Yankees Offseason Outlook

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The 2015 Yankees were a team that many expected to once again miss the postseason. But Joe Girardi led the Bronx Bombers to a postseason berth where they made their first appearance in the playoffs since 2012 during the Wild Card game against the Houston Astros. While the Yankees season ended prematurely, the season was still a success and it leaves the Yankees in a position to once again fight for a playoff spot next year.

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Majority of the Yankees roster is expected to return in 2016, which means the Yankees would have approximately the same team to play with when it comes to making a run for another postseason berth. But while the Yankees have most of their team returning, they still need to make a few moves.

Out of their three free agents, it would be the most likely that the Yankees would want Chris Young to return, although Young hasn’t decided if he will be a Yankee next season. The Yankees are showing little to no interest in Chris Capuano and have decided to go another route when it comes to Stephen Drew.

If the Yankees want to improve their team, they’re going to need to add bullpen arms, and their best bet would be to add someone that has experience with the American League East. That would leave Darren O’Day as a possible target as taking him would deplete the Orioles pen and would bolster their own. Plus O’Day joining the ranks of Wilson, Betances and Miller could strengthen what was once their Achilles heel. The Yankees also have a tough decision to make when it comes to what they plan to do with Adam Warren. The Yankees have stated Warren will be a starter next year, but Warren actually provides more value in the Yankees bullpen, which was shown throughout 2015.

If the Yankees do plan on putting Warren in the pen, they might look into finding a starter for the rotation. So far they have CC Sabathia, Michael Pineda, Luis Severino, Ivan Nova, Masahiro Tanaka and Nathan Eovaldi as potential candidates. The issue is, the entire rotation is filled with uncertainty; Sabathia hasn’t had an All-Star season since 2012, Pineda was inconsistent throughout the entire year, Severino is heading into his sophomore year as a Yankee, Tanaka still has a tear in his elbow and Nova was terrible coming back from Tommy John Surgery. Eovaldi was the only starter who showed some consistency throughout the year, until elbow inflammation sidelined him in September. Many have predicted the Yankees might go for Jeff Samardzija this winter, but when reading between the lines of Brian Cashman’s comments at the end of the year, it sounds like the Yankees are going to try to piece together their rotation internally.

The Yankees also need to rely on their offense having a bounce back 2016 campaign. Brian McCann, Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury were awful during the second half of the season, Mark Teixeira missed majority of the second half with a broken leg and Alex Rodriguez began to wear down as the season went on. One of the bright spots from 2015 was Didi Gregorius, and while he started off poorly, he emerged as the perfect candidate to replace the recently retired Derek Jeter.The Yankees still have a hole at second base that hasn’t been filled since Robinson Cano signed with the Seattle Mariners, and the Yankees are trying their third attempt in filling the hole, this time using Dustin Ackley and Rob Refsnyder as a platoon to begin the 2016 season. The Yankees recently tried Brian Roberts and Stephen Drew, but neither panned out the way the Yankees were expecting. The Yankees did say they liked Martin Prado and Ben Zobrist, but they would rather try to fix the problem internally before going into the free agent and trade market.

Along with the veterans, the Yankees also have a lot of the young kids hoping to make a contribution to the team. Greg Bird, Slade Heathcott, Refsnyder, Severino and Jacob Lindgren were a few to make their debuts last season, and the Yankees are anticipating the Major League debut of Aaron Judge which could be either in the second half of the season or in September. 2016 seems to be a promising year for the Bronx Bombers, especially if they could once again exceed expectations like they did during the first half of the 2015 season. Only time will tell if the moves, or lack of moves, will pay off.

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14 Responses to Yankees Offseason Outlook

  1. Terry says:

    If we don't bring back the three FA's listed then that should wash the arbitration money.If the White Sox tender Smardj then the Yanks probably won't give up the draft pick to sign him.It would be a poor move considering the direction we're finally moving in.However I wouldn't discount signing a starter and then free up a pitcher to package in a trade to get a RH bat.Tanaka,Nate,Severino,Warren,Big Mike are a decent core but to add another arm that can give length in their spot in the rotation would be huge.

    • hotdog says:

      Where would you put a right handed bat? I don't think there's a job vacancy. Utility guy possibly, someone to take over for Young if the Yankees don't resign him…

  2. Frank Oliva. says:

    I believe we me Eovaldi &Warren for the staff. Please keep Gregorio's as he developed greatly. Find a spot for Bird as he could be our star inthe future

  3. Mark says:

    So we're looking at third (at best) in the AL East next year?

