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Cashman’s Offseason Moves Addressed the Biggest Problem

Cashman’s Offseason Moves Addressed the Biggest Problem

By Derek McAdam

March 25, 2022


Brian Cashman was active last week, bringing new faces in via trade while retaining some familiar faces. Josh Donaldson, Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Ben Rortvedt came over from Minnesota in exchange for Gary Sanchez and Gio Urshela.

Anthony Rizzo was also re-signed to a two-year, $32 million contract while Luke Voit was shipped off to San Diego for Justin Lange, a 20-year old pitching prospect.

Going into the off-season, Cashman made it clear that the Yankees needed to change some things around, particularly in the infield. The positions that needed changes were shortstop and catcher, amongst other positions.

Not only did he solve that problem in one trade, but the Yankees got better where it mattered most: defensively. Sure, the Yankees’ catchers may suffer at the plate offensively, but it’s not even as if it will be a major difference. Kyle Higashioka does not have the power Sanchez does, but the defense will be much better.

Gleyber Torres was potentially the Yankees’ biggest defensive problem last season and bringing Kiner-Falefa over will not only solve the defensive problem at shortstop, but he is also a good hitter who has speed on the bases. With the subtraction of players like Tyler Wade and Greg Allen, the Yankees desperately needed some speed replacement.

So two defensive positions were covered. Let’s not forget first base. Voit was, at best, an average fielder. His offensive numbers last year struggled due to injuries, but the Yankees were looking at bolstering up solid defenders.

Rizzo may not have the same offensive numbers as Voit, but he has two great qualities. He is a terrific defender and draws walks, while also being a decent hitter. I expect him to have a better season this year, given he’s had some time to break into life in The Bronx while also fully recovering from his battle with COVID-19.

The Yankees also included Urshela in the blockbuster trade with the Twins. While Urshela is a gifted fielder at third base, it seemed as if most of his time would have been spent at shortstop with D.J. LeMahieu playing third base had Cashman not made that trade.

Statistically, Urshela was one of the worst baserunners in all of baseball last year. He recorded seven outs while running the bases, with none of them coming while attempting a steal. On social media, there have been plenty of comments saying he was “up-and-coming.” Unless he’s playing until he’s 45, he is not “up-and-coming” at 30 years old.

Let’s say Donaldson doesn’t end up working out because of injuries. The Yankees were able to solve their two biggest problems while only giving up one asset in Urshela. But he wouldn’t have played at third base every day anyways, so they did even better.

The Yankees are a much better team on paper than they were last season because of these trades. If these players can remain healthy, I believe the trade will end up working out well. I would not take too much out of Spring Training results, as it does not do total justice facing mostly minor league players.

But soon enough, we’ll be able to catch a glimpse of how good the trade and signings were.


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