, the New York Yankees are finally making some noise, particularly in the free-agent market. First, the Bombers brought back their prized offseason star, DJ LeMahieu, on a six-year pact worth a total of $90 million. But that’s not at all, as the Yanks later that night reinforced their starting rotation, signing two-time Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber to a one-year, $11 million deal.

Yankees fans have rejoiced after these two signings were announced, as the Yankees woke up from their long offseason nap and finally started to wheel and deal like other teams have this offseason. The best part of all this, though, is that the Yankees don’t seem to be done.

More Starting Pitching on the Horizon?

Apparently, it seems like the Yankees, although probably glad they brought in Kluber, aren’t quite satisfied yet with the current look of the rotation. Furthermore, the word on the street is that Masahiro Tanaka is unlikely to find his way back to the Bronx this offseason due to the Kluber signing. That leaves us with the trade market, as rumor has it that the Bombers are looking at a top young arm of the Cincinnati Reds: Luis Castillo.

Castillo has only pitched four seasons in the Majors, and although he had solid campaigns in 2017, 2019, and 2020, this season was his best. In 12 starts, Castillo went 4-6 with a 3.21 ERA, a 2.65 FIP, and a 2.82 xFIP. He had his best season in terms of strikeouts, too, sitting down 89 batters in just 70.0 innings. This equates to an 11.44 K/9, breaking his previous best of 10.67 K/9 that he had in 2019.

Now, Castillo is clearly very good, but it’ll take a haul to pry him away from Cincinnati. Clarke Schmidt, Deivi Garcia, and Clint Frazier would all be candidates to be moved for the righty, and perhaps all three of them would move the needle enough to get the Reds to budge. Keep an eye on these discussions.

Yankees Linked to Brantley?

Surprisingly enough, the Yankees have also been linked to left-handed hitting outfielder Michael Brantley. This seems odd at first, noting that there’s no real place to put Brantley if you expect Frazier to be a big part of your team next season, but if the Yankees are serious about trading Frazier for a top young arm, signing Brantley makes sense.

Brantley’s always been known as a solid hitter, and that didn’t change in 2020. The former Cleveland Indian and Houston Astro hit .300 with a .364 OBP, smashing five home runs. He’s not a guy necessarily known for his power, but playing in Yankee Stadium could net him close to 20 homers in a full season.

We really can’t tell for sure if these rumors are the Yankees trying to make a serious pursuit at the guys mentioned, or if it’s just due diligence. Either way, it feels as if this Yankee team feels like it still needs some improvements, so don’t be surprised if the Yankees make another splash or two before this offseason comes to a close.

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