My 2020 Yankees (If I Were The GM)
By Paul Semendinger July 15, 2020
Way back in October and November in the year 2019 (which seems a lifetime ago), and as I have done every off-season, I announced my plan for how I could build the 2020 Yankees.
I have been waiting a long time to revisit this, waiting, of course, for the start of the 2020 season… the season that I hope comes. The season unlike any other season… the season our good friend Philip Cashier (who will have all the Game Threads when the season finally does come) calls “the irregular season.” (I have told Phil that he needs to copyright and trademark that phrase.)
A lot had changed since the Yankees last played a meaningful game. The 2020 I was envisioning was a lot different from the 2020 of today.
But, General Managers must stand by their decisions, and since I decided to play GM again, I’ll need to stand by my decisions.
I’ll revisit my team against the real 2020 Yankees at season’s end and we’ll see which team did better by seeing (as best as we can) where my players out-performed or under-performed compared to the real Yankees.
…And, of course, this will be the season of small sample sizes so any analysis must be willfully taken with a grain (or two) of salt.
My 2020 Yankees:
1B – Carlos Santana (the Yankees will go with Luke Voit) – Note: I wanted to get a guy with power from the left side of the plate. I think Santana was a player the Yankees could have traded for.
2B – D.J. LeMahieu (The Yankees and I see this similarly – in other words great minds think alike)
SS – Gleyber Torres (yeah, the great minds thing)
3B – Miguel Andujar (the Yankees will go with Gio Urshela) – Note: I wanted to give Andujar one more chance to see if he could handle third base defensively. I love his bat and want to see if he can grow as a fielder.
UTL – Gio Urshela (the Yankees will probably go with Tyler Wade) – Note: I like Gio Urshela, but I think Miguel Andujar’s upside is better and I believe that Gio could get regular playing time in this role.
LF – Giancarlo Stanton (the Yankees will probably go with Mike Tauchman and Clint Frazier.) Note – I wanted the DH spot to be a place to rotate players in and out and I didn’t like the idea of Brett Gardner having to play 150 games. Up until last year, Gardy always faded in the second half. And he isn’t getting younger.
CF – Joc Pederson (the Yankees will go with Brett Gardner) – Note: I wanted another potentially big lefty bat in the lineup. I wanted Gardy to be a defensive replacement and occasional starter.
RF – Aaron Judge (the Yankees will go with Aaron Judge, obviously)
Note – I did not want to count on Aaron Hicks being healthy in my plan.
C – Gary Sanchez (of course)
SP 1: Masahiro Tanaka (He’ll be a Yankees starter)
SP 2 : James Paxton (He’ll be a Yankees starter)
SP 3: Luis Severino (He’ll be a Yankees starter)
SP 4: Madison Bumgarner (the Yankees will go with Ace Gerrit Cole) – Note: I, too, wanted Gerrit Cole. I always want the superstar. I wanted Bryce Harper in 2019. I want Francisco Lindor for 2021. In my exercise, I felt that saying “Get Gerrit Cole” was too easy and I also wasn’t even convinced that the Yankees would break the bank as they did for him. I am happy and pleased. I prefer Cole over MadBum and my #5 guy below.
SP 5: Cole Hamels – with MadBum and Hamels, I thought the Yankees would have two veteran arms to anchor the staff and teach the three young bright arms how to succeed in the big leagues. Those three young arms are:
Jordan Montgomery, Deivi Garcia, and Mike King (I did not think that Clarke Schmidt would have been ready for the 2020 season. I am happy he had progressed so quickly.)
BULLPEN: I was and am happy with the Yankees bullpen arms and my bullpen looks like theirs does.
It will be interesting to see how the real Yankees perform against the team I would have created…
We will re-visit this in October.