New York Yankees Hot Stove: Bronx Bombers Serve Notice in Wild Offseason
The New York Yankees hot stove has been stoked this offseason as general manager Brian Cashman and company rolled up their sleeves and got to work, positioning the club for a serious World Series run in 2023.
2022 Season: Record: 99-63 | Lost in ALCS (4-0):
The Bronx Bombers won 99 games last season, finishing first in the American League East. They downed the Cleveland Guardians in five games to win the AL Division Series but were swept by the eventual World Series champion Houston Astros in the ALCS. Last year marked the sixth consecutive season of postseason play for the Yankees, but the team has not reached the World Series since capturing the championship in 2009.
Yankees Offseason Additions
6 years, $162 Million
2 years, $11.5 Million
With 2022 MVP, and AL home run king Aaron Judge back in the fold (more on him later), Cashman turned to starting pitching, landing prized free-agent Carlos Rodon, inking the left-hander to a six-year, $162 million contract. Rodon comes to New York after posting a 14-8 record with a sparkling 2.88 ERA in 31 starts with the San Francisco Giants last season.
The addition of the 30-year-old arguably gives the Yankees one of the most formidable starting rotations from one to five in the majors – Gerrit Cole, Rodon, Luis Severino, Nestor Cortes, and Frankie Montas.
Current Projected Payroll: $271 Million:
Per FanGraphs, the Yankees’ payroll come Opening Day is projected to be $271 million. That number trails only Subway rival New York Mets, who are shelling out a whopping $376 million – their latest signing a 12-year, $315 million agreement with star shortstop Carlos Correa.
2022 New York Yankees Free Agents:
Chicago White Sox
San Diego Padres
Yankee fans certainly eyed this offseason with some trepidation, fearing the loss of Judge to free agency. But in an offseason highlighted by some of the game’s biggest stars donning new uniforms, the 30-year-old decided to stay home, re-signing with the Yanks on a nine-year contract worth $360 million.
Christmas indeed came early for the club’s new captain and the Yankee faithful.
New York Yankees Team Needs:
Left Fielder/Left-handed Power Bat
Left field remains an open question for the Bronx Bombers, ideally filled by a left-handed bat with power. A big ask to be sure, but not unattainable.
Pittsburgh’s switch-hitting Bryan Reynolds has asked to be moved, and Minnesota’s Max Kepler is rumored to be available. Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder/catcher Daulton Varsho has also been the subject of trade chatter, while free agent Michael Conforto remains unsigned.
The Yankees’ left-handed hitters hit a paltry .214 in 2022 (third worst in MLB), and they lost both Andrew Benintendi and last season’s surprising contributor Matt Carpenter to free agency.
Veteran first baseman Anthony Rizzo re-signed with the Yankees, which no doubt helps, but more needs to be done. Solidifying left field with an upgraded bat appears to be a likely area of focus.
Down on the Farm:
Late-season call-ups Oswaldo Cabrera and Oswald Peraza both flashed their immense talent in 2022 and can be expected to have a greater impact in 2023.
Cabrera’s ability to play multiple positions – he played everywhere except centerfield and catcher last season – provides manager Aaron Boone invaluable flexibility. Peraza – a complete offensive player with plus defensive skills – will no doubt be pressing incumbent Isiah Kiner-Falefa at shortstop,
Anthony Volpe, the Yankees’ 2022 Minor League Player of the Year, also commands attention. A first-round draft pick in 2019, the 21-year/old shortstop spent the bulk of last season at AA but looked right at home when called up to AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre late last season.
With a combination of speed and power, Volpe will likely need more seasoning in 2023 but will be knocking on the door soon.
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