It’s that time of year where you see a lot of “offseason plan” blogs where the writer will give you a move-by-move breakdown of how a team should structure their roster. I’m not knocking those at all, I love reading that kind of stuff. Unfortunately, I don’t have the patience nor the math skills to figure out the Yankees’ total salary for a team I’m assembling with my imagination. So instead of an offseason plan, I’m doing a Christmas wish list. Sure, you might not get everything you ask for. But if you end up with a few things that were on your list, you’ll feel pretty good about it. Let’s get down to it.
Re-sign DJ LeMahieu
Started my list with the obvious choice. It just has to be done. The Yankees accomplishing other things on my list while letting DJ walk would be the equivalent of getting a bunch of PS5 games for Christmas, but no PS5. Bring back DJ LeMahieu, and we can start to plan a great Christmas. If he signs elsewhere, Yankee fans are getting coal in their stockings. And I ain’t talking Gerrit.
I know plenty of Yankee fans have visions of Trevor Bauer dancing in their heads. Bauer is a stud, but somebody is going to pay him ace money after the year he just had. However, I don’t see it being the Yankees. A Lance Lynn reunion is another potential option, and I wouldn’t mind it as long as the Yankees don’t give up too much in the deal. Still, Lynn doesn’t necessarily fit what I’m asking for here. I want a true, #2 starter that can slot in behind Cole and make our rotation better. I’d love to have Kyle Hendricks.
He doesn’t have the kind of overwhelming stuff that Cole does, but he has a great track record. Hendricks has had an ERA of 3.46 or lower each of the past five seasons. While he may not strike out a ton of guys, he doesn’t walk many or give up a lot of home runs either. Hopefully, a healthy Luis Severino is the same dominant pitcher we saw a few years ago. In case he isn’t, Hendricks would be a great addition to the Yankees’ rotation.
Re-sign Masahiro Tanaka
Even though I just detailed how the Yankees should acquire a starting pitcher, I’d still love to see Tanaka back. He may not be a viable #2 starter anymore, but if he’s willing to take a pay cut, Masa should remain a Yankee. Imagine an Opening Day rotation of Cole, Hendricks, Tanaka, German, and Garcia, with Sevy back in the summer. That’s a great staff right there. Regardless, I’m not ready to think of a world where Masahiro Tanaka isn’t a Yankee.
I would be upset with the Yankees’ performance last night, but it’s impossible to be in a bad mood on Tanaka Tuesday pic.twitter.com/rRSGTy7BZd
I think the issue of the Yankees being too right-handed gets overblown sometimes. Despite that, it’s never a bad thing to have some versatility. The Yankees’ lefty bench options are pretty slim at the moment. Brett Gardner probably comes back as a 4th outfielder, but he’s well past his prime. I’d much rather the Yankees get Michael Brantley and have an outfield/DH rotation of Brantley/Judge/Clint/Hicks/Stanton. Considering Gardner will come much cheaper than Brantley and can also play center field, he’ll likely be who Cashman turns to.
Mike Ford did not look like a MLB caliber player last season. Neither did Mike Tauchman. And Tyler Wade never has. All of that said, the Yankees should bring in a player like Tommy LaStella. He’s a lefty, contact bat that can play every infield position besides shortstop. Ideally I’d like them to acquire another shortstop too so that the Yankees have more insurance behind Gleyber Torres than Wade. Maybe Andrelton Simmons signs for cheap enough that the Yankees can justify him being their 5th infielder? Regardless, the Yankees need a little more left-handed versatility, and LaStella fits that bill.
Let us into the Stadium next year
Obviously this isn’t something we’ll know by Christmas, or up to the Yankees. However, I want more than anything for fans to be back at the games next year. I really miss going to the Stadium, paying way too much for Bud Lights and chicken buckets, and singing along to Sinatra after Yankees wins. It’s at the top of my Christmas list for sure. Hopefully Santa is a Yankee fan.
Tweet me your Yankees’ Christmas list wishes @ncostanzo24.