My Predictions for Next Off-Season Yankee Free Agents
Last week, I published an article regarding next off-season’s free agents. Now, I will give my predictions on if the Yankees either sign or keep the selected free agents, and next week I will give monetary values for each free agent. I am also not going to go into players with options and only stick to players that will be definite free agents.
Masahiro Tanaka (SP): Throughout his Yankee career, Tanaka has been a very solid pitcher. He has been the most trustworthy arm in the rotation in the playoffs and continues to have a dominant splitter. Although the Yankees would love to keep the veteran, they may set their priorities on another starter before they negotiate with him. Tanaka, well-deservingly, will command a decent amount of money if he were to hit free agency. He will be 32 this off-season and could still command a solid three or four-year contract.
Prediction: The Yankees let Tanaka walk in free agency after extending him a Qualifying Offer.
James Paxton (SP): After coming over from Seattle last off-season, Paxton has endured a whole season in the Bronx and is about to begin a second. He carried the Yankees through August and September with dominant starts and did a decent job in the postseason. The Yankees will look to Paxton first in terms of negotiating a new contract, even though he is only five days younger than Tanaka. The Yankees will need left-handed pitchers, and Paxton may be the guy to retain.
Prediction: The Yankees re-sign Paxton to a contract.
D.J. LeMahieu (IF): Ahh yes.. arguably the toughest decision to make. LeMahieu proved that he is not just a stellar defensive player, but that he can hit the ball very well and that the Coors Field curse is a bunch of nonsense. The Yankees are going to be in a bind with LeMahieu, as they already have depth in the infield. LeMahieu was the best Yankee last season, and he may command a high AAV over three years or so. In the end, the Yankees should give him what he deserves, and keep him in the Bronx.
Prediction: The Yankees re-sign LeMahieu to a multi-year extension.
Brian Cashman is going to have his hands full this upcoming off-season, especially with three big names set to hit the market. Lots of money may have to be handed out, but it may continue to bring titles to the Bronx… at least keep them in the title hunt.