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What Do the Yankees Do With These 5 Players?

By Derek McAdam

October 10, 2021


The Yankees have reached another offseason quicker than they have wanted to, which means they now have to make decisions about how their roster is going to shape up for next season.

Several players on this list are not even slated to be free agents for another year or possibly more, but it may be a talking point over the next few weeks.

Here are five players that the Yankees are going to have to make decisions on this offseason on whether or not they stay or go.

Anthony Rizzo, 1B/DH (Free Agent)

Rizzo was brought over from the Chicago Cubs before the deadline in a move that not many may have seen coming. His stats were pretty consistent all season long, even after the trade to the Yankees.

Not only was Rizzo an important left-handed bat to add to the lineup, but he was able to give the Yankees an upgraded defensive glove at first base over Luke Voit. Besides that brief stretch he went through after coming back from testing positive for COVID-19, he was exactly as advertised.

Unfortunately for the Yankees, Rizzo was seen as a rental in the last year of a seven-year, $41 million contract that had both options picked up,

Although Rizzo has said he enjoys playing for the Yankees, he may want to seek a long-term contract that the Yankees may not be willing to give him. My guess is that he will find another team in free agency.

Joey Gallo, OF (FA After 2022)

It almost seems certain that the Yankees will keep Gallo for the 2022 season, but he has to be a talking point with as terrible as his Yankee stint was.

In 188 at-bats with the Yankees, Gallo struck out 88 times, good for nearly 47 percent. Although he set a career-high in walks this season with 111 he still managed to strike out 213 times, which is the fifth-most of all time in a single season.

The strikeouts are not a major concern. After all, Aaron Judge struck out 208 times in 2017 and Giancarlo Stanton punched out 211 times in 2018. Judge also managed to hit .284 with 52 home runs and walked 127 times while Stanton hit .266 with 38 home runs and 70 walks.

The point is that these guys were still able to hit, whereas Gallo did anything but hit. For the season, he hit .199, but with the Yankees only .160.

As mentioned above, I don’t believe Gallo will be going anywhere since several prospects were traded to acquire him at the deadline.

Gary Sanchez, C (FA After 2022)

Although this decision will not be tough for Yankee fans to make, the front office is going to have a hard time deciding if Sanchez is on the 2022 Yankee roster or not.

Sanchez has proven that he can be productive at the plate for a catcher, but he is not a reliable defensive catcher. He ranks 6th amongst active catchers with 60 passed balls in his career.

The Yankees cannot keep hoping that Sanchez is going to improve, because he has not. There may not be an abundance of great catchers in free agency, but the Yankees may certainly take a look.

My prediction is that the Yankees will keep Sanchez for the 2022 season, his final season with the Yankees.

Brett Gardner, OF (Option for 2022)

The longest-tenured Yankee finds himself at the end of his 14th season and now has to make another decision on whether or not to give it one more season.

The 38-year old played a vital role in the Yankee lineup, mostly filling in for Aaron Hicks who went down with a season-ending injury early in the season.

I cannot see Gardner playing with any other team besides the Yankees, even with a team like Atlanta who is the closest to his home in South Carolina.

My guess is that he will give it one more shot and sign another one-year deal with the Yankees after they decline his original deal.

Gleyber Torres, INF (FA After 2024)

This may come as a surprise to some, but it is a decision the Yankees will have to make. DJ LeMahieu is much better at second base and Torres has proven that he cannot be an effective shortstop.

There are several free-agent names at shortstop this upcoming offseason, including Javier Baez, Corey Seager, Carlos Correa and Trevor Story, who the Yankees were linked to at the Trade Deadline.

If the Yankees were to sign any of these free agents, it will almost be certain that Torres will be traded. I believe that is exactly what is going to happen.


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