2022-23 Yankees Offseason Discussion

jon abbey

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For the sake of discussion, let's assume Judge will be in the $36M-$40M per year range. I still feel pretty good about him coming back, but if he goes elsewhere, what do we think Cashman will do with that salary slot which clearly has been set aside and earmarked for our giant hero?

Until today, I had been thinking that Cashman doesn't work this way, decisions are made more independently, but now I wonder if he loses Judge, if he might pivot and go for Verlander or DeGrom on a 2-3 year deal (assuming of course they have not signed yet). That wouldn't stop them from doing anything else any more than it would if they sign Judge, and obviously would be a much shorter commitment. This plan would probably hinge on Stanton being able to play 80-100 games in RF, which I think is possible but who knows.
 

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I could see something like that. Or maybe try to make a big trade for Ohtani.

But I don't think any of those guys are moving.
 

jon abbey

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I don't think HOU really wants Verlander back, they certainly don't need him at that price.
 

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For the sake of discussion, let's assume Judge will be in the $36M-$40M per year range. I still feel pretty good about him coming back, but if he goes elsewhere, what do we think Cashman will do with that salary slot which clearly has been set aside and earmarked for our giant hero?

Until today, I had been thinking that Cashman doesn't work this way, decisions are made more independently, but now I wonder if he loses Judge, if he might pivot and go for Verlander or DeGrom on a 2-3 year deal (assuming of course they have not signed yet). That wouldn't stop them from doing anything else any more than it would if they sign Judge, and obviously would be a much shorter commitment. This plan would probably hinge on Stanton being able to play 80-100 games in RF, which I think is possible but who knows.
The problem for NYY if Judge signs elsewhere is that most of the best FAs are shortstops, where you are stacked with young players, and after that you get older guys like Contreras (and you are set at catcher) or Abreu. So if you sign one of those like Correa or Swanson you are blocking the young players that are coming. One way to improve the offense would be to (1) sign one of the FA shortstops and also (2) use Volpe plus to get Ohtani - which would require Cashman to deal the jewel of the system.
 

jon abbey

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The problem for NYY if Judge signs elsewhere is that most of the best FAs are shortstops, where you are stacked with young players, and after that you get older guys like Contreras (and you are set at catcher) or Abreu. So if you sign one of those like Correa or Swanson you are blocking the young players that are coming. One way to improve the offense would be to (1) sign one of the FA shortstops and also (2) use Volpe plus to get Ohtani - which would require Cashman to deal the jewel of the system.
Right, I don’t think any of that is going to happen, especially since Ohtani and Stanton have both mostly DHd (Ohtani exclusively). I think if they lose Judge, they will mostly go with youth offensively with 2023 maybe being a bit of a rebuilding year. Dominguez and Pereira both ended the year in AA and should be ready sometime in 2024, Spencer Jones is going to move fast also.
 

jon abbey

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Even if Stanton could play RF every day, I don’t see any chance NY trades for Ohtani. They don’t really have the excess prospects to move for just one year of control on anyone, and it’s a bit of a red flag that Ohtani has had two of the worst starts of his career in his two Yankee Stadium starts.
 

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I'm really curious to see what they can get for Gleyber. Glad he rebuilt at least some of his value and still has two years left.
 

jon abbey

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If Rizzo comes back, Gleyber really has to go.

1B-Rizzo
2B-DJ
SS-Peraza
3B-Donaldson (one year left on his deal, hard to trade, still great defensively and NY seems to inexplicably believe he can bounce back offensively)

Volpe ready soon, IKF maybe still around, Cabrera needs a role somewhere (could be LF but lots of rumors of NY bringing in a new LF).
 

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That's the way I see it. They predictably gave Rizzo a QO. I think he'll be back and the rest is just details. I would be very happy to see DJ full time at 2B. without a lot of bouncing around the diamond defensively. Maybe it'll help his bat a little. No reason to think that, but I hope it work outs that way.

If Judge comes back, or even if not, maybe Cabrera becomes the primary super utility guy and IKF finds a new home or becomes the backup utility guy to that. I do hope they can find a new LF.
 

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I think it would an interesting and really risky choice to allocate funds to an expensive pitcher like Verlander or Degrom (both huge risks) instead of an offensive player like Conforto, Nimmo, or Benintendi. (Or Trea Turner cough)
 

jon abbey

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The two SPs NY protected yesterday are both probably between 6-8 on the NY rotation depth chart currently, which shows you how thin they are right now after the top 5-6.

