Tuesday, October 12, 2021

2021-2022 Offseason Plan

Before you get into this I wanted to say that yes... I know this team's payroll would go up by around $50 million over last season. However, I went with this because their payroll would still be lower than the Dodgers was this past season. Not to mention that fans are back and revenue is returning to normal, and the Yankees were under the Luxury Tax threshold. So this shouldn't be a ridiculous idea I've come up with. Is it likely? Probably not. But it's still not the highest payroll in the league. 

So with that out of the way, here goes nothing... 

I believe the 2021 Yankees had enough talent that they should have won a lot more than they did. Good hitters don't just forget how to hit like Urshela, Torres, and LeMaheiu seemingly did (at least for large chunks of the season). That, along with many questionable strategic and lineup decisions, make me want to see changes in the coaching staff. That not only includes Aaron Boone, but basically everyone except pitching coach Matt Blake. 

I don't mean to take any blame away from the players, as they should still perform no matter who is leading the charge. But there's a reason coaches and managers get paid like they do. They can absolutely make a difference by at least creating an atmosphere that pushes players to be better. 

It makes me think of car racing... You can have the best car on the track, but if you don't take the turns right, don't change the tires when you should, and don't make the correct in-race decisions then chances are you won't cross the finish line first. You should still do well, but more often than not you'll still fall short of victory. 

Sorry to you racing fans out there, as that analogy was probably really sloppy. But you should get the gist. 

Can they win if the same coaching staff returns? Absolutely. Hell, I believe the team I put together below could win with my dumbass running the show. But I can't help but think there are better options, and the Yankees should never settle for second best.

To start with the moves I'd make this offseason, I've decided on Trevor Story as my pick to be the new shortstop. Trevor is a good overall hitter with 25-30 HR power, has good speed, and that bat comes with elite defense. He does have a fairly high strikeout rate and is another right-handed hitter, but he's still my guy. And since the Yankees had interest in him during the season, I don't think I'm the only one with strong interest in Story. Carlos Correa has a better bat and a championship pedigree, but that comes with just an okay glove and without the speed the Yankees could really use. Either man would make me happy, though. Oh, and when it comes to Corey Seager... pass, as his defense is not good at all, which is too bad as his strong left-handed bat would be great. But if you thought Torres was bad at sthorstop, then you wouldn't be happy with Seager there.

My next move would be trading Gleyber Torres, Luke Voit, Luis Medina, Alexander Vargas, and Albert Abreu for Matt Olson & Frankie Montas. Olson is entering his second year of arbitration, while Montas is entering arbitration for the first time, making both men a little too rich for a poverty team like Oakland. You might say that Torres and Voit are both arbitration-eligible as well, however, those two will get paid as much as Olson himself (based on MLB Trade Rumors projections it's Olson's $12m vs. Voit & Torres' $11.3m). By the way, MLBTR predicts Montas will cost $5.2m, making this deal a total savings for Oakland of nearly $6 million. I don't have to explain why I'd like Olson, so allow me to point out that Frankie Montas was among the top 20 in MLB in spin-rate for his 4-seam fastball, has an ERA+ of 119 over his past three seasons (it was 75 in that stupid 2020, meaning he's likely better than that 119), struck out 9.9 batters per nine innings over the last three years, and has been good at avoiding the long-ball (mind you, that's in cavernous RingCentral/Oakland Coliseum).

Then I'm trading Clarke Schmidt and Gary Sanchez for Willson Contreras. The Cubs #4 prospect is catcher Miguel Amaya, who is an on-base machine (.406 in AA this past season), but they may want to bring him along slowly by starting him in AAA next season (he only played in 23 games last season in AA), with a possible call-up later in 2022. In the meantime, having the MLB-experienced Sanchez should help bridge the gap. Meanwhile, the Cubs are in need of pitching, and while they'll likely spend on somebody for the top of their rotation, a young pitcher that is ready for MLB with good upside should be quite attractive. Conteras isn't going to excite Yankees fans much, but he's a very good defender whose bat isn't going to be a negative. 

