My Christmas Wish List to Santa Cashman – Position Players
In my last post I outlined what my wish list to Santa Cashman entailed for what I hope the Yankees do this off-season in the pitching staff. Since that post, there have been any real breaking stories. There has been a bit more talk about James Paxton than anything else over the last few weeks, but nothing has really materialized with anyone. Brian Cashman has been saying that he still wants to bring in a couple elite pitchers in addition to the re signing of CC Sabathia, which is great to hear. I still would love to see a free agent signing of Patrick Corbin and a trade for Corey Kluber.
With that said, I can’t help but think what a trade for Kluber would cost. Does this send Andujar to the Indians? Would a package of our top prospects be enough? I don’t know and that makes it hard to speculate on what I think that means for the 2019 lineup. Rumors have been circling the last few days that the Yankees interest in Manny Machado is getting more serious, which leads me to believe there could be a possibility that Andujar could be on the block. Could the Yankees use Machado to fill in at shortstop while Didi recovers from Tommy John and then sort the infield out after the fact? Maybe. Because of this, might Manny Machado be the Yankees opening day short stop? Again, maybe.
Amidst the rumors, many people have Gleyber Torres slated at shortstop not only for this season, but as the Yankees shortstop of the future. I don’t know how I feel about that. I like Gleyber at second. I feel like he is such a plus hitter for a second baseman that he could be more valuable long term as possibly the best hitting second baseman in the game.
There are so many variables to the filling out the roster this year that it’s almost impossible for me to confidently say who I do and don’t want. There are a few things I know for certain and I’ll try my best to highlight those.
I’m All In and Bryce Harper
It baffles me why more Yankee fans aren’t foaming at the mouth for the Yankees to sign Bryce Harper. I hear a lot of people claiming that the outfield is too full and with the signing of Brett Gardner we don’t have room for another outfielder. Do we so soon forget that’s what we thought last year and we wound up starting games with Shane Robinson in left field??
Here are the reasons why I’m all in on Harper.
Harper is an absolute gamer. I hold to the opinion that some of the things the Yankees still lack are a little bit of spark and a little bit of fire and a little bit of heart. Bryce Harper is one of the most passionate players in the league. I wan to see someone out there who reminds me a little bit of the warrior Paul O’Neil was. I think Harper could come in and really synergize with some of the guys we have and they could play off each other’s energy. He’s a gamer and I want a guy out there that goes all out all the time.
Harper is a lefty. Trivial or not, the Yankees are going to be in a real bind for an impact lefty bat in their lineup next season. Didi Gregorius is going to miss several months, maybe more. Greg Bird never decides to show up and claim his spot as the middle of the lineup bat we all thought he could be and now he has to battle Luke Voit for playing time. The Yankees need lefties, any lefties for that matter. Bryce Harper would be a force to be reckoned with in Yankee Stadium. When was the last time they Yankees had a true power threat from the left side? Sure Didi has popped 25 the last few seasons, but when was the last time someone popped 40 or 50 from the left side? Bryce Harper could hit 35+ home runs in Yankee stadium for the next decade. I don’t care if he plays first per rumors, left where there is a hole, or wherever. Judge, Harper, and Stanton could be the scariest heart of the lineup in the game.
In addition to these, there are a few other reasons I’d like Harper. One of which is that I like Andujar and I have never liked Machado. Would my feelings on Machado that change if he dawns the pinstripes? Yes, the second he signs the dotted line. My instinct just tells me he’s not a heart guy, he’s not a Yankee. The impending signing of Machado in the event Andujar is traded for Kluber would surely mean a Bryce Harper signing is out the door. I can’t imagine the Yankees sending the $60-70mm a year I think it would take to sign both. Bryce Harper is also Mormon and I am also Mormon so I think that would personally be cool for me to see a member of my same tribe represented in the pinstripes.
I Want to Keep Gleyber at Second and Didi at Short
I don’t really know what that means, but I know that my gut tells me I want to keep Gleyber at second. There are many reasons for that, one of which is that I want to keep Didi at short. In this scenario I’m not just talking about this year, but I’m talking about for the next five years.
Yes, Didi will miss a good chunk of this season and no one really knows for how long, but I think it will be much easier to find a replacement for Didi for 3 months than for three years.
I think Gleyber is more valuable as a second baseman. If moved to short Gleyber could easily become one of the elite shortstops with the likes of Lindor and Correa, but I truly believe that he could become the best hitting second baseman in baseball. He will come into his own defensively as he matures and could also become one of the most elite defensive second baseman in baseball as well.
In my eyes Didi is more valuable as a top 10 or top 5 short stop than Gleyber would be because he’s lefty. That makes him a premium talent. The only other lefty hitting shortstop in the game who is better than Didi is Lindor who is actually a switch hitter.
My instinct tells me this is what I want. Didi will be a free agent after next year, but I say, extend him now and lock him up. Didi has the It Factor. Cashman and the Yankee scouting department hit it out of the park on Didi. He grew into himself defensively, offensively and as a Yankee. Not everyone can replace Derek Jeter and Didi has proven he has the makeup to shine in the Bronx. Call me old fashioned, but that, to me, is as important to me than most stats.
With this I also say, resign Hechavarria. Let him fill in for Didi for a few months and let then Didi and Gleyber anchor the middle of this infield for the next half decade.
Attempt at a Dream Lineup
Yes, I have full faith that Gary Sanchez can come back after his shoulder is cleaned up and hit .280 with 30-40 home runs.
Yes, I’d rather have Bryce Harper in my lineup than Manny Machado. Look at that lineup. It needs lefties.
Yes, I’m ok with Hech as Didi’s replacement for a few months, in fact, I want it.
No, I have no idea if this will even be close. There are so many moving pieces this year and I think the main factor will be if Andujar gets traded. We can only wait and see what Santa Cashman has in store for us.