The 2020 season is officially over for the Bronx Bombers, ending in heartbreaking fashion again. The next mission the team will take on is the offseason and free agency.
This season showcased the Yankee offense going cold, and the pitching being inconsistent. The team can make some moves in the offseason such as signing new faces and re-signing current players. The Yankees won’t have as much money as years past due to the shortened season, no fans, etc. There are a few needs the Yankees need to fill, starting with re-signing players such as D.J. LeMahieu.
Bronx Bombers Must Re-Sign D.J. LeMahieu
D.J. LeMahieu deserves and needs to be re-signed. LeMahieu has easily been the best hitter for the Yankees over the past two seasons.
This season, he batted .364 with 10 homers in 2020. He has also been in the running for the AL MVP in his two seasons here, also winning the 2020 American League batting title. LeMahieu hits best when runners are in scoring position. This season, he hit .345 and drove in 13 runs in that scenario. In 2019, LeMahieu recorded a .389 batting average with six homers and 73 runs batted in with runners in scoring position.
Compared to other players on the Yankees, LeMahieu is very consistent at the plate.
LeMahieu is also very versatile, having played all positions in the infield. He needs to be a priority for general manager Brian Cashman to keep in New York.
Bronx Bombers Need More Starting Pitching
The Yankees did get their ace in Gerrit Cole, but we did learn that he cannot carry the starting rotation. Cole finished with a 2.84 ERA, 7-3 record, pitching 73 innings, and striking out 94 batters.
James Paxton and Masahiro Tanaka are free agents this offseason, but now I really do not see the Yankees bringing either one back. Many quality pitchers are on the market. Marcus Stroman, Taijuan Walker, and Trevor Bauer are all set to hit the market. The Yankees also have Luis Severino and Domingo German coming back in 2021, but another arm must be signed. A signing of Trevor Bauer would make this a super powerful rotation, as he could end up being the NL Cy Young winner. If the Yankees sign Bauer, the rotation would look like this-
- Gerrit Cole
- Trevor Bauer
- Luis Severino
- Domingo German
- Deivi Garcia
In my opinion, the big three of this rotation could win the Yankees a championship. What people don’t talk about is the approaching window closing of the Yankees playoff hopes.
Trading Gary Sanchez and Miguel Andujar
Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez has declined over the past two seasons. 2017 saw Sanchez enter his prime as he had a gun-slinger for an arm and a lightning rod for a bat. He made the American League All-Star team that year.
In 2018, Gary Sanchez only played 89 games due to injuries. Otherwise, he had a down year when he played that season. Sanchez hit .186 that season, crushing 18 homers and 53 runs batted in. Although he had a gun-slinger for an arm, Sanchez’s ball-blocking continued to decline. In both 2017 & 2018, he led the league in passed balls with 16 and 18, respectively.
2019 saw Sanchez’s power stroke return to form. Despite hitting just .232, he crushed 34 home runs and drove in 77 runs. His ball-blocking improved as he allowed less passed balls than the previous two seasons combined with 7. But, Sanchez committed 15 errors that season, a career-high.
2020 was a horrendous season for Gary Sanchez, one no one saw coming. He declined ever so badly. It seemed as though the coaching staff sacrificed his bat to work on his pitch framing. This season Sanchez batted .147 hitting 10 homers and driving in 24 runs batted in.
His defense went back to being subpar, as he allowed a league-leading amount of passed balls with five. He also committed six errors. Scary enough, Sanchez played only three games in the postseason this year. The games he didn’t play were with backup Kyle Higashioka behind the plate.
It is very unlikely that J.T. Realmuto will be a target for the Yankees in free Agency, but trading away Sanchez is a possibility.
In 2018, Miguel Andujar was runner up to American League Rookie of the Year. Arguably, he was robbed of the award by Angels pitcher Shohei Otani.
Andujar missed the majority of the 2019 season after he underwent right shoulder surgery. To his disadvantage, Gio Urshela burst onto the scene and solidified his takeover of the third base position for 2020.
Miguel Andujar opened the 2020 season on the active roster. That wouldn’t last. Andujar was sent down after starting the season going 1-for-14 (.071)
It’s safe to say the Yankees have no open roster spot open, thanks to the emergence of Gio Urshela. With the DH most likely coming to the NL, Andujar’s trade value could be increased. He has a very talented bat but unfortunately, there isn’t a spot for him anymore. If the Yankees could get a bullpen arm or a starting pitcher in return for Andujar, that would be ideal.
The Yankees have not appeared in or won a world series since 2009, and the past few seasons held their best chance of winning. Whether it was the Houston Astros robbing the Yankees in 2017, nearly getting swept by the Boston Red Sox in 2018, or losing a heartbreaking Game 5, these past few playoff series have been disappointing. The championship window is closing soon as Aaron Judge and Gleyber Torres are set to become free agents within the next few years. If the Yankees want to earn their 28th ring, they should get going by retooling the starting rotation, re-signing D.J. LeMahieu, and trading away Gary Sanchez and Miguel Andujar.