Tuesday, October 20, 2020

My Plan for the 2020 Offseason -TheBleacherCreatures

 What I would do if I was the Yankees GM

The Yankees pitching was the biggest thing holding them back in 2020. During the regular season and postseason, when the Yankees starting pitcher has a quality start, meaning giving up 3 or less runs over 6 innings the Yankees have a great chance to win, I would even take 5 innings. But the Yankees starting pitchers rarely give them that, except for Cole. During the postseason, Yankees pitchers not named Gerrit Cole, Zack Britton or Jordan Montgomery had an ERA around 9, which is ridiculous. Somehow the Yankees still brought the best team in the American League to a sudden death, game 5 in the ALDS. I know Brian Cashman and Boone are going to say they were shit out of luck in 2020, their best pitcher before Cole was around had Tommy John Surgery, another solid pitcher who I think profiles very well for a middle relief pitcher decided to slap his wife and everyone’s favorite high leverage reliever needed the surgery that shares the first name with him. If the Yankees had these three guys this year, they would’ve been in much better shape and I think they would’ve beat Tampa Bay. But guess what? They didn’t have them so you can’t use that as an excuse. The Rays are currently a much more well rounded team than the Yankees, they have starting pitching and a super pen. Two things the Yankees can easily obtain. So this brings us to the first moves I would make as the Yankees GM this winter. That’s right, I'm bringing everyone’s favorite MLB personality to the Bronx to pitch alongside his old buddy Gerrit Cole. Actually, I maybe wouldn’t want them to pitch right next to each other, we might have upper nineties fastballs heading towards each other because of their supposedly long term beef. But you want to know what, they are both professionals, who want to win, and are absolute competitors, they just go about it different ways and that is why they don’t get along. Gerrit Cole is your old country hardball, Nolan Ryan esque pitcher who is going to go at you with 100mph fastballs and nasty sliders, unfortunately Trevor Bauer wasn’t blessed with the ability to throw a baseball quite that fast so he opted to go the new school approach of working on his spin and pitch shape and all that kind of stuff. I’m not going to go into gory details, but if you want me to delve into it sometime, I must definitely will. I think Bauer coming on board would be a great acquisition because Gerrit Cole would want to be even better than he already is, he would want to defend his land and keep his spot as the Yankees’ ace. He doesn’t want Trevor Bauer to Connor McGregor strut out onto the mound for Game 1 and 7 of the World Series when he should. I don’t know if Bauer is going to stick to the one year contract thing but if he does, that less risk on the Yankees side, if he somehow forgets how to pitch or loses his right hand in a drone accident, then he will be gone after this year, we don’t have to worry about owing him 200 mill for the next 10 years (cough, cough ellsbury). 

Onto another change for the rotation. The Yankees need work horses, and do you know who is a work horse and would complement Bauer, Cole and Severino well? Our old friend Lance Lynn. We only had him for half a season during the 2018 season and he may not have done very well with the Yankees. But since then, he has become an absolute unit for the Texas Rangers. He has added velocity and sported a 136 and 141 ERA+ the last two years respectively. That’s pretty good. He is a free agent after the 2021 season and he wouldn’t cost too much to trade for. The Yankees are Rangers match up well because the Yankees have a lot of surplus major league hitters and middle tier minor league arms. As well as the Rangers suck. So using basetradevalues.com I have the Yankees trading Andujar (finally!), Johnny Lasagna, Luis Medina, and Everson Pereira for Lance Lynn. I know a lot of you Yankees fans would get upset because you think Andujar still has value because he should’ve won the AL ROY in 2018, but this guy has no spot on the Yankees, he can’t field and the Yankees have no spot to put him. He can go suck at defense for the Rangers. I like Loaisaga but he just doesn’t know how to pitch and he is not going to learn from rocket scientist Matt Blake. Medina and Peirera add value to the trade and I don’t really see them making much of an impact for the Yankees anytime soon. Here’s a screenshot of the trade. 