    • Celerino says:

      No. We're better than we were at the start of the year. Bird, Severino and Refsnyder all emerged. Flipping Drew for Ref is a big improvement by itself. Cashman traded well last offseason and we can probably look for more this offseason.

      • hotdog says:

        My unbiased opinion, if I could do that would be to agree with Mark…i think Toronto will remain at the top and Boston surprise everyone …they are ahead of us in rebuilding with many young players manning positions and they have the excess cash to add a marquee pitcher…i see the Yankees coming in 2nd or 3rd…the Yankees played below .500 during the last 2 months of the year…they should be able to improve on that performance but i don't see them contending with a powerhouse Toronto team even without Price…i can live with that as long as the team continues to rebuild…i think it won't take very long for the Yankees to be a world series threat again but we're probably talking 2018 and beyond…they could make it into the playoffs before then but these rookies need a couple years under their belt and the Yankees need these big contracts gone so they can add a couple of all star players to the roster…the team has a good future ahead of them but it will take time…

        • Olie says:

          With the emergence of Severino (STUD) I think The Yanks now have the pitching to compete with any team in that division. I wouldn't mind seeing them unload Gardner and aquire a Right- handed hitter for outfield. Also wasn't Rob Refsnyder a outfielder in college, why not give him a shot with the way he hits?

          • hotdog says:

            We could use a better offense…who knows if Arod or Tex repeats this year…Severino first pitched on August 5th…the Yankees played .500 ball after that…we need more…the problem is that all positions are filled with the exception of 2nd base which may go to the Refsnyder/Ackley combo…and Beltran hit well after his slow start, the Yankees can't afford to lose his offense…maybe the only thing they can do is to bolster the bullpen and possibly add a starter…the rotation we have right now is not too stable…focus on the future, we could use more high end prospects or young players under contract…rebuild…

  4. Nunzio says:

    If Cashman traded well the yankees would still be playing, again Cashman sat on his hands and watched the bluejay bring in players to make them better, all of a sudden the yankees are protecting there farm system and playing for tommorrow instead of today , tommorrow may never come get the best talent available or else someone else will, Cashman gets players that are all banged up, not many prospects are Jeter the core four are gone, and to win you have to spend , the bluejays found that out.

    • Can you come up with something different to say and not just a different way of saying it. I've already warned you. I really would not like to ban you. You've been a loyal commenter, but you're turning into a troll.

      • hotdog says:

        give us a different look Nunzio…i know you know baseball…how about those prospects/rookies…

  5. scooter10 says:

    Offseason thoughts….. a couple of players that I would target in FA and why? This is under the assumption that we're unable to trade big contracts and that Hal is not going to open the vault and go to a $300m payroll.

    1. Ben Zobrist – I know he is 34 and will likely require a fairly expensive deal but he fits the team really well. Zobrist can play 2B and backup at SS, 3B and the OF very capably. And he wouldn't necessarily block Refsnyder's opportunity this year. Let's assume Refsnyder plays 2B against LHPers. You could use Zobrist in LF on these days or over at SS (to give Didi a day), 3B (to give Headley a day). His versatility will allow the Yankees to go with a bench of Murphy (C), Bird (1B, DH), Refsnyder (platoon 2B), Ackley (1B, 2B, OF). Yankees would have to feel comfortable with Ackley as a late-inning replacement for Beltran in RF.

    2. Darren O'Day – RHPer compliement to Justin Wilson. Could also pitch the 8th on days that Dellin needs a day.

    3. On the starting pitching side, I don't see the Yankees spending the money on another long-term, high dollar contract so that rules out most of the frontline FA's. I could see a reclamation project like Mat Latos as a possibility (only 28), Hisashi Iwakuma (a good vet) or Wei-Yin Chen (a left-hander who has AL east experience).

    These three would likely cost about $20m per year. Yankees are shedding about $12.5 million in FA contracts — some of which will be offset by arbitration raises. But these moves wouldn't necessarily break the bank and could keep us in contention as we rebuild.

  6. scooter10 says:

    Maybe $25m per year would be a better estimate for these three. Still wouldn't break the bank.

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