by Owen Hetherington
January 16, 2021
This has been a unique off-season for Yankees fans and the organization. At some point or another, I’m sure everyone had their doubts with whether or not DJ would return as a Yankee in 2021. I know I did. Each day that passed increased the likelihood that another team could jump at the opportunity to sign DJ.
It’s been slow for the Yankees these past few months. As weeks passed and the temperature dropped, the Yankees front office followed suit. Deals were put on hold and signings have taken longer than ever before. However, yesterday the Yankees heated things, just in time for Spring Training in Tampa.
Addressing the starting rotation and resigning DJ have been the two most important issues that I believed the Yankees faced this offseason. I woke up at 8 am on Friday with notifications from Twitter saying that DJ was coming back to the Yankees. At first, I was ecstatic about the fact that the Yankees were finally locking up their guy. Like I said, things have been cold and Yankees fans have been waiting patiently for something to happen.
What made the deal even sweeter was seeing how little the Yankees had to pay him a few hours later. You’re telling me that a guy who has been in the top five in MVP voting the past two seasons is only worth $15M? Pretty laughable if you ask me. The Yankees got a steal.
As the day went on, the air just felt purer for Yankees fans. We knew that the DJ deal needed to be addressed before going after any starting pitchers. Just a few hours later, we get word that the Yankees were going to make a move on Corey Kluber.
Kluber deal is indeed in $10M to $11M range with Yankees. Pending physical. — Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 16, 2021
I love the move for Kluber. I think it’s just a move that makes sense for both sides. Eric Cressey would know best whether or not the Yankees should pursue Kluber and I’m sure Hal and Cashman made sure to hear his opinion on Kluber’s durability. The Yankees needed a number two starter. They got that with Kluber.
I know there are doubts about whether Kluber can be even a fraction of the pitcher he once was. But Cashman and the Yankees rolled the dice on him regardless. In a year from now, I hope we can say that it was the right move to make. Only time will tell. It’s low risk/high reward for the Yankees because of the one-year deal. If it doesn’t work, they will sign someone else next season.
In addition to the two major signings yesterday, deals were finalized for the rest of the team, without heading to arbitration. This is great news for the Yankees. They won’t have to hash it out and they can just focus on winning a championship.
I think the focus now turns to the pen filling the gaps there. With Tommy Khanle signing with the Dodgers, I think the Yankees need to add some pieces. The bullpen is such a critical component in advancing deep into the postseason.
Regardless, yesterday was a relief and took a lot of stress away for Yankees fans. I’m happy and thrilled for DJ to be back and for Kluber to help bring us a championship. The ball is rolling, and I don’t think Cashman is done yet.