Cole
Cortes
Severino
Montas
German

Schmidt (they need to decide this spring whether he is still a SP or a multi-inning reliever, I am guessing the former which was partly why they moved Montgomery)
Brito
Krook

Randy Vazquez, Clayton Beeter and Will Warren are all in AA and very promising, Yoendrys Gomez is finally healthy again and could move fast. He took a 40 man spot for all of 2022 even though he was years away and hurt, that is evidently how much they like him, he is 23 and ended this year in AA also.

I think Cashman's bet here is essentially one of three levels although we will learn much more soon when we see what pitching moves he makes.

Level 1: the MLB team
Level 2: the guys who are ready but waiting in AAA
Level 3: the guys who are promising but maybe a year away from being able to seriously contribute

So Cashman's bet in essentially trading away all of level 2 at last year's deadline (Sears, Waldichuk, Wesneski, etc) seems to be a twofold one, he is confident in the current level 1 and thinks that by the time he needs guys from level 2, some of the level 3 guys will have developed enough.
 

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Thanks for laying that out JA.

I'm probably wrong, but when I look at those names and the depth behind them, I get the feeling that Cashman plans to try and add a mid-rotation SP and Schmidt might be staying in the multi-inning role. And even though he looked good, maybe German is the sixth guy unless Montas is terrible.
As in, he has the rotation covered if he can't get someone he likes, but he'll make a play for Senga or someone solid. But he could have given a QO to Taillon but didn't, and he's that kind of guy, so you're probably right.
 

jon abbey

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Thanks for laying that out JA.

I'm probably wrong, but when I look at those names and the depth behind them, I get the feeling that Cashman plans to try and add a mid-rotation SP and Schmidt might be staying in the multi-inning role. And even though he looked good, maybe German is the sixth guy unless Montas is terrible.
As in, he has the rotation covered if he can't get someone he likes, but he'll make a play for Senga or someone solid. But he could have given a QO to Taillon but didn't, and he's that kind of guy, so you're probably right.
I think this is all correct except that 1) he is more likely to trade for someone like Pablo Lopez than sign someone solid but not great to a sizable deal and 2) I really think if they lose Judge and Verlander and/or DeGrom are still unsigned, they could pivot into spending money that way.
 

jon abbey

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View: https://twitter.com/JeffPassan/status/1591123075361275911


Click wasn't really responsible for building so much in HOU, he came into a very good situation, but I would still try to hire him ASAP as an advisor if I was NY and trying to get over the HOU mountain. Spending on non-players is the best way to still flex your muscle as a large revenue team, I would be aggressive here if I was Cashman (although it would help if he signed his own deal first).
 

EvilEmpire

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I think this is all correct except that 1) he is more likely to trade for someone like Pablo Lopez than sign someone solid but not great to a sizable deal and 2) I really think if they lose Judge and Verlander and/or DeGrom are still unsigned, they could pivot into spending money that way.
A clear upgrade over Taillon does make more sense, but I wonder at the cost. After the previous negotiations they generally know what that looks like for Lopez who would be a great get. I'd much rather see him in pinstripes than Verlander/DeGrom, even with their pedigrees.
 

jon abbey

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Whoa WTF, when did they release him?

Can’t get too upset, they claimed him for nothing two years ago and he is almost never healthy but man I loved his upside.
 

jon abbey

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Also that means 27 teams passed on him, the Mets are desperate for pitching and only have 32 players on their 40 man, so it makes sense.
 

jon abbey

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Plus a $6M buyout on 2025, so $40M guaranteed. I think a fair deal for both sides considering Rizzo's back issues.
 

jon abbey

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Think the Yankees only added Randy Vasquez, which means they're at 38 with Rizzo and maybe have other (non rule 5 type) moves, hopefully no one grabs Chaparro or Gomez.
 

jon abbey

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Getting back Rizzo means the following infield candidates currently under contract and AAVs:

Rizzo (17/17/option)
LeMahieu (15/15/15/15)
Gleyber (10/14)
Peraza
IKF (7/10)
Volpe (by early in the season if not game 1)
Donaldson (25)

And that doesn't count Cabrera, who can play corner OF also. You look at that and you have to think at least one of Gleyber and IKF are gone very shortly and maybe both. Rizzo/DJ/Peraza/Donaldson to start the season, Cabrera as utility man and Volpe pushing from below.
 

jon abbey

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Oh but I didn't see this until now, from Hal's comments today, this kind of uncertainty still is not good. Come on down, Mr. Volpe...

