The New York Yankees were eliminated from the playoffs a little over a week ago. After reaching Game 7 of the ALCS last year, the expectation was World Series or bust. How can this team improve so they can finally become the Evil Empire again? Let’s look at some of the moves they can make in the upcoming offseason.
Patrick Corbin, LHP
2018 stats: (ARI) 11-7, 3.15 ERA, 33 starts, 200 IP, 162 hits, 48 BB, 246 K, 1.05 WHIP
Corbin has been linked to the Yankees for some time now. He was even quoted this past season saying he wanted to be a Yankee. The Yankees’ starting rotation is the area that needs the most work and with Corbin coming off of a career year and still being relatively young the two are a good match. He will command a lot of money but the Yankees were finally under the luxury tax threshold and will be in a position to spend big this offseason.
Dallas Keuchel, LHP
2018 stats: (HOU) 12-11, 3.74 ERA, 34 starts, 204.2 IP, 211 hits, 58 BB, 153 K, 1.31 WHIP
Keuchel has been one of the more effective pitchers in the American League for the past few seasons having won the Cy Young in 2015. This year was a down year by his standards but was still very effective. He’s had some injury issues but would still be an upgrade to the Yankees rotation. Keuchel is a ground ball pitcher which fares well in the hitter friendly Yankee Stadium. He will be expensive but again, the Yankees are flushed with cash.
Clayton Kershaw, LHP
2018 stats: (LAD) 9-5, 2.73 ERA, 26 starts, 161.1 IP, 139 hits, 29 BB, 155 K, 1.04
Kershaw has been one of the most dominating pitchers in all of baseball for the past decade. He showed some signs of slowing down this season with his ERA being the highest its been since 2010. He has also been dealing with back injuries the past few years. He has an opt-out in his contract and the consensus is he will do just that. Kershaw has pitched well this postseason and again, the Yankees need to upgrade their starting rotation. It will be interesting to see how much money he will command. Adding an ace like Kershaw could be the missing piece.
Nathan Eovaldi, RHP
2018 stats: (TB, BOS) 6-7, 3.81 ERA, 21 starts, 111 IP, 105 hits, 20 BB, 101 K, 1.13 WHIP
Eovaldi had a pretty good stint with the Yankees a couple years back. He was released after he tore his UCL which required tommy john surgery. After missing all of 2017, Eovaldi pitched well for the Rays and Red Sox. He has wipeout stuff when he is on but struggles with his command at times. He would be a solid number 4 or 5 starter for the rotation.
Matt Harvey, RHP
2018 stats: (NYM, CIN) 7-9, 4.49 ERA, 28 starts, 155 IP, 165 hits, 37 BB, 131 K, 1.30 WHIP
Harvey was at a time considered to be one of the best up and coming starting pitchers. He has not seen much success after 2015. After being demoted to the bullpen by the Mets this season and then released, the Reds took a chance on Harvey and he pitched OK. Harvey desire to pitch for the Yankees is well known but the club would most likely not be interested.
Manny Machado, SS/3B
2018 stats: (BAL, LAD) .297 AVG, .367 OBP, .538 SLG, 37 HR, 107 RBI, .905 OPS
Rumor has it that Machado has wanted to be a Yankee for a while now. He was almost dealt there at the deadline but the two sides could not get a deal done. He certainly picked a good year to a have a career year. With current shortstop Didi Gregorius having surgery on a torn UCL, Machado will fill a big hole at shortstop for the first half of the season and then slide over to third base when Didi returns. Miguel Andújar has not been great defensively and would suit best in the DH spot or even as a trade piece. He may cost $400 million but Machado is a generational talent that could make an already deadly lineup even better.
Bryce Harper, Outfielder
2018 stats: (WAS) .249 AVG, .393 OBP, .469 SLG, 34 HR, 100 RBI, .889 OPS
Bryce Harper to Yankees has been talked about ever since he came into the league in 2012. While he had a rough first half, he bounced back after the all-star break and will command possibly $400 million. The Yankees are crowded at outfield but adding Harper’s lefty bat to the lineup would complement the righty heavy lineup nicely. Harper would do damage to the short porch in right field. He would have to shave his beard but he would turn the Yankees lineup into the best in the league.
D.J. LeMahieu, 2B
2018 stats: (COL) .276 AVG, .321 OBP, .428 SLG, 15 HR, 62 RBI, .749 OPS
LeMahieu had a down year compared to his past couple of seasons but is still a solid second baseman. With Didi injured Gleyber Torres could slide to shortstop and LeMahieu would fill in at second. LeMahieu would command a decent contract so are the yankees willing to pony up for not much of an upgrade.
2018 stats: (WAS, CHC) .299 AVG, .336 OBP, .454 SLG, 12 HR, 42 RBI, .790 OPS
Murphy missed a good chunk of 2018 after undergoing knee surgery in the offseason. Murphy could serve as an infield utility man having experience playing second, third, and first base. Murphy’s age may turn the Yankees off and their money would be best spent elsewhere.
CC Sabathia, LHP
2018 stats: (NYY) 9-7, 3.65 ERA, 29 starts, 153 IP, 150 hits, 51 BB, 140 K, 1.31 WHIP
Sabathia was very reliable through a majority of the season. HE brings a great veteran presence to the clubhouse and will go to battle for any of his teammates. He’s been able to tweak his game to favor his aging self and the Yankees and Sabathia have a good relationship. Sabathia does not plan to retire and the Yankees could keep signing him to 1-year deals until it eventually doesn’t work out. Sabathia would be a solid number 5 starter.
J.A. Happ, LHP
2018 stats: (TOR, NYY) 17-6, 3.65 ERA, 31 starts, 177.2 IP, 150 hits, 51 BB, 193 K, 1.13 WHIP
Happ was arguably the best acquisition at the deadline for the Yankees. With the rest of the starters being inconsistent, Happ provided stability. He pitched to a 2.69 ERA with the Yankees and provides a nice lefty veteran to the rotation. Happ would be a solid number 4 or 5 for the rotation.
Zach Britton, LHP
2018 stats: (BAL, NYY) 2-0, 3.10 ERA, 41 games, 40.2 IP, 29 hits, 21 BB, 34 K, 1.23
Britton struggled this season after coming off a torn achilles injury in 2017. Britton’s 2016 was arguably the most dominating season by a reliever of all time pitching to a ridiculous .54 ERA. He looked to regain some of that form towards the end of the season. Britton has discussed his desire to stay and the Yankees would be wise to bring him back for the right price.
David Robertson, RHP
2018 stats: (NYY) 8-3, 3.23 ERA, 69 games, 69.2 IP, 46 hits, 26 walks, 91 K, 1.03 WHIP
Robertson had a down year by his standards. He recently moved on from his agent and decided to represent himself hinting he may be willing to take a hometown discount to stay with the Yankees. For the right price, it would wise for the Yankees to bring him back to solidify the bullpen.