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The Tuesday Discussion: Are You Happy With the Deals?

March 22, 2022

This week we asked our writers, “Are you happy with the moves the Yankees have made thus far?”

Here are their responses:

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Lincoln Mitchell – The question of whether or not you should be satisfied with the Yankees moves this offseason rest on another question. Do you think the 2021 teams were a few breaks away from playing deep into October, or do you think they snuck into the playoffs and were not that good of a team. If you believe the former, then you should be happy with the moves. The Yankees roster today is stronger than it was at the end of last season and considerably stronger than it was before the Rizzo and Gallo trades last year. However, if you were less impressed with last year’s team, then these moves should not feel like enough.

I am in the latter camp. The two major moves the Yankees made were the big trade with the Twins and resigning Rizzo. Taken together this makes a better defensive team at shortstop and behind the plate and probably about the same at third. It is also a big offensive upgrade at third. However, there is one more trade here, sending Luke Voit to the Padres for a prospect that puzzles me. The win now move would have been to package Voit and either Torres or LeMahieu along with perhaps some prospects to upgrade at centerfield, behind the plate or in the starting rotation.

Then, the Red Sox get Trevor story and the Yankees get Marwin Gonzalez. That’s kind of what you need to know about the off-season. The Yankees are better than last year but they’re not keeping up.

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Paul Semendinger – I think the Yankees are better, yes. But, I feel like the off-season could have been so much more.

I am still desperately hoping that the Yankees have a few moves up their sleeves to help make us all believers. Get some starting pitching, bring in a tremendous center fielder, and let’s run with it.

I know the minor leagues have all this great talent coming, or so they say, but I have been hearing that forever. And ever.

The list of top Yankees prospects that were going to be stars is very long: Drew Henson, D’Angelo Jiminez, Jackson Milian, Jose Tabata, Slade Heathcott, Manny Banuelos, Wily Mo Pena, Jesus Montero, Erick Almonte, Juan Rivera, Sean Henn, Brandon Claussen, Eric Duncan, Andrew Brackman, Mason Williams, Tyler Austin, Zolio Almonte, Greg Bird, Eric Jagielo, Jorge Mateo… even Miguel Andujar, Clint Frazier. On and on.

We have been told, again, that there is great talent coming. Can the Yankees make the right deal to use some of that talent to make the 2022 stronger?

There are times when you have to deal from strength to build the big club. The best teams build from that strength to make the Major League club better. I hope to see some of that, still, soon. This team can win big, but they’re not quite there yet.

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Tim Kabel – I am pleased with what the Yankees have done so far but, it is as if I really enjoyed my appetizer and my salad at a fine restaurant. The entrée is being served and I’m starting to eat it but, it could go either way. I am also waiting for my dessert. In other words, I don’t view this as a finished product. Brian Cashman said he would address centerfield He has not done that yet. The starting rotation needs to be beefed up. If they do not make any other moves, I will not be fully satisfied. However, if what they have done so far is just that, and there are more moves to be made, I will be happy. ***

Ed Botti – Since the 2021 season ended, we have seen the following transactions and moves take place:

October

Announced first base coach and outfield instructor Reggie Willits will be leaving.

Fired third-base coach Phil Nevin, hitting Coach Marcus Thames and assistant hitting coach P.J. Pilittere.

Signed manager Aaron Boone to a three-year contract.

November

Released INF Chris Gittens. Agreed to term with RHP Domingo German, LHP Lucas Luetge and INF Gio Urshela on one-year contracts

Acquired INF T.J. Rumfeld and LHP Joel Valdez from Philadelphia in exchange for RHP Nick Nelson and C Donny Sands.

Selected the contracts of INF Oswaldo Cabrera, RHPs Ron Marinaccio, Stephen Fidings, OF Everson Pereira and LHP JP Sears and agreed to terms on major league contracts.

Designated OF Clint Frazier and infielders Rougned Odor and Tyler Wade for assignment

Named Luis Rojas third base coach.

Signed LHP Joely Rodrigues to a one-year contract.

Declined their 2022 club option on LHP Joely Rodriguez. Selected the contract of C Donny Sands from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (Triple-A East).