"Steinbrenner voiced concerns about DJ LeMahieu’s health coming off a lingering toe injury on his right foot that sapped his productivity and availability in the second half of the season.

“It’s not a usual injury,” Steinbrenner said. “It’s not a normal one we see on every team every year. I don’t know enough about it. We have not been told surgery is out. The question is, how long after surgery? We’re not there.”"
 

jon abbey

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I'm hesitant to try to guess most of NY's plans this winter because there are a lot of different directions they can go, literally no one saw Bader for Montgomery or anything like that coming a few months ago before it happened. One thing I can do though is go through NY's top position player prospects on the 40 man as well as the best others at AA or above, and try to guess when they might be ready to contribute if needed:

--------------------

Now/2023:

Oswaldo Cabrera: I think we all saw enough of him already to see that he has a lot of skills and is at the least a Zobrist/Marwin type who is ready to get a shot now.

Oswald Peraza: He was ready to get a shot in the middle of 2022, ugh.

Anthony Volpe: 1st round pick in 2019 (#30 overall) out of high school, still very young, 21, 22 on April 28. He spent most of the year in AA (.820 OPS in 497 ABs) and went to AAA on 9/2 (.717 OPS in 99 PAs). He was the first combined 20 HR/50 SB minor league player this year since Fangraphs started tracking that in 2006. He is a top 5-10 MLB prospect currently on most lists and will get every shot in spring training and I'm guessing will be ready by June or July if not earlier.

--------------------

2024:

Jasson Dominguez: He is still 19, 20 in February. He started 2022 in low A, was promoted to high A on June 22. He only stayed there for 40 games/184 PAs (.906 OPS) and went to AA for the final week of their regular season and the playoffs (10 games total), he struggled at first but hit three HRs in the final two playoff games. I would guess he will start 2023 in AA and be ready sometime in 2024 when he is 21.

Austin Wells: NY's 2020 1st round pick out of college, he turns 24 next July. 20 HRs and 65 RBIs in 336 ABs this year across three levels and a .897 OPS in AA, his bat is very likely to play so it's a question of whether he can stick at C or will have to move to 1B or DH. The bat should be ready sometime in 2024.

Everson Pereira: He was born the same month as Volpe (April 2001, yes we are all ancient) and is now entering his second year on the 40 man already, clearly NY likes him. He was incredible in 2021 (20 HRs in 188 ABs!) but had a streakier 2022, but he got to AA and had a .845 OPS in 123 PAs there. Interestingly (maybe only to me), that is the second straight season that Pereira has outhit Volpe as teammates, but Volpe is ranked much higher despite them being almost the exact same age. I don't think it's a defensive thing either, I think both are regarded as solid but not incredible at SS/CF respectively. Anyway, he will likely be ready in 2024 but could be pushed up earlier because he is on the 40 man already.

--------------------

Trey Sweeney and Spencer Jones (the 2021 and 2022 first round picks) will hopefully be right behind those six, four first round picks and four Latino international signings, that is a lot of young talent to hopefully have infused over the next few years. All eight of those guys look great as of right now, both prospect pedigree and results, and all could hit NY in the next three seasons as impact players if they keep it going and are not traded before then. Cabrera had enough ABs to graduate but the other seven are all top 100 guys or close, I have seen all seven on at least one list (even Spencer Jones who was just drafted in June but looked incredible in low A).
 
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jon abbey

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NY picked up hard-throwing righty reliever Junior Fernandez off waivers, PIT had released him as he's out of options. He seems like another Albert Abreu to me, sits 98-99 with a good sinker but loses the strike zone sometimes, he will turn 26 in March. MLB numbers with STL/PIT in 2022:

18.2 IP, 18 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 12 BB, 14 K, 2.41 ERA
 

jon abbey

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EvilEmpire

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Yeah, that's certainly possible.

I think Gleyber is gone for sure but that IKF will stick around. Primarily as the utility guy, but also a hedge if any of the younger guys struggle way more than expected playing SS every day.

