It’s hard enough to do a report card on a 60 game season. Harder still to predict the offseason and what the Yankees might do. I mean, when teams don’t get income from fans in the stands, concessions, parking, etc., who knows what money a team has or doesn’t have to spend this offseason?
And who knows what 2021 brings? Will Covid be gone? Will we have another shortened season without fans?
But here goes …. The best I can.
Sanchez F. How could you not give him this grade? .147?! Right now, the Yankees’ biggest issue/headache. 23 hits of which 10 were HR. It’s amazing how far he dropped. From All-Star (34 HR last year) to this. .186 two years ago. .147 in 2020. He dropped so much so that he lost his job to Higashioka in the postseason. Yes, Realmuto is a free agent, but how much $ for Realmuto? And what do you do with Sanchez? The Yanks did draft, in the first and second rounds, a few catchers in the past few years but their development has been slowed by no minor leagues this year. And they were many years away to start out with. Trade Sanchez, make him backup? He is a big headache right now.
Higashioka B. Did Ok. But can he become a regular? He isn’t known for his bat, despite that 3 HR game he had. But he was so much better than Sanchez indicating how far Sanchez dropped off. Seems to call a game better than Sanchez. Good defense.
Kratz A. Didn’t play much but performed well when he did. Helped in the development of Deivi Garcia. I can see Kratz being a coach or manager in the future. Maybe even make him (40) one next year?
Here is where there is a possible problem. Offensively, the Yanks are set with Voit, LeMahieu, Torres and Urshela. But….
LeMahieu is a free agent. The Yanks need to bring him back.
Torres had an off year and hasn’t convinced anyone he can handle SS.
Both Mark Teixeira and Joel Sherman (among others) have advocated the Yankees trade MLB HR leader Luke Voit to get more pitching…. And to bring back Didi Gregorius for SS, with Torres moving back to 2B and LeMahieu at 1B. That would improve the infield defense, and also help balance out the predominantly righty hitting Yankees lineup. But it is hard to trade a guy who led the majors in HR. Not to mention, Voit is a popular Yankee.
Voit A. Led team in HR and RBI. Trading him would hurt. Suffered foot injury at the end of the year. Not speedy on bases, defense so-so. But that bat…
LeMahieu A. Best player on team again. Versatile. 1st player in modern era (since 1920) to win batting titles in both leagues. .364. Yanks need more contact hitters like him, less all or nothing guys. Put the ball in play.
Torres C. Disappointing year. Only .243 with 3 HR. Stepped up in playoffs, where he has done well. Hopefully the real Gleyber comes back in 2021.
Urshela A. Clutch hits, proving 2019 wasn’t a fluke. Great glove. Has made Miguel Andujar an afterthought. I think the Yanks should see what they can get for Andujar, because he is blocked everywhere. 3B by Urshela. 1B by Voit, LeMahieu and/or Ford, OF by Frazier, Judge, Tauchman, Gardner or whoever is out there.
Wade C. His versatility and speed are plusses. But when will he (.170) ever hit?
Ford F. After a promising 2019, only hit .135 in 2020. His lefty bat could help balance the lineup, but where could he play? Blocked by Voit or LeMahieu. Stanton stuck as full-time DH limits versatility. Bench player.
Estrada F. Took a step backwards, when it appeared he could pass Wade on the depth chart. .167.
It’ll be interesting to see what the Yanks do with LeMahieu (free agent) and Voit. The Yankees defense was their worst in many, many years. And with Didi out there as a free agent….
Frazier B. The Yankees have to decide what to do with him. I think it’s time to give him the LF job and see if he can run with it.
Gardner C. The .223 was disappointing. Still good defensively, and the Yanks may want to keep him as Frazier’s defensive caddy and for his clubhouse presence. But at 37, Gardner should not be an everyday player anymore. Start Frazier, sub Gardy in for defense if necessary. But if you don’t want to bring Gardy back, you still have
Tauchman D. Good defensively, can also be Frazier’s defensive caddy. But took step backward. Where did his power go? Zero HR. The Yanks need his lefty bat to show/produce pop, especially if giving Frazier or Hicks or even Judge a day off, and to balance out the lineup. Led team in steals with six.
Judge B. Started the season hot, then got hurt. Needs to stay healthy.
