Perspectives: Coming or Not? My Quick Thoughts
by Paul Semendinger
November 13, 2021
There have been a lot of names connected to the Yankees so far this off-season. I figured that I’d share my thoughts on each.
But first, a quick note – When I see Tweets and articles posted as big news that “The Yankees are having internal discussions about “Player X or Player Y,” I always laugh. That’s not news. The fact that the Yankees have having discussions about available players is just normal operating procedure. This is how the Yankees front office should be operating. This is what they do, they consider players to trade, to trade for, and to sign.
The big news would be if the Yankees are not having discussions about players. Now, that would be something. “The Yankees are not talking about players.” Just because the Yankees are having a discussion doesn’t mean a thing. At all. Discussions don’t mean that the Yankees are considering trading for or signing a player, it just means the Yankees, like every other team, are doing their jobs.
Now, on to my perspectives on the players linked to the Yankees this far:
Matt Olson: This is a no-brainer. Yes. The Yankees haven’t had a great all-around first baseman in a long long time – probably since early in the Mark Teixeira era. Yes. Olson, 27-years-old, a solid lefty bat and a good fielding first baseman is exactly what they need. He could hit 40+ homers a year playing half his games in the Bronx. Yes, yes, and yes.
Anthony Rizzo: Hey, I was glad the Yankees picked him up. He’s a good guy it seems. He’s a solid player. He is a professional and a winner. But, he’s 32-years-old, it’s arraprent his decline has started offensively. No. No. And no. This is exactly the type of player the Yankees must resist and shy away from. The Yankees do not need more players on the other side of their prime.
Ketel Marte: Yes! And Yes, again. He is a switch hitter (a plus) and he can play three positions (second base, shortstop, and centerfield). He has some pop, he has batted over .300 in two of the last three seasons. Yes.
Carlos Correa: If we are to believe the hype, the next good Yankees shortstop is already in the system. With Oswald Peraza and Anthony Volpe, shortstop should be solved within a year or two. This is not the position for the Yankees to spend big on.
In regard to Correa, no. Please no. No, no, no. Correa might be a great player, but he brings all the wrong things to New York. He does not seem like a likeable player. He’s another righty bat. He’ll be a $300m player which will be the excuse the Yankees use in 2023, 2024, 2025, and 2026 as to why they cannot get the next great player. No. Correa will be a distraction. I want high quality character guys on the team. Please, please no.
Marcus Seimien: How could you not like Marcus Semien? In the last three full seasons, his WAR has been 4.4, 8.4, and 7.3. Holy Cow! But, he’s a shortstop/second baseman. The Yankees have Gleyber Torres already. They also have D.J. LeMahieu. Semien is a very good player who could help any team, but he’s not the right player for the 2022 Yankees.
Justin Verlander: The Corey Kulber experiment didn’t go so well. That’s NOT a reason to not give Verlander a try on a one or two year deal. Bring him in. The Yankees need top pitchers. He could be that guy. He shouldn’t command a long-term deal. But, the Yankees strength is their financial might. This is the type of player to use that financial strength on. He’s a player with a big short-term risk.
Max Scherzer: Yes. On a short deal, yes. Bring in the big guy. He’s a better bet than Verlander. Again, the Yankees need top of the line starting pitching. Bring in Scherzer and Verlander on two year deals. Sure. (The problem is I don’t see either signing a two-year deal. Verlander, maybe, Scherzer, no way. I don’t want Scherzer on a long term deal. I wouldn’t go three years even.)
Corey Seager: The Yankees should not be spending big and long-term on shortstop. Of all the available players though, Seager, a lefty bat, at least makes some sense. The Yankees do not need another righty bat like Correa (above) or Story (below) signed to a long-term deal to play a position that should be solved internally. Seager is a bit different. He’s young, he could supposedly move to third base when the Yankees’ kids are ready, and he’s a winner. But, he’s injured quite often so this is also a no. The Yankees must look to a player’s health history before committing to a big or long-term contract.
Trevor Story – You know the story. Here’s another right-handed hitting shortstop. Sure, he’s good. Sure, he’d be a solid shortstop. Will he sign for one or two years? I doubt it. If he would, okay, get him, but it’s unlikely he will, so pass.
Starling Marte – A 32-year-old right-handed hitting outfielder who hits well, gets on base, would be a nice player to have, but not on the 2022 Yankees. If he could come cheaply, he’s be a good center fielder, but I don’t see that, and I don’t believe the Yankees need more righty bats. Being too right-handed has been one of the problems on this team for years.
Bryan Reynolds – Of course, get him. He’ll be 28-years-old, he has some pop, he’s a switch hitter, he can play centerfield… but the Pirates are not trading him.
Byron Buxton – He’s on the right side of 30 (he’ll be 28-years-old in 2022), but he’s often injured. He has tons of talent and would add a great athletic dimension to a team that is not very athletic, but, because he can’t stay healthy, he’s not the player to invest in. Pass.
Cedric Mullins – Yes. YES! Early in the 2021 season, I called for the Yankees to trade for him. Yes, yes, and yes. He’s great in so many ways – and he’s a left-handed bat. The problem is, the Orioles aren’t trading Mullins to the Yankees (or any other team). I just don’t see it right now.
Andrew Benintendi – He’s 27. He’s a lefty. He can play centerfield. He’s good. He plays good defense. He’s a nice player. If the Royals trade him, he’ll be playing for his third team in three years. That worries me. As a piece of the puzzle, Benintendi could work, he probably would work, but I don’t see it.