IKF will only be 28, and while he had somewhat of a rough adjustment in his first year in pinstripes, I think he showed enough flashes of competence that he could improve a bit. And the price is right with no future commitment if things go sideways with the kids or Donaldson or DJ. He's not exciting, but insurance policies rarely are.
 

jon abbey

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If DJ is out to start the season, who is the backup 1B behind Rizzo? Cabrera can play there because he can play everywhere evidently but Bellinger is great defensively there, as well as in the OF. I feel like they can probably still fill that roster spot better but that would be some nice positional flexibility to add, and Bellinger on presumably a one year deal to rebuild value would love the short RF.

It depends on his health, if he is actually healthy, that might be the way to fill LF, backing up Bader and Rizzo at CF and 1B also. How about this team after the ASB?

LeMahieu 3B
Judge RF
Rizzo 1B
Stanton DH
Bellinger LF
Bader CF
Volpe 2B
Trevino C
Peraza SS

bench: Cabrera, IKF, Higgy, Florial? If Stanton can play some OF, Cabrera can too and so even if Bellinger can't be fixed, they would have OK OF depth, with Dominguez and Pereira both starting the year in AA. Then they could maybe get back Voit (non-tendered today) if they wanted as a bat off the bench/backup DH in the Florial spot. So I will change the bench to:

bench: Cabrera, IKF, Higgy, Voit

Just adding Judge and Bellinger as FA position players might leave them enough money to go after Rodon, those three guys plus Rizzo and not having to trade any more prospects would be a superb offseason.
 

jon abbey

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Also I think Cashman is going to get young pitching from SEA for two years left of Gleyber, Matt Brash would be nice.
 

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I'd sign up for all that, though I have zero expectations beyond some decent defense for Bellinger. When you described him as Joey Gallo earlier, I thought "yup". But hey, he can play defense and he's left handed. Worth a shot. Like you said, it would be great to be able to spend LF money on pitching.

Will Hicks' injury keep him out next season or do you think they'll be able to move him? I haven't heard anything, but maybe I missed something.

I'm curious if Volpe makes the team. I suspect if DJ is out for a while and Gleyber gets traded that Cabrera might actually be the guy at 2B. He has a little time there over the last several years and I think there might be a little more confidence in his bat after what he showed this past season.
 

jon abbey

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Volpe probably could use a few months in AAA but if he starts the season on the team and ends up top 3 in Rookie of the Year, NY gets a bonus draft pick, so that could affect how they do that also. Also I don't think Peraza or Volpe have ever played much 2B yet, although they could in the spring.
 

jon abbey

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If DJ is out to start the season, who is the backup 1B behind Rizzo? Cabrera can play there because he can play everywhere evidently but Bellinger is great defensively there, as well as in the OF. I feel like they can probably still fill that roster spot better but that would be some nice positional flexibility to add, and Bellinger on presumably a one year deal to rebuild value would love the short RF.

It depends on his health, if he is actually healthy, that might be the way to fill LF, backing up Bader and Rizzo at CF and 1B also. How about this team after the ASB?

LeMahieu 3B
Judge RF
Rizzo 1B
Stanton DH
Bellinger LF
Bader CF
Volpe 2B
Trevino C
Peraza SS

bench: Cabrera, IKF, Higgy, Florial? If Stanton can play some OF, Cabrera can too and so even if Bellinger can't be fixed, they would have OK OF depth, with Dominguez and Pereira both starting the year in AA. Then they could maybe get back Voit (non-tendered today) if they wanted as a bat off the bench/backup DH in the Florial spot. So I will change the bench to:

bench: Cabrera, IKF, Higgy, Voit

Just adding Judge and Bellinger as FA position players might leave them enough money to go after Rodon, those three guys plus Rizzo and not having to trade any more prospects would be a superb offseason.
Oops, of course Matt Carpenter gets preference for that spot over Voit if he wants, a thousand apologies sir.
 

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Not sure if I'm reading that right, but it looks like his pitches don't really move? He certainly doesn't strike as many people out as you'd expect, with all that velocity.
The Franchy Cordero of pitchers?
 

jon abbey

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Not sure if I'm reading that right, but it looks like his pitches don't really move? He certainly doesn't strike as many people out as you'd expect, with all that velocity.
The Franchy Cordero of pitchers?
Yeah, something like that, NY will try to fix him if they manage to keep him until March. They got Clay Holmes from the Pirates too and almost instantly turned him into an All-Star, so we’ll see.
 

jon abbey

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Rizzo deal looking even better after Jose Abreu signs for more despite being 2 1/2 years older.