Yankees’ Offseason Moves…So Far

Photo Credits to: Pinstripe Alley

James Kim, Staff Writer

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Pinstripes. Pride. Legends. 27 Rings. What else comes to mind when thinking of the New York Yankees? Money. Hopes are high for the rest of the offseason for the Yanks, who are establishing a potential World Series-bound team. Although Manny Machado and Bryce Harper, two superstars who fans who would have loved to have, will most likely not be in pinstripes, the Yanks have still made solid moves to rack up a solid defense and offense and hopefully surpass the Red Sox in the AL East and in the postseason. Here are the moves and the impact of the acquisitions thus far:

 

 

Starting Rotation: Addition of James Paxton

Back in November, the Yankees acquired lefty starter James Paxton from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for a group of prospects including Justus Sheffield, Erik Swanson, and Dom Thompson-Williams. Paxton pitched to a 3.76 ERA in 2018 (after his standout 2.98 ERA year in 2017), including a no-hitter against the Blue Jays and 208 strikeouts on the season. The lefty can be a huge boost to the Yankees’ starting rotation, which proved to be the team’s weakness this past season. As long as he stays healthy (fingers crossed), he can be a star in the Bronx and pitch his way into the postseason, alongside starters CC Sabathia, J.A. Happ (who resigned with the team in December), Luis Severino, and Masahiro Tanaka. With healthy arms, the Yankees can significantly improve their performance from last year and have one of the better rotations in the league.

 

Infield Depth: Troy Tulowitzki and DJ Lemahieu

With star shortstop Didi Gregorius out after undergoing Tommy John surgery, former Colorado Rockie Troy Tulowitzki will be taking over duties at the position in the Bronx until he returns. Although the 34-year-old has shown signs of regression, largely because of injuries, his experience and veteran presence will be a huge bonus to the clubhouse, especially to the group of young infielders on the team. Who knows, maybe Tulo can stay healthy and bring back his all-star years to Yankee Stadium! It is also important to note that the team got him dirt cheap: a league minimum $555,000. This signing was simply a deal that the Yankees could not pass. In addition to Troy, the team signed another Rockie, second-baseman/utility man DJ Lemahieu. Although this deal guaranteed the likelihood that Machado was not going to be signed, fans can expect a Derek Jeter-like approach at the plate and versatile defense from the All-Star, Gold Glove-winning infielder. He won the National League Batting title in 2016, but although his numbers have dropped these past couple seasons, he is a huge addition to the Yankees’ lineup, which is in need of lower strikeout rates and higher on-base percentages. Adding Tulowitzki and DJ to the infield consisting of youngsters Miguel Andujar, Gleyber Torres, and Luke Voit/Greg Bird (whoever earns the spot at first base) will create one of the deepest, most talented infields in all of baseball. Add Didi to that list once he returns later in the season and the defense and offense will be performing at the highest capability.

 

Best Bullpen in Baseball – Adam Ottavino

The bullpen was undoubtedly the strongest part of the Yankee team in 2017-18. Although David Robertson will be off to the Philadelphia Phillies, the sinker-throwing Zach Britton will return and the slider-hurling Adam Ottavino will join the Bronx. Consider these two stars alongside Aroldis Chapman, Dellin Betances, Chad Green, and Jonathan Holder, and you have the best bullpen in all of baseball. All of these players’ strikeout rates are unbelievably high, largely due to their high heated fastballs and diving breaking balls. This stacked group of stars will guarantee quick, runless innings in the latter of games, while the team will not need to rely exclusively on the performance/endurance of their starting pitchers. The bullpen will undoubtedly thrive as they did last season.

 

The offseason is not over, yet the Yankees have made some great moves that strengthen the talent and presence within the team’s field and clubhouse. They may make additional moves until Spring Training hits, so fans can hope for another star arm or bat to add to the roster. With a healthy group of guys, they can compete against the dominant, archrival Red Sox and take control of the American League East. In addition, if certain players step up their game, the Yankees will definitely be considered as potential ring-winners in the World Series. Let’s hope for a healthy and successful season – it all starts in a month when pitchers and catchers report to camp for training. Go Yanks!

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