The Bullpen

Now we move to another problem for the Yankees which was always supposed to be a strong suit. I honestly, with all of my heart do not understand how the Yankees can throw guys like Avilan, Holder, Abreu, etc in high leverage opportunities. It is so easy in my opinion to build a super bullpen. The Rays just found 8 guys who throw kind of funny but throw really hard and have a wipe out offspeed pitch. The Rays scouting department literally did this for like $20. The Yankees have always found diamonds in the rough for offense, but can never seem to develop pitching. Guys leave the Bronx and become players we want to trade for. The Yankees have 3 relievers that make a combined 40 million in their bullpen. I don’t know what to do with Ottavino, I think Boone has to trust him and not baby him so much, he still has nasty stuff. Chapman is still a really good reliever; he just gives up home runs that lead to the Yankees demise. I think the Yankees relievers should have more fluid rolls but I trust Britton as a closer more than Chapman. So my plan for the Yankees is to stop pitching trash relievers. For the purposes of this article I’m saying that Adam Ottavino will not be a Yankees in 2021.  Anyways, I want the Yankees to sign Liam Hendricks, in this market, I’ll assume it would only cost them around 12-16 mill AAV. Also, I would sign either GIles or Colome, Hand or Watson and I would bring back one out of Robertson, Betances or Miller. This is assuming that the rosters are still 28 men next year, and that the Yankees have 5 starters, 9 people in their lineup, 4 bench players and 10 relievers. To go alone with this super pen, I have the Yankees finally making the big splash of trading for Josh Hader. To get Hader the Yankees will have to send a pretty convincing package to the Brewers. I know just the man who would make Brewers fans happy. His name is Clint Frazier (collective moan from Yankees fans). Guys you got to give up value to get value. Hader has been one of the top relievers over the past few years and he is cheap right now. I have the Yankees sending Frazier along with Ottavino, who maybe will be able to pitch well in the NL once again and the Brewers can pay for his 9mill as well as Yankees prospect Nick Nelson. I like Nick Nelson but the Brewers need pitching to replace Hader. Here is the hypothetical trade. 

Going back to the point of signing Robertson or Betances or trading for Miller. Their best days may be behind them and injuries have prevented them from being as good recently. Robertson or Betances could probably be signed for around 5 to 7 mill, and Miller would not cost very much to trade for given he’s owed 12 million in 2021. My hope is that any one of those guys could reclaim their glory from their days in pinstripes.


Here is where we get a little crazy. The Yankees offense was one of the best in the league in 2020. Don’t give me the, they choked in the postseason and they need to have more contact guys spiel. I suggest the Yankees get a couple of guys to help with that. The Yankees offense was not their demise, it was completely shut down by the Rays outstanding pitching in game 5 of the ALDS but they scored 36 runs in the first 4 games of the playoffs against very formidable pitchers. The Yankees offense could use a little more consistency and balance and Gleyber Torres is not a shortstop. To help balance the lineup I suggest the Yankees sign Michael Brantley and Tommy La Stella. Brantley would play LF and be the lefty bat the Yankees have so desperately needed over the past 4+ years and La Stella could play a similar role to what DJ LeMahieu was going to do when he signed with the Yankee. Between giving players days off and injuries, La Stella’s lefty bat could find a way into the lineup 5 days out of the week with his versatility. The next thing I’m going to discuss is Gleyber Torres. He looked so uncomfortable at SS and everytime the ball was hit his way we worried. Not only his glove but his throws from SS looked horrible. When he played 2B he played it so smoothly and never had any problems. I don’t know the roots of this problem but I really think he would do a better job at 2B than SS. If he is playing 2B that means that DJ can not play 2B, so what do we do about that. DJ is an absolutely crucial part of this team and has been the MVP of the Yankees the last two years. I really love Gio Urshela and Luke Voit, but there is a redundancy when it comes to this lineup. Two more right handed bats, that aren’t the best at putting the ball in play when it matters. So I decided that you have to trade Urshela, he currently has more value because of his superb defense and his offense onslot. Other than his grand slam he had an abysmal post season and I think he is more prone to deviate towards the mean than Voit. Voit is the heart and sole of this Yankees team, you can not trade him and he was on track for a billion home runs in a 162 game season. Our guy is also a warrior, battling through his foot injury unlike all the other pansies on the Yankees. So who will play SS? There are two answers I have for you and you will be surprised I don’t mention everyone’s favorite SS that plays for Cleveland. I used to be on the Lindor train, but looking further into his numbers, a lot of his value is defensive, but he’s going to be paid like Harper. He just doesn’t bring enough value to the plate when batting barely above league average for the last couple years, the Yankees can not afford to hand him the 300+ million he will demand. So that leaves us with two options. The best option to play shortstop for the 2021 New York Yankees is Corey Seager. Corey Seager is an outstanding offensive player and about league average defensively, but he makes all the plays he has to. He bats lefty and has the perfect all field approach and contact swing build for the Yankees. He would be the perfect 2 or 3 hitter for the Yankees for the next 10 years. Another option is Colorado Rockies slugger Trevor Story. He burst onto the scene his rookie year setting rookie home run records in his first month left and right. The one thing I don’t like about him is that he is a righty and strikes out a little more than you’d like. But Trevor Story is very close to Corey Seager in value to me and he is much better defensively and he is fast. Both of these guys, along with Correa and Lindor are free agents after the 2021 season so if the Yankees do decide to give Gleyber another year at short, the Yankees can give Seager a blank check after next year. I don’t really see the Dodgers trading Seager after him winning the NLCS MVP and helping them win the World Series. So let’s look at what it would take to acquire Story or seager. I think the talks have to start with Urshela and Deivi Garcia. The Dodgers are always looking for young pitching, as well as relievers. Justin Turner is also a free agent for the Dodgers. He is getting old and I don’t know if they want to stick with him long term. This trade would put Gio at 3B, and move Taylor to SS from 2B allowing the Dodgers top prospect Gavin Lux to play his natural position of 2B. I think this matchup would also allow the Yankees to unload Aaron Hick’s contract. He did a very good job in the postseason, but his defense is getting worse, and the Yankees owe him about 10 mill per year for 5 more years with a club option with a 1 million dollar buyout for the 6th. No longer will the Yankees need to worry about Hicks rolling over ground balls to first base and his contract is off their hands. He can replace Joc Pederson and/or Enrique Hernandez for the Dodgers in the corner outfield.  I believe the trade evaluator grossly underrated Corey Seager. Aaron Hicks literally is the negative value of Urshela’s so I added some prospects to help entice the Dodgers because they will need a lot of persuasion.  

