Yesterday, the New York Yankees would acquire Jameson Taillon from the Pittsburgh Pirates. Taillon would be acquired for a four-prospect package. So for this article, we will look at the Yankees’ 2020-2021 offseason and discuss the State of the New York Yankees.
Be sure to check out our corresponding video on the Laracuente Ledger Network on YouTube for a more in-depth conversation on the State of the New York Yankees.
First things first, let’s begin by discussing the most recent move. As previously stated, the Yankees would acquire Jameson Taillon for four prospects. The most notable name in the deal was Miguel Yajure. Yajure was a prospect who made his Major League debut in the shortened 2020 campaign. When examining Taillon, there is a lot to like about the young right-hander. Jameson will be going into his age 29 season in 2021. Over the course of a 4 year Major League career, Taillon has a respectable 3.67 ERA with 419 strikeouts in 466 innings of work. Jameson would also pitch to the tune of a FIP of 3.55 and an ERA+ of 112. Adding this right-hander and pairing him with Gerrit Cole and Corey Kluber will give Taillon a mentorship group that can advance his career.
About a week ago, the New York Yankees would sign free-agent starting pitcher Corey Kluber to a one year $11 Million deal. The signing of Kluber would come just a few hours after the resigning of DJ LeMahieu. (More on DJ in a moment.) The addition of Corey Kluber and ultimately Jameson Taillon both can be viewed as low risk-high reward acquisitions. Corey is a former two-time American League Cy Young Award winner. And while injuries have limited his time on the mound the past few seasons, a healthy Corey Kluber will be extremely effective in the Bronx.
Resigning DJ LeMahieu was the number one priority of the New York Yankees this offseason. Yankee management made no secrets about their desires to retain the righty-swinging second baseman. And usually, when the Yankees make their intentions this clear, they get their player. But it wasn’t all about what the Yankees did. DJ LeMahieu’s desire was to remain in the Bronx clearly. And that is evidenced by the fact that the contract is a 6-year deal where DJ will make just $15 Million a season. Having such a low Average Annual Value (AAV) allowed the Bronx Bombers to continue making moves.
STATE OF THE YANKEES ROTATION
When discussing the Yankees rotation, the conversation starts at the top with Gerrit Cole, the Yankees’ $324 Million Ace. Cole was all that the Yankees could ask for and more during the short 2020 campaign. But as we head into a new (and hopefully full) season, the Yankee Ace will be called upon even more. And Gerrit Cole seems determined to bring multiple championships back to the Bronx. Following Cole will be Corey Kluber, Jameson Taillon, and Jordan Montgomery. While many may question Monty and his ability, Jordan has shown an ability to handle the spotlights of the best borough in New York.
Now, the fifth spot of the Yankees rotation will find several names competing for the spot. Pitchers like Domingo German, Clarke Schmidt, Michael King, and Deivi Garcia will all compete for that last rotational spot during Spring Training. But the reinforcements don’t stop there, as Luis Severino should be ready to return around the midseason. The Yankees will look to keep their current depth level and maybe even add more on the right deal. Because as we’ve seen, you can never have enough pitching.
STATE OF THE YANKEES BULLPEN
The Yankees bullpen was once their biggest strength. The Bronx Bombers would throw stud reliever after stud reliever. But during the past couple of postseasons, the bullpen would falter. New York has some of the best arms in their pen. But when it comes to relievers, less is more, and the Yankees would fail to understand that ideology. The Yankees will want to refortify their bullpen if possible to reinforce what they have in the bullpen.
Currently, the Yankee pen consists of Aroldis Chapman, Zack Britton, Chad Green, Jonathan Loaisiga, and Adam Ottavino, just to name a few. Otto was briefly one of the best relievers in the game. But in 2020 lost his manager’s faith and would ultimately tax the already overworked Yankee pen even more. If the Yankees are going to make a World Series championship run, they will want more in the bullpen.
STATE OF THE YANKEES OFFENSE
The offense of the New York Yankees is the bedrock of their team. They aren’t nicknamed the Bronx Bombers for no reason. Power is the main calling card for this team. With players like Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Luke Voit, and more on the team, there’s no shortage of homeruns. But what the team struggled with was coming up with clutch hits at key moments. And that’s where resigning DJ LeMahieu was so crucial for the Bombers. DJ helps lengthen the Yankee lineup by making contact and not just looking to hit homeruns. Going into the 2021 campaign, the Yankees will once again have a target on their back just for being the Yankees. And playing winning baseball is a must to keep the Bronx faithful appeased.
Now there are questions the Yanks must figure out and answer as the 2021 season near. Questions like, can Gleyber Torres improve his defense at shortstop? And if he can’t, how much longer can, he remain at the position? Questions like what to do about Gary Sanchez? And if this is Gary’s last opportunity? But the most important question the Yankees must brace for is can these players stay healthy??? Health has been the Yankees’ “Achilles Heel” over the past few seasons. But if they can remain healthy, the Bronx Bombers will do damage. If not, it will be another long summer in the Bronx.
FREE AGENT CHATTER
Some reports say the Yanks are interested in Yasiel Puig. Puig is an enigma without a doubt, but when contained and focused can be a productive player. Now Jon Heyman would cast doubt on the “fit: and “evidence” of a potential deal with the team from the Bronx. And the only way Puig truly works in New York would be because of injury concerns. Presently, the Yankee players seem healthy and ready to go for Spring Training. However, should an injury arise early in camp, a revisiting of the Puig conversation may not be out of the realm of possibility.
In an article here on Laracuenteledger.com, we discussed three potential landing spots for Andrelton Simmons. (We also had a corresponding video over on the Laracuente Ledger Network YouTube channel. In that piece/video, the argument would be made for Andrelton Simmons and the Yankees. The argument would be about the defensive lapses of Gleyber Torres and the defensive wizardry of Andrelton Simmons. Having Simmons as a defensive replacement likely would be the deal or the financial terms, Simmons would be interested in signing. However, should the market for Simmons remain this frigid, the Yankees could take a look at a one year offer to have an incredible gloveman waiting on the bench.