Even with the blockbuster acquisition of James Paxton the New York Yankees still have to address the starting rotation. As Brian Cashman has been quoted several times this offseason, his goal was to add two starting pitchers. Who were preferably “Elite.” But there are other areas of the club that need more reinforcement. So let’s look at three potential free agent targets for the New York Yankees.
All World Utility: Marwin Gonzalez
The Yankees are going to be without their star and fan favorite shortstop Didi Gregorius. As he will be out for the better part of the season due to Tommy John Surgery. Which leaves a vacancy on the left side of the infield. (cough, cough, I play shortstop and I’ll play for whatever the minimum would be. Just saying Yankees, let me know.” But all joking aside the Bronx Bombers face a similar situation with Derek Jeter towards the end of his career. Where an injury that wasn’t supposed to keep him out all year cost Jeter all but 17 games in 2013. The Yankees would like to avoid the scramble of looking for a shortstop mid-season. Marwin Gonzalez could be the answer.
Banking on the Pen: Zach Britton/ Andrew Miller/ David Robertson
Now I list these three men but the Yankees don’t need all three. Honestly, they probably don’t even need two of three. But one or some combination of these men must make their way back to the Bronx. The Yankees bullpen has been a strength over the last few seasons. And as we’ve seen come October a rock-solid bullpen is critical. And with the Yankees losing Britton and Robertson from the fold this offseason. A return for any (or all, let’s get greedy Cashman) could prove beneficial for the Yankees 2019 World Series winning aspirations.
Greed and Gluttony: Bryce Harper
So this one is obviously more of a want than a need. And as the Yankees General Manager on my franchise mode in MLB The Show, I think the real Yankee GM should also make it happen. While some may not see a fit for Harper on this Yankees team, I see it clearly. The Bronx Bombers left field position is going to be a competition as it stands now of Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Clint Frazier. Of those three I would choose to give Clint Frazier the bulk of the starting time as he is a dynamic talent. But with concussion issues, you never know how and when it can affect a player and his performance.
Thus it is not a sure-fire locked down position. But that’s not the only thing Bryce could help with as when you look at the Yankees lineup it is nearly all right-handed hitters. And with Didi out with an injury and Greg Bird too inconsistent, there is a need for a big lefty bat. Speaking of Greg Bird, Bird will be looking to win back his starting first base job from Luke Voit. But even a novice Bryce Harper as a defender at first base could provide the Yankees with a much more potent lineup.
That being said I know that power isn’t the problem for the Yankees but when Aaron Judge went down last season the team struggled. And in my opinion, the struggle came from the type of at-bats guys were having. Bryce Harper much like Aaron Judge see a ton of pitches at the plate. They make pitchers work for every strike. So adding another hitter to the lineup to work the count and drive pitchers out of the game faster is always a positive in my book. Not to mention it would allow you to lengthen the lineup and break up the right-handed hitters better. And once Didi returns, the lineup spreads out and lengthens even more.
Yes, I’ll reiterate signing Bryce Harper is a want. One that many may disagree with. And some may say that Manny Machado is a better fit. And I would not argue that point either. However, if I were in charge of the construction of the New York Yankees in 2019 and going forward these are some of the non-starting pitching related moves I would potentially make. Let me know your thoughts and suggestions. And who you would rather see the Yankees sign this offseason.