Sent C Rob Brantly outright to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (Triple-A East) and announced Brantly declined outright assignment. Claimed OF Greg Allen of waivers from Pittsburgh.

Declined option on OF Brett Gardner and RHP Darren O’Day

December

Named Carlos Mendoza bench coach, Matt Blake pitching coach, Mike Harkey bullpen coach, Desi Druschel assistant pitching coach, Dillon Lawson hitting coach Eric Chavez and Casey Dykes assistant hitting coaches, Luis Rojas third base and outfield coach, Travis Chapman first base and infield coach and Tanner Swanson quality control and catching coach.

Chavez left less than a week later to join the Mets.

January

Promoted Kevin Reese to vice president of player development.

Named Rachel Balkovec manager of the Tampa Tarpons (Low-A East).

February

Named Hensley Meulens assistant hitting coach

So far, not a lot to write home about. Now the lock out ends, and we should see a bunch of moves (at least that is what we were told)!

March

Claimed LHP Yoan Aybar off waivers from Colorado

Traded Luke Voit to the San Diego Padres for pitching prospect Justin Lange.

Agreed to terms with 1B Anthony Rizzo on a two-year contract.

Traded Gary Sánchez and Gio Urshela to the Twins for Josh Donaldson, Isiah Kiner-Falefa, and Ben Rortvedt.

Agreed to terms with INF/OF Phillip Evans, INF Ronald Guzman and OF Ryan LaMarre on minor league contracts

Placed LHP Zack Britton on the 60-day IL.

Agreed to terms with OF Tim Locastro on a one-year contract. Agreed to terms with LHP Manny Banuelos, RHPs Vinny Nittoli, Ryan Weber and Jimmy Cordero, Cs Rodolfo Duran and David Freitas, OFs Blake Perkins and Ender Inciarte, INF Jose Peraza on minor league contracts.

Signed Ex Astro (Cheater) Marwin Gonzalez.

When you look back on the strengths and weaknesses of the 2021 Yankees, you have to ask yourself, did they resolve any of them? Did they do enough?

From my perspective the 2021 (and 2020) Yankees were too right handed offensively, struck out too much, left too many runners in scoring position, did not use the entire field, and relied too heavily on the home run. Going into the offseason, they needed a shortstop, center fielder, catcher, first baseman and a solid # 2 Starting Pitcher. I also felt very strongly that change was needed at the General Manager level, and possibly field manager. My position was to hire a new GM (Brian Sabean was my choice) , and let him decide if Boone was the right man for the job or not.

They kept Cashman, who retained Boone, and threw most of Boone’s coaching staff under the bus.

They did not address centerfield. Going into the 2022 season they have the often injured Aaron Hicks, who best days are behind him, penciled in as the starter.

They doubled down on the Joey Gallo move, and are selling him to us as key 2022 contributor. This is the same Joey Gallo that struck out 213 times and hit .199 in 2021. His combined 38 home runs are supposed to make us feel better? Worse, he has made it clear he has no intention of changing his approach.

There were numerous shortstop options available. Some good, some bad. I felt that there was 1 solution that checked the most boxes.

Corey Seager. They never bothered to get involved, and he went to Texas.

To make matters worse, they let the whole world know that they are banking on 1 of the 2 top SS prospects (Volpe and Peraza) and by doing so, have put a TON of un- needed pressure on these two kids.

They traded Gary Sanchez and do not have a real solution for his replacement.

They retained Rizzo and traded Voit. A good move.

They included Gio Urshela in the trade with Sanchez and replaced him with Josh Donaldson. It was a surprise, but if he is healthy (and not the 2022 version of Troy Tulowitzki) it should be an upgrade.

They let Cory Kluber go to Tampa, and never replaced him.

They needed a replacement for the injured Zack Britton and did not find one, although several lefty relievers have found new homes, most notably Aaron Loup.

They still do not have a legitimate leadoff hitter, and seem to think anyone can bat leadoff.

So, the short answer is no. I am not very happy with the 2022 moves made so far. Their top competition in the division (Tampa, Boston, and Toronto) have all gotten better, while the Yankees really did not do enough to excite me. They quite possibly could be a third place team in 2022.

I heard the over under on the 2022 Yankees is 91. Unless more moves are made, I would take the under.

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