For the purpose of this article, I am going to say the Yankees are going to keep Sanchez and see if he can rebound, he has little trade value right now and what we have seen from him in the past is things little catchers can do or have ever done. If I were able to pick one catcher to put on the Yankees, I would pick Will Smith, I love his contact skills and I only think he will get better as he matures. For the offense, people have been wanting the Yankees to trade for him for years, though I think his offense is a little overrated, I think the versatility and contact skills of Merrifield would be a good addition. Initially when I thought about the Yankees trading for Merrifield I would want him to play a role similar to that of LeMahieu when he first came over and what I would put La Stella in. But I would want Merrifield in the everyday lineup and get the incumbent Hicks out of there. The Yankees would trade Ford, along with a few other minor leaguers who probably won’t ever play on the Yankees. I think Ford has a little more value than the simulator suggests as well as King and Cessa having more value but they were worth little to nothing. I don’t think it would take quite this much to trade for Merrifield, I think it over values him a little too much, but this is a trade I would do to finish the Yankees roster.

In Summary the Yankees 28 Man Roster


Cole, Bauer, Severino, Lynn, Montgomery


German, Schmidt, Robertson/Betances/Miller, Hader, Hendricks, Colome/Giles, Watson/Hand, Green, Britton, Chapman


C Sanchez, 1B Voit, 2B Torres, SS Seager/Story, 3B LeMahieu, LF Brantley, CF Merrifield, RF Judge, DH Stanton


C Higgy, OF Tauchman, UTL La Stella, 2B/SS Estrada




Via Free Agency







La Stella

Via Trade





Via Free Agency





Via Trade



















Yes I want the Yankees to go all in. Yes, the pitching depth of the Yankees system will be next to nothing. But the Yankees will still have German, and Kahnle returning. They also keep Dominguez, Schmidt, and Wells three of the Yankees most important prospects. This is not what I think the Yankees will do, I may write another article telling what I think they will do, spoiler alert, next to nothing. The Yankees have said that they are going to get under the 210 million dollar luxury tax threshold because money doesn’t win championships and they want to model themselves after the Rays. But there is no way the Yankees can improve this team without going over the threshold. About 20 mill will go to Lemaiheu, the Yankees have to keep him and that leaves them with about 10 mill to spare. Some changes need to be made in the pitching department for sure, hopefully the Yankees will win the World Series in 2021.

P.S. Once MLB Trade Rumors comes out with the projected salaries for this year's free agents, I will create a spreadsheet and figure out what the projected payroll would come out to. But right now, I have no idea what people are going to sing for given teams said reluctance to spend money this offseason.

Thank you for reading. -@The_Bleacherss on Twitter

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