Stanton. B Strictly a DH now. Showed in postseason what he can do if healthy. Needs to stay healthy. But him at full time DH limits Yankees elsewhere. And his salary (and Cole’s, Chapman’s) limits flexibility too.
Hicks B. Lousy average.225 offset by him leading team in walks. Good D.
Cole A Ace of staff. Prone to the HR ball. But 7-3, 2.84 all you asked for.
Tanaka B. Lousy postseason but 3.56 decent regular season. A free agent. Yankees should bring him back at reduced price. Not an ace or #2 anymore, but a good #3 or 4.
Happ. B. Lousy start. Lousy finish. Good in between. But a free agent, 37, and Yankees should not bring him back. Had issues with management.
Montgomery D. 5.11 ERA coming back from TJ surgery. Hopefully better next year with more time from the surgery. Nice start when Yankees needed in postseason
German X. Will he be back next year? That is a question mark. If so, how will he be after layoff? If Yanks can get the 18-4, 4.03 from 2019, or close to it, it would be a big help. Even something halfway decent until…
Severino. A ? for next year. Should be back around July but after so much time off, can he come back as a #2. Yanks may need to make a deal (Andujar, Voit) or sign a free agent like Trevor Bauer (who likes one year deals).
Garcia B. 3-2, 4.98 doesn’t look great, but kid is just 21. Hope he blossoms. Shows poise. A wild card for 2021.
Paxton F. Back surgery, then 6.64 ERA and forearm strain at the end of the year. I don’t bring him back (free agent). Why bring back someone as a free agent who is always hurt and has a forearm strain (which could be precursor to TJ problems?) It’d be like buying a car you know or suspect is a lemon.
Britton A. Filled in as closer when Chapman out with Covid. Did great job. 1.89 ERA
Chapman B. Decent in regular season but spit the bit in playoffs, giving up season-ending HR for second year in row. Have to wonder if he has what it takes for postseason. Also gave up big postseason HR in 2016 for Cubs. But Yanks stuck with certain contracts (Cole, Chapman, Stanton).
Ottavino F. 5.89 ERA. Stunk in 2019 postseason. Bad 2020. Yanks had no faith in him this postseason. Need to unload him. Loss of Kahnle hurt. And Kahnle out all 2021 probably.
Loaisiga B. Seems capable of so much more. A tease. Disappointed in postseason.
Nelson C. Kid shows some promise. Maybe replacement for Ottavino?
King F. Missing that year of AAA hurt. 7.76 ERA. Hope learns from experience.
Yajure A. Impressed in short stint. Just 22. Yanks should consider him as Kahnle’s sub in 2021.
Schmidt F. Like King, could have used AAA time. See what he can do in 2021.
Yanks need to look at their pitching. Some kids look like they can really help in 2021 (Garcia and Yajure), others seem to need more minor league time that they couldn’t get (COVID) in 2020.
But they need a solid #2 behind Cole. Paxton didn’t provide that in 2020. Tanaka is more a #3 or #4 now. Happ’s inconsistency hurt. Severino would have been #2 but for TJ surgery and he isn’t back until July or so next year and how good will he be? Hence a trade for a #2 or to sign Bauer.
Bauer does have issues. He’s not the most likable guy, and you do wonder how his personality would play out. He was 5-4, 1.73 (led NL) for the Reds this year. There are rumors that he and Cole (college teammates) don’t get along.
Boone and Cashman C. I like both, but that Game 2 ALDS using Garcia as opener sinks them here. I didn’t like it when it happened and will rue it forever. I can’t fault Cashman for not making a deal at the trade deadline. With expanded playoffs and shortened season, more teams were in the hunt. Plus, he did have guys about to come off the DL. And there weren’t many deals to be had. Cashman will really make his mark this offseason. Here’s where we see what he does. But that Game 2 switcheroo from Garcia to Happ. Ugh.
Coaching C. They got a new pitching coach. Not too impressed with him, yet. I wish they would have given that job to David Cone (I am pretty sure Cone wouldn’t have pulled that Game 2 crap). Apparently hitting coach Marcus Thames is being looked at for a managerial position, but Thames couldn’t fix Sanchez or Torres this season. The failure to fix Sanchez looms large here. And the new catching coach didn’t help out Sanchez much either.
Ok, got this done. I’ve been busy and whipped this off quickly. If I forgot something, sorry. Add on. Maybe I forgot a point here or there.