While I'd like the Yankees to go after Starling Marte to take over center field, I just don't see it happening. With the moves I think they should make, which I feel are more important than signing Marte, their payroll would be higher than I think they'd go. Hell, I already think the payroll my team would cost will be too much. And with Marte being a right-handed hitter, putting Hicks... a switch-hitter... back into CF would give their lineup that good right/lefty mix they've been missing. The fact that Story has some speed to put at the top of the lineup makes passing on Marte easier to handle as well.

I really thought the Yankees needed to address the bullpen this offseason, but they have been so good at finding and developing relievers that I decided against it. I was looking at Aaron Loup, and also looked into trades, but after seeing what we already have I think we're good to go. The only thing I may like to see is picking up the team option on Joely Rodriguez. Darren O'Day returning has plenty of upside, but I'd be more comfortable with Joely there instead. But what happens between those two depends on whether O'Day picks up his player option after an injury-shortened season.

With signing a shortstop to a long contract, I'm sure prospect huggers would be in tears over Anthony Volpe and Oswald Peraza being blocked. Well, Gio Urshela will be a free agent in a couple years meaning that after 2023 we can give third base to Peraza or Volpe (or move Story to third and give shortstop to either of them). If they are both ready for MLB then we have a mighty nice problem on our hands. Either way, I don't like the idea of passing on very good MLB players for what might be in a year or two. 

To finish up, here are a few quick notes...

-If you're worried about starting depth, which will be necessary for every team in MLB, the Yankees still have Nestor Cortes Jr, Luis Gil, and Deivi Garcia.
-I'm not a fan of Odor, but seeing that Texas is paying his entire salary for 2022 then why not keep him to at least start the season? We can always dump him since we wouldn't have to pay him, anyway. 
-If Gardner retires, then put Estevan Florial on the bench instead. 
-Non-tender or trade arbitration-eligible players Clint Frazier, Miguel Andujar, Domingo German, and Tim Locastro.

All of that would leave the 2022 New York Yankees with an excellent team, that has a very good shot at finally winning their 28th World Series Championship. So I'll leave you with the roster I've put together...

Salaries listed next to a player include contracts, non-arbitration eligible minimum salaries (King only), and MLB Trade Rumors arbitration projections.
* = left-handed pitcher/batter
# - switch-hitter

Starting Lineup
1. Trevor Story SS ($30m)
2. Aaron Judge RF ($17.1m)
3. Matt Olson* 1B ($12m)
4. Giancarlo Stanton DH ($22m... Miami is paying $3m)
5. DJ LeMaheiu 2B ($15m)
6. Joey Gallo* LF ($10.2m)
7. Gio Urshela 3B ($6.2m)
8. Willson Contreras C ($8.7m)
9. Aaron Hicks# CF ($10m)

Kyle Higashioka C ($1.2m)
Tyler Wade* IF ($.7m)
Francisco Odor* 2B ($0m... Texas is paying him)
Brett Gardner* OF ($2.575m)

1. Gerrit Cole ($36m)
2. Luis Severino ($10m)
3. Frankie Montas ($5.2m)
4. Jameson Taillon ($4.7m)
5. Jordan Montgomery* ($4.8m)

Aroldis Chapman* ($17.5m)
Jonathan Loaisiga ($1.7m)
Chad Green ($4.1m)
Lucas Luetge* ($1.1m)
Wandy Peralta* ($1.7m)
Clay Holmes ($1m)
Mike King ($.6m)
Darren O'Day ($1.575m)

Miscellaneous Payments
Zack Britton ($14m while he recovers from Tommy John surgery)
Joelly Rodriguez ($.5m buyout)
Remaining 40-man players ($2.25m)
Player Benefits ($16m)

Total Projected Payroll - $258.4m (Dodgers were at $262m in 2021)

1 comment:

  1. I'm all for moving on from Gardner, but I'll believe that when I see it. I like Gallo, as I think he'll have a better offensive season than we saw in New York last year, and his defense is great.

    Thanks for the reply.


Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)