The Yankees need to improve after arguably a disappointing season. Improvements were necessary because if the team still believes they can compete to win now then things needed to be changed. Specifically, the Yankees needed to improve in defense and contact hitting.
Last season the Yankees were terrible with defense. Mostly that came from when the Yankees tested Gleyber Torres out at shortstop. He did not seem comfortable there and made too many careless errors. He would boot the ball or simply throw the ball five feet away from the first baseman. Over the offseason, the Yankees traded for Isiah Kiner-Falefa to become their new starting shortstop. Kiner Falefa won a gold glove at third base in 2020 for the Texas Rangers. He is known for having great defense and him playing shortstop should be no problem for him.
The Yankees did lose Gio Urshela as their third baseman who was a great defensive third-baseman but replacing him is Josh Donaldson. Donaldson is getting up there in age as he is currently is 36 years old. Even though he is getting older he is still a solid third baseman. He was a great defender at third in his years with the Blue Jays and Athletics. Yankees should expect solid defense from DJ LeMahieu to spend time at three positions this upcoming season. He can play at third base, second base, and first base.
Since the Yankees traded catcher Gary Sanchez. Sanchez always had the great arm to throw runners out. Sanchez’s downside is he allows too many passed balls. In response to the Yankees looking to have a better defense, they acquired Ben Rortvedt from the Minnesota Twins. Everything I heard about him is he is a terrific defensive Cather. This season fans should expect Kyle Higashioka to take over as starting catcher. Higashioka has been just fine with his defense but nothing incredible. The Yankees clearly got better defensively.
The Yankees struggled with just putting the ball in play. This led to too many strikeouts and minimal small ball. The acquisition of Isiah Kiner-Falefa should help in that category of a contact hitter. His know for not having a lot of power but will put the ball in play. Also re-signing Anthony Rizzo can help with contact hitting as well. He is a power hitter but will choke up on the bat and just make sure he makes contact with the ball.
The Yankees did make some improvements to their defense and contact hitting. We will see this season if that truly is the case but everybody is healthy it can be a reality. If these improvements are made who knows how far this team could go. Maybe they could surprise fans and win it all.