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  • Writer's picturePaul Semendinger

Perspectives: Let's Make A Deal!

By Paul Semendinger

November 20, 2022


I was concerned that the off-season would start out slowly, but it has not. There seems to be lots going on already.

Let's dive into some of it.

  • I am thrilled the Yankees resigned Anthony Rizzo. He is a power lefty bat. His batting average should improve with the outlawing of the shift. I like how he chokes up as to try to prevent strikeouts. He's excellent defensively. He's a winner (2016 Cubs) and a leader.

  • I have a sense that Aaron Judge will be returning. The contract will be for nine years and $333 million ($37 million per year). I think the back-end of the contract will get ugly. I think there will be a year when he misses much time due to injury. But, Judge is also, already, a Top 25 Yankee of All-Time. And, as long as the Yankees don't see the luxury tax as a cap, I'm fine with them giving Aaron Judge the big contract he deserves.

  • The Twins traded Gio Urshela to the Angels. That'll make three teams in three years for Gio. He had a better year last year (2022) than his final one with the Yankees (2021), but he was the sort of player that I feel the Yankees have to trade when offers come. The Yankees do a great job taking lesser-known players and finding ways for them to shine. Unfortunately, once the shine comes off, the player is usually still with the team. In Gio's case, they might have traded him a year too soon, but I'd most often, rather trade a player a year too soon than a year too late.

  • Please don't read into the above that I love the Josh Donaldson trade, but I did like the idea of moving Gio Urshela at the time, and it seems the Twins also feel the same way. Gio is a good player, but he's now 31-years-old, so I don't expect his numbers to get better. That being said, it looks like the Angels are trying to assemble a team that will compete in 2023.

  • The Angels also signed Tyler Anderson, a left-handed starter coming off the best year of his life (15-5, 2.57) for the Dodgers. I believe the Yankees need left-handed starters. Anderson, who will be 33-years-old next year, would have been an interesting pick-up, but I tend to be weary of players coming off career years. And Anderson's year was, by far, the best of his career.

  • I always want the Yankees to have left-handed starters, and I'm sure a great GM can find them, but, that being said, if they can grab Justin Verlander, they should. If the Yankees bring back Aaron Judge, they need to assemble a team around him that is extremely strong.

  • Call me pessimistic, but as of this moment, I see the following positions as being below average for the Yankees heading into next year:

  • Second Base (Gleyber is a disappointment)

  • Shortstop (They MUST play Oswald Peraza, but will they? It seems Peraza can do the job defensively, but will he hit? And will Aaron Boone fall into the trap of playing IKF too often?)

  • Third Base (Please trade Josh Donaldson)

  • Left Field (I'm not sold on Andrew Benintendi even if he returns and it cannot be Aaron Hicks)

  • Catcher (Trevino is great defensively, but I think his best hitting already took place)

  • Designated Hitter (I don't think Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton in the same lineup works. The Yankees need more left-handed pop and this is a spot where they can look to get some. )

  • That's a lot of concerns for a team that looks to compete and win a World Series. Adding Justin Verlander makes the starting rotation that much better. Great pitching can help hide other areas of concern.

  • I'm not sold on the idea that Cody Bellinger is the player to take a chance on.

  • I can almost guarantee that Matt Carpenter's magic ride is over. It was so much fun, but I hope the Yankees don't think that that type of production will continue. He should not be brought back.

  • There is talk that the Mariners are interested in Gleyber Torres. This is where things get interesting. I would, absolutely, trade Gleyber Torres. Trade him for a cheap bullpen arm or some prospects. He'll earn about $10m in 2023. The Yankees can save a ton of money by trying Oswald Cabrera (a switch-hitter) at second base. That's another lefty bat! Yes! That's a good step. Plus the money saved, about $9 million, might make it that much easier to eat the salary of Josh Donaldson in a trade.

  • The Yankees have talked up their prospects for a million years, so forgive me for being skeptical, but, if Cabrera doesn't perform, the Yankees would still have Anthony Volpe, IKF, and DJ LeMahieu who could fill-in at second base. (Assuming Oswald Peraza is the shortstop.)

  • Two words: Masataka Yoshida. That's my choice for left field (rather than Andrew Benintendi). Yoshida supposedly has great bat skills (a lefty bat too) that will translate great to America.

  • The Yankees need to find themselves a lefty designated hitter.

  • This is just a shot-in-the-dark, but this is the kind of trade I am thinking of... (and I know, I know... the Red Sox would never do it, but...) how about Giancarlo Stanton for Eric Hosmer in a trade of bad contracts? The Yankees might have to offer some salary relief or a prospect since Stanton is signed through 2029 and Hosmer "only" through 2026, but a big righty bat in Fenway (Stanton) and the lefty bat (Hosmer) for the Yankees could be an interesting proposition.

  • Or, Stanton for Christian Yelich, another player on a big contract who hasn't been great the last few years... (What would it take for the Yankees to sweeten the deal to make the Brewers interested?)

  • If the Yankees could get a lefty designated hitter (and no, it won't be Ohtani as much as we'd all love that), that would really make this a balanced lineup.

  • If the Yankees can make a bad salary (Stanton) for a bad salary (lefty bat) trade for DH, plus add Yoshida (or Benintendi as a fallback) in left field, and install Oswald Cabrera at second base, then, all of a sudden they would have a much more balanced lineup. Imagine, also, Ben Rortvedt, another lefty bat, as the back-up catcher, and maybe, all of a sudden we're on to something.

  • This is the fun of the off-season...

  • Play BIG Yankees, play BIG!

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