The Yankees have been one of baseball’s most dominant franchises over the last two decades, but they find themselves in an unfamiliar position this offseason.
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The Yankees have a lot of money to spend
The Yankees have a lot of money to spend this offseason, and they are expected to be big players in free agency. The Bombers have been linked to several high-profile free agents, including starting pitchers Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg, as well as outfielder Bryce Harper. New York is also expected to make a push to re-sign left-hander Zack Britton.
They need to spend it on starting pitching
The New York Yankees are in an interesting predicament. They have a ton of money coming off the books following the 2020 season, but they also need to spend money to improve their team if they want to compete for a championship in 2021.
The Yankees’ starting pitching was a big problem in 2020, as the team’s rotation ranked just 21st in MLB in ERA. The Yankees will need to address that issue this offseason if they want to be serious contenders next year.
One option for the Yankees would be to sign free agent pitcher Trevor Bauer, who is likely to command a huge contract this offseason. Bauer would be a significant upgrade for the Yankees’ rotation and would help solidify their spot as one of the top teams in baseball.
Another option for the Yankees would be to trade for San Francisco Giants ace Madison Bumgarner. The Giants are reportedly open to trading Bumgarner this offseason, and he would also be a significant upgrade for the Yankees’ rotation.
The Yankees will have plenty of options this offseason when it comes to upgrading their starting pitching. It will be interesting to see which route they ultimately decide to take.
They also need to improve their bullpen
The New York Yankees are in a bit of a bind. They have an aging roster and are in danger of missing the playoffs for the second time in three years. Their farm system is not as deep as it once was and they lack the young, controllable talent that would allow them to rebuild quickly. So what do they do now?
The most obvious need for the Yankees is starting pitching. They have been linked to nearly every top pitcher on the trade market, including Chris Sale, Jose Quintana, Sonny Gray, and Justin Verlander. They will surely add one or two starting pitchers before the trade deadline.
But the Yankees also need to improve their bullpen. Their relievers have blown 14 saves this season, which is tied for the most in baseball. Aroldis Chapman has been great, but Dellin Betances has been inconsistent and Adam Warren has been injured. Tyler Clippard has been a disaster. The Yankees need to add at least one reliable reliever if they want to make a serious run at the postseason.
They could use another bat, preferably a right-handed one
With the recent news that Giancarlo Stanton will be out for several weeks with a hamstring injury, the New York Yankees will be looking to add another bat to their lineup. Ideally, they would like to find a right-handed hitter to help balance out their lineup.
There are a few options available to the Yankees, but it is unclear if any of them will be available or willing to come to New York. The Yankees have been linked to free agent outfielder Jay Bruce, but it is unknown if he would be interested in signing with a team that already has a crowded outfield. The Yankees could also look to trade for an outfielder, but it is unknown what they would be willing to give up in return.
The Yankees will need to decide quickly what they want to do, as Stanton is scheduled to miss at least four weeks with his injury. They will have to make do with what they have until he is able to return.
They need to be careful not to overspend
Now that the Yankees have missed the playoffs for the second straight season, they need to be careful not to overspend in an effort to get back to the top.
It’s no secret that the Yankees have been one of the most free-spending teams in baseball over the past few years, and while that has led to some success, it has also put them in a tough spot financially.
With some big contracts coming off the books this offseason (such as those of Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira), the Yankees will have some extra money to spend. However, they need to be mindful of the luxury tax threshold, which is $197 million for next season.
The Yankees are reportedly interested in signing free agent pitcher Gerrit Cole, who would certainly be a boost to their rotation. However, he is expected to command a record-setting contract, and the Yankees will need to be careful not to go too far over the luxury tax threshold in order to sign him.
Other than Cole, there aren’t many marquee free agents on the market this offseason. The Yankees may instead look to bolster their roster via trade. They have been linked to slugging third baseman Anthony Rendon of the Nationals, but it remains to be seen if they would be willing to part with the necessary prospects to get a deal done.
Whatever route they decide to take this offseason, the Yankees need to be cautious with their spending in order to avoid going over the luxury tax threshold and incurring significant penalties.