What will the Yankees do in the winter?

NEW YORK – The Yankees’ offseason plans are already underway, with stability in the manager’s office following Aaron Boone’s contract extension and changes to the coaching staff. After a regular season in which they won 92 games and a postseason in which they played only one game, general manager Brian Cashman is clear that changes are also needed in the roster of players.

After all, it’s been twelve years since the Yankees won the 27th World Series in franchise history. But another goal in the AL East, which Aaron Judge recently described as “the best division in baseball,” is to get back to finishing first. The Bombers, in fact, have won the East only once (2019) in the last nine seasons. The first goal, as Boone says every year, should be to finish top.

Which players are potential free agents?

First baseman Anthony Rizzo and right-hander Corey Kluber lead the Yankees’ free agents.

Rizzo made $ 16.5 million last season and according to press reports he rejected a five-year, $ 75 million extension from the Cubs. Rizzo’s left-handed bat brings balance to the lineup and fits into Cashman’s plans for more contact hitters, but if he doesn’t lower his salary demands, does he fit into an already packed infield he has in DJ LeMahieu and Luke Voit? two viable options for the initial?

Kluber made $ 11 million this season, in which he pitched the Yankees’ first no-hit no-run since David Cone’s perfect game in 1999, but was able to make just 16 starts due to a right shoulder injury. It could be argued that Kluber fits into the rotation, but his recent injury history is concerning.

Outfielder Brett Gardner is also a free agent after turning down his option for 2022 and the Yankees

What players have options?

Outfielder Brett Gardner has a 2022 option for $ 2.3 million, which he will likely exercise. Others with options are Dominican left-hander Joely Rodríguez ($ 3 million team option) and right-hander Darren O’Day ($ 1.4 million player option, $ 3.15 million team option). The Yankees must decide those cases no later than five days after the World Series ends.

Is any player likely to receive the qualifying offer?

The qualified offer for the 2021-2022 period was set at US $ 18.4 million, which is the average salary of the 125 highest paid players. Rizzo would be an interesting case, but he’s ineligible because he was traded mid-year from the Cubs.

Which players are eligible for salary arbitration?

The Yankees have a large group of players eligible for arbitration, led by Judge, who made $ 10.75 million this past season and will be able to declare a free agent at the end of next season. After a solid 2021, in which he hit 39 home runs and left an offensive line of .287 / .373 / .544), he will receive a juicy raise. MLB Trade Rumors projects Judge to make $ 17.1 million next season.

In all, the Yankees have 19 players eligible for arbitration, tied with the Rays for the most in the majors. The others are: the Dominican Miguel Andújar, Clint Frazier, the Dominican Domingo Germán, Chad Green, Joey Gallo, Kyle Higashioka, Clay Holmes, the Nicaraguan Jonathan Loáisiga, Tim Locastro, Lucas Luetge, Jordan Montgomery, the Dominicans Wandy Peralta and Gary Sánchez , Jameson Taillon, the Venezuelan Gleyber Torres, the Colombian Gio Urshela, Luke Voit and Tyler Wade.

How active will the Yankees be in free agency? What kind of help do they need? Who could they look for?

Cashman has called the shortstop an “obvious” need for the team this winter, having abandoned the idea of ​​Torres as the shortstop of the present and the future in September.

There are many very good options in this group of free agents, including Carlos Correa, Corey Seager, Marcus Semien and Trevor Story. Either way, the Yankees may prefer an inside solution with prospects like Anthony Volpe and Oswald Peraza rising rapidly. Volpe and Peraza are expected to be ready to reach the majors in 2023.

Cashman hasn’t talked as much about the starting pitching situation, which at the end of the season he didn’t look very solid behind Gerrit Cole. Right now, the rotation has Cole, Luis Severino, Montgomery and Cuban Néstor Cortes Jr.

Pitchers available in free agency include Max Scherzer, Robbie Ray, Kevin Gausman, Marcus Stroman, Justin Verlander, Clayton Kershaw and Noah Syndergaard.

Who would be a candidate to be changed?

Infield overcrowding is an issue that needs to be addressed, given the decision to move Torres to second base in September, especially if Rizzo returns. With LeMahieu tied down for the long haul, Torres, Urshela and Voit could be moving parts. It would also not be surprising if the Yankees decide to trade Sanchez, although in that case they would have to find a catcher. Andújar could be another desirable piece for some teams.

What needs to be added to the roster of 40 so as not to risk losing it in the Rule 5 Draft?

Seven of the Yankees’ top 30 prospects, according to MLB Pipeline, are among those who must be protected so as not to risk losing them, a group that includes Venezuelan outfielder Everson Pereira (No. 13), Venezuelan infielder Oswaldo Cabrera ( No. 16), catcher Josh Breaux (No. 18), outfielder Brandon Lockridge (No. 19), right-hander Randy Vasquez (No. 20), right-hander Matt Sauer (No. 27) and catcher Donny Sands (No. 28).

Now that Boone has signed his three-year extension, Cashman and the rest of the board must fill vacancies on the coaching staff. The Yankees are looking for hitting coaches after not renewing the contracts of Marcus Thames and PJ Pilittere, and they also need a third base coach (Phil Nevin was also released).


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What will the Yankees do in the winter?