It is a new year, and while the MLB lockout is still ongoing, it would be wise for the Yankees to be prepared for when work resumes.
Here are five resolutions for the New York Yankees.
1) Figure Out the Shortstop Position
The most obvious question that needs to be answered this offseason is who will be playing shortstop on opening day. The answer to this solution should be to spend significant money on a significant shortstop, and the two guys who fit that mold are Carlos Correa and Trevor Story. It depends on who would be the better option has been discussed nearly every day this offseason, but fans should be thrilled with either one of those players.
The Yankees should not get a short-term option and bank on prospects Oswald Peraza and Anthony Volpe becoming stars. To give themselves the best chance to win in 2022, New York should add an established player. Then when Peraza or Volpe are ready, one of them can move to another infield position, or Correa or Story could move to a different position.
Be the Yankees we know and love. Get a shortstop who already is known to be good on both sides of the ball.
2) Acquire a Starting Pitcher
The Yankees rotation is not in a bad spot by any means, but pitching should always be viewed as a need. With Jameson Taillon likely missing the start of the season, the Yankees should be pursuing starting pitching. Carlos Rodón seems like one of the most likely names from the free-agent market, but he comes with an injury history.
This will not be the first time the Oakland Athletics are mentioned, they will be having a fire sale. Pitchers like Sean Manaea, Chris Bassitt, and Frankie Montas would all slot nicely into the Yankees rotation. The Cincinnati Reds are also said to have been listening on offers for some of their players. There has been noise about the Yankees inquiring about Luis Castillo in prior years, but it never made much sense. This offseason makes more sense than in the past because the Reds are likely not spending, and Castillo’s years of control are running out.
Just acquiring one of those pitchers would go a long way in helping the Yankees compete in 2022.
3) Acquire a Corner Infielder
This is where the Athletics come back into the conversation. With them having a fire sale there is potential to not only get a pitcher, but to get an impact player at a corner infield position as well. Oakland, of course, has first baseman Matt Olson and third baseman Matt Chapman. Olson would be the best first baseman the Yankees have had since Mark Teixeira’s best years, and is a left-handed-hitter that fans have been asking for. An Anthony Rizzo return would not be a bad option, but Olson at this point in his career is on a different level.
Chapman has been one of the best defensive players at third base since he has debuted in MLB. He is no slouch offensively as well and has spent his whole career playing in a ballpark that is not favorable for right-handed hitters.
Either one of these players coming from Oakland would be a great addition.
4) Figure Out Who is the Odd Man Out
If the Yankees are adding a shortstop and a corner outfielder, there will be no room for some players on the current roster. If Olson or Rizzo returns, then Luke Voit likely does not have a role on the team. The Yankees would probably get what they can out of him at that point, even if it is just a bullpen pitcher with good peripherals like Wandy Peralta or Clay Holmes.
If the Yankees trade for Chapman, then they would have to ask themselves if there is a role for someone like Gio Urshela on the roster. Is Gleyber Torres still around, or would the Athletics want him in return for a pitcher and one of their corner infielders? DJ LeMahieu is not going anywhere with the contract he has, so there would be an interesting crunch in the infield if a trade like that went through.
5) Extend Aaron Judge
Like with the shortstop situation, the Yankees should be the team we know and love. Aaron Judge proved last year that with a plan put in place he is capable staying healthy for a full season. He finished in the top five for the MVP in the American League in 2021. He has played at a high level since 2017. Do not let him put up another year like last year without trying to secure him long-term.
If Judge puts up another year like last year, which is very possible, then his contract will cost even more when he is a free agent and will be able to field offers from any team a year from now.
Featured Image: Jim McIsaac