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  • Tim Kabel

About the Off-Season: Welcome Back or Vamoose, Part Five

By Tim Kabel

November 9, 2022


Today, I will head into the outfield.

I already addressed Aaron Judge in a previous article. I stated that the Yankees absolutely, positively need to bring him back for multiple reasons.

Assuming that Judge will be the everyday right fielder, let's take a look at centerfield. Harrison Bader arrived at the trade deadline this year at the cost of Jordan Montgomery, which upset many people. Well, Bader recovered from his injury and was able to play a few games down the stretch of the season. In the playoffs, he led the team with five home runs, which was unexpected. It was the same number he hit all season. I don't envision him as a major home run hitter next season but, he has enough pop to make him dangerous. He's also an elite fielder, having won a Gold Glove. He has speed and is a very good base runner. He will turn 29 next season. Having him on the team allows Judge to play right field every day, avoiding the wear and tear of centerfield. Bader is also a major upgrade over Aaron Hicks. For at least next season, the Yankees have successfully addressed centerfield.

Verdict-Harrison Bader- Welcome Back

In left field, I would bring back Andrew Benintendi. He is a very solid fielder but more importantly, he is a left-handed hitter who makes contact, hits for a high average, and gets on base. If he plays a full season in Yankee Stadium, I expect his home run numbers to go up but, that really isn't his primary role. He will be 29 next year. So, if the Yankees sign him to a four- or five-year deal, that would not be outlandish. He would add diversity to the lineup and lengthen it as well.

Verdict- Andrew Benintendi- Welcome Back

Although Giancarlo Stanton is technically listed as an outfielder, I would limit his use to designated hitter. Because there is such a high risk for him injuring his legs, I would not put him in a role that increases the stress on his body. There's simply no need to do it. The designated hitter is now used in every stadium. You won't have to worry about putting him in the field to get his bat in the lineup in National League stadiums. He will clearly be back next year and if he remains healthy, he can be a major force on this team. After all, he was an All-Star and actually was the All-Star Game MVP this year. Then, he was injured and put up a forgettable second half of the season.

Verdict- Giancarlo Stanton- Welcome Back

That brings us to the backups. Aaron Hicks serves no purpose on this team. He is not good enough to be a starter and based on last year's performance, I imagine he would sulk, pout, and make negative comments in a backup role. He would say that if he were playing everyday, he could hit 30 home runs and steal 30 bases. He plans to gain more weight in the winter to make him more of a power hitter so, who knows what shape he'll be in when he arrives at camp. The Yankees need to find a way to trade Hicks for whatever they can get. Much like Josh Donaldson, getting Hicks off the roster will be a case of addition by subtraction.

Verdict- Aaron Hicks- Vamoose- Twice, if possible

Tim Locastro is a one-dimensional player who does not fit on this team. There will be enough speed in the lineup on a regular basis that he won't be needed. It is certainly not worth a roster spot to keep him around.

Verdict- Tim Locastro- Vamoose

I don't believe the Yankees view Estevan Florial as an everyday player. However, he is still young and could certainly fulfill the role as a backup. He can play all three outfield positions, and if they ever needed a pinch runner, he could do that. It's time to give him a shot in the major leagues, if only as a backup.

Verdict- Estevan Florial- Welcome Back

The Yankees always have the option of shifting Oswaldo Cabrera into a corner outfield spot once in a while to get DJ LeMahieu a game at third base. Cabrera gives them great versatility.

Now that I have crafted a roster, let me propose a lineup:

  1. Oswald Peraza- SS

  2. Andrew Benintendi- LF

  3. Aaron Judge-RF

  4. Anthony Rizzo-1B

  5. Giancarlo Stanton-DH

  6. Oswaldo Cabrera-3B

  7. Harrison Bader-CF

  8. Jose Trevino/ Ben Rortvedt-C

  9. Anthony Volpe-2B

This lineup provides balance and spreads speed and athleticism from top to bottom. I doubt it's the lineup Aaron Boone will use but, I think it's a good one.

What do you think?


Michael Goldstein
Michael Goldstein
Nov 09, 2022

In what world would the Yankees roll out 3 rookies on opening day. I mean by mid-season I could see it and it should be what they hope for but it'd be foolish to have all 3 start the season with only DJ and IKF in reserve.


Nov 09, 2022

a good summary, but Florial isn't going to stick with the Yankees

unless Periera gets traded

Florial has too many holes in his game


Nov 09, 2022

Let me modify your lineup a bit. Sign Trea Turner, put Peraza at 2B and near the bottom of the order (for now, at least), and pencil in Volpe at 3B. Trade Gleyber and Hicks for pitching. If Volpe is as good at we believe, he can learn 3B. I cannot stomach the thought of Donaldson in a Yankee uniform for another year. Cabrera becomes a super sub. DJ at 3rd until Volpe is ready. No more batting Judge leadoff or second. Either third in the order or cleanup so he has more ABs with men on base or RiSP.

Nov 10, 2022
Replying to

One can dream. But I think you're right. It's too rich for Hal's blood. Turner is going to want appx. 6 years x $30 million. Braves have the same problem with Dansby Swanson. He is 28, and just had his career year. He's going to want the same as Turner. Overpaying is not the Braves way. Swanson will probably leave. But this brings up an important point. Organizations that can grow their farm systems always seem to have a replacement for a player that goes free agent and wants big money, many times much more than they are worth. Best example I can give is the Houston Astros. Carlos Correa, who is a very good player but not elite wa…


Nov 09, 2022

Agree with most of what you say. I'd be a little hesitant to bat Peraza leadoff to start the season. Let him get his feet wet first in a lower pressure position in the order. I''d swap him with Bader. I doubt Volpe makes the team out of ST but will probably be in pinstripes by the ASB barring injury or a bad start at AAA.

I will personally drive Hicks and Donaldson to the airport if ways are found to jettison them from the roster.

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