With the offseason just beginning and the big story is who will the Yankees go after this offseason. Lets take a look at the top free agents that the Yankees will and should target this offseason and rank them by importance.
Of course one of the prize free agents of this years class and the guy that was linked to the Yankees the last year or so. With the injury to Didi Gregorious and the unknown as to whether or not Gleyber Torres can play shortstop on a consistent basis, this seams like a good idea right?
Pros:Injury to Didi Gregorious would plug up a hole and upgrade the position and possibly give the Yankees yet another 30 plus homerun threat and hits for average. The signing of Machado would give the Yankees arguably the best SS in the AL East and possibly the league, arguably, calm down!
Cons:Machado’s attitude has always been questionable at best and during this past World Series he didnt exactly prove that he could be counted on to consistently get that clutch hit. Also his work ethic is not exactly what you would say very good. The question the Yankees have to ask themselves is, do we need a guy that will probably make upwards of 30 million a year to be just so-so in work ethic on a team that preaches Yankee pride.
Prediction:Yankees sign Machado to a 10 year 325 million dollar contract with a mutual option to opt out in year 4.
2. Bryce Harper-LF/RF-Importance-Low
The other crown jewel in this seasons free agency is Bryce Harper, the Yankees are definitely a team in the conversation but you also hear rumblings of him signing on to play along good friend Kris Bryant in Chicago, also it cant be overstated that there is also a good possiblity that he remains with the Nationals.
Pros:Above average arm in the outfield with just killer skills on the offensive side. Perpetual 30 plus homeruns per season, however the last few years the average has dipped a bit but the homers and hits are still there.
Cons:For this to make sense for the Yankees you have to plug him into left field, centerfield and right field are pretty much locked up with Hicks and Judge. Also you have to wonder if it would make sense, the Yankees have Stanton who has expressed a need to play the field more often than last season plus they also just resigned Gardner for a one year deal, plus the depth of the position in the minors also gives this another thought.
Projection:Yankees will pass on Harper, the Cubs will make a splash and sign him to a 10 year 355 million dollar deal, team option to opt out in year 6.
3. Patrick Corbin-SP-Importance-High
Patrick Corbin didnt hide the fact that he grew up a Yankee fan and that he wouldnt mind one day playing for them. After another solid season for the Diamondbacks, going 11-7 with a 3.15 era, you gotta expect that the competition will be fierce to sign the lefthander.
Pros:A left handed starting pitcher that has been solid for a very above average team, its hard to discount the home team advantage here but ultimately you gotta imaging that he will command a high amount of money in free agency, which the Yankees have an influx of this year. The addition of Corbin, would undoubtedlly mean the end of CC Sabathia’s career in the Bronx but it would be an upgrade and elevate Corbin to the number 2 or 3 in the rotation.
Cons:Despite playing for a playoff caliber team, Corbin was only able to get 11 wins, 2017 saw him go 14-13 and its been murky prior to that.
Prediction: Yankees sign Corbin to a 7 year 100 million dollar contract, mutual option to opt out in year 3.
4. J.A. Happ-SP-Importance-Moderate
J.A. Happ was probably the only reason the Yankees were able to hold it together to make the playoffs last year, he did have a shaky postseason but you cant deny the numbers, since joining the Yankees, Happ went 7-0 with a 2.69 ERA.
Pros:A left hander who has proved that he can pitch in NY with very good stuff and despite his age (36) there are no signs of slowing down. A guy that can catapult the Yanks rotation and become a solid 2 or 3.
Cons:Despite showing no signs of slowing down, you have to wonder what the wall is for the 36 year old. Also, after going 17-6 overall last year, how much will he command in free agency?
Prediction:Yankees re-sign the lefty to a 3 year 39 million dollar deal.
5. Gio Gonzalez-SP-Importance-Low
Gio Gonzalez is at a point of his career where you can consider him to be a 3-5 in the rotation at best and thats fine, especially if you are the Yankees. Starting pitching has been the weekness of this team for a very long time and making a splash for Gonzalez would all but seal the deal for the Yankees commitment to pitching.
Pros: Yet another average-good staring pitcher who btw happens to be a lefty as well. He went 10-11 last year splitting time between the Nats and Brew Crew but has plenty left in the tank.
Cons:Do the Yanks go after a 33 year old starter who will clearly command high money in the free agent market or possibly bring a cheaper back end rotation pitcher in CC Sabathia. This will be the move to keep an eye on as this will set the tone for the Yankees.
Prediction:Yanks sign Gonzalez for a 4 year 45 million dollar contract, the CC era is all but finished.
Other notables the Yankees will target:
Andrew McCutchen-OF/DH-Importance Low–Prediction:Yankees sign to a 3 year 21 million dollar deal, shoring up their bench and clubhouse.
CC Sabathia-SP-Importance-Low–Prediction:Yankees will see CC leave and the new era of the Yankees will begin, despite the strong clubhouse presence, 10 million plus for a pitcher with a balky knee is too much to swallow.
David Robertson-RP-Importance-Moderate–Prediction:Yankees will re-sign Robertson to a 2 year 16 million dollar deal.
Zach Britton-RP-Importance-Moderate–Prediction:Yankees will re-sign Britton to a 2 year 20 million dollar deal. Although very inconsistent for the Yanks, there is no denying the talent, also you have to wonder what will come of Betances if the Yankees do not lock him up to a long term deal.