Expectations for the New York Yankees are always through the roof, regardless if the roster has the potential to live up to its expectation. Because of the rich history of the organization, fans around the MLB always expect the Yankees to be performing at such a high level, that even mediocracy is considered a failure.
Lately, the Yankees have failed to live up to expectations as they have not won a World Series since 2009. The team has been going through a transition time ever since players like Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera have retired. From that World Series team, only a handful of players are still playing including C.C. Sabathia and Brett Gardner. As many players from that winning team are gone, the Yankees have brought in some younger guys to help build for the future, and actually helped turn this ball club to become a winning team once again so far in the 2017 season. Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez have helped bring life to this team, as well as the fans who have supported the Yankees for years.
As the season has been going, Yankees fans have a lot to get excited for when planning for the future. However, the fans always expect to be on a chase for a World Series pennant. In order to do that, Hank Steinbrenner is going to have to spend some money and bring in some valuable assets to bring this team and the fans, back where they want to be.
Here are 8 Players The Yankees Need To Chase This Offseason, And 7 They Should Stay Away From:
19 Chase: Drew Storen (RP)
Maybe the weakest position on the Yankees roster has been the relief pitcher position. Relief pitchers on the Yankees have struggled to maintain leads, which have led to some of their failures this season. A great fit for this Yankees bullpen, could be Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Drew Storen. Throughout his career, Storen is 28-18 with a 3.31 ERA. Even at age 30, Storen seems to have it.
This pick up would give the Yankees an immediate upgrade to the bullpen, as well as an experienced relief pitcher. His sharp slider helps as a strikeout pitch against right handed batters. Storen gives the Yankees a solid relief pitcher that has the ability to throw a high speed fast ball, as well as a great closing pitch. We have seen the Yankees in many situations where they are one pitch away from getting out of the inning, but end up losing the game. Storen could help get the team out of these jams.
18 Stay Away: Jason Grilli (RP)
Maybe in 2012, Jason Grilli would have been a good pick up, but he has struggled a lot lately which has led from him bouncing around different teams. Since 2014, he has played for quite a few number of teams. During the 2017 season, Grilli has struggled heavily. In a game against the Yankees, Grilli actually gave up four home runs in one inning of relief, being the only reliever to have ever done that in history.
Grilli hasn’t been as productive as he was when he was younger. On top of the, Grilli is 40 years old. Even in a game where players play later than other sports, the time is ending for Grilli. And for someone whose production is decreasing, it may catch up to him sooner than he may expect.
17 Chase: Wade Davis (RP)
This would be the perfect pick up for the Yanks, but may be a little expensive with how well Wade Davis has been performing. In the past four years, Davis has not had an ERA over 2.50. Davis has been given the duties of the Chicago Cubs to be their closer, as he has 24 saves on the season. The signing of Davis could give them some room to breathe, having both Davis and Aroldis Chapman on the roster. With some of Chapman’s struggle, it wouldn’t be a bad idea bringing in Davis to be a new set up man for Chapman, or give Davis the chance to become the closer and allow Chapman to be the set-up man unless they let him go.
His cut fastball reaches about 92-93 MPH, something that was successful when Mariano Rivera used to close with his cutter. Davis may be more expensive, but would give the Yankees a solid relief pitcher that they need.
16 Stay Away: Mike Napoli (1B)
In his early years, Mike Napoli was one of the best catchers in the MLB. He was a dynamic player, and was able to do everything. Now at the age of 35, his production has declined. Because of his age and injuries, he switched from catcher to first base. First off, he physically isn’t there to be the starting first baseman of this ball club. Even though the Yankees have struggled at the position, they would rather a better fielder as well as a hitter. His numbers at the plate have dropped throughout his career, as he currently has a batting average of .195.
Napoli still has the power to send the ball over the fence, which may interest the Bombers at a cheap price. But the Yankees top priority on the field besides pitching may be first base, and Napoli would be a temporary fit. With his struggles at the plate and inability to play a good dominant defense, Napoli would be a poor choice for the Yankees to go after as a first basemen or designated hitter.
14 Chase: Melky Cabrera (LF)
A way to get back to that success that the Yankees had in 2009 when they won the World Series; bring in a player from that team. A fan favorite, Melky Cabrera, would be a great signing for the team. Cabrera has been consistent throughout his whole career, having only bat under .250 twice in his career. With Jacoby Ellsbury’s struggles, Gardner could always move over to center field, or Melky could play center.
Cabrera has enough left in the tank to play a few more years, and it may be cheaper than they think. The only weak link to this outfield seems to be Ellsbury, but they would instantly improve the position by adding Melky. Even with some speed, he’s a factor around the bases and as well as playing on the field. Bringing back Melky would cause happiness for many Yankee fans.
12 Stay Away: Tyson Ross (SP)
Tyson Ross would have been a great pick up, before his injuries. Ross has had neck and shoulder injuries over the past two years, which have kept him out of the game for a good deal of time. Unlike Alex Cobb, Ross has been unable to perform at these high levels when on the mound. This season in the eight games that he pitched, he has a 7.11 ERA, and has given up more earned runs than strikeouts. The season before that he only pitched one game before ending his season.
Injuries have taken affect to Ross’ career, and it would be a gamble for the Yankees to go pick up someone that has had this type of medical history. Unfortunately the injuries he has suffered may cause the Yankees to not go after him during this offseason.
11 Chase: Yu Darvish (SP)
Members from the Japanese national team have become a crucial part of the MLB. Many players from Japan have traveled overseas to come play for big ball clubs. Yu Darvish has been one of the most successful pitchers from Japan, with a career ERA of 3.39 and a 54-39 record. Darvish actually reached 500 strikeouts quicker than any other pitcher in MLB history. Darvish would be a perfect fit to this rotation, helping become a good number two starter in this rotation. Darvish has showed that even when playing for a new team that he can still perform at a high level.
In his first three games Darvish has pitched for the Dodgers since being traded, he put up a 2.50 ERA and has only given up five earned runs in three starts. Darvish has a unique style of pitching, which sometimes he uses to pitch from the stretch even with no one on base. The Yankees could instantly improve their rotation by signing a big deal with Darvish in the offseason.
10 Stay Away: Brett Anderson (SP)
Brett Anderson hasn’t been awful his whole career, it seems that he has just been very inconsistent. In the past two seasons, Anderson has put up horrific numbers with a 11.91 ERA in 2016 and a current 8.18 ERA this season. Even throughout some of his good seasons, he has only managed to have a 40-45 record throughout his career. We have seen glimpses of great things done by Anderson, but also some not great things.
With many great pitchers this upcoming season, the Yankees have many other options to choose from over Anderson. The Yankees current starters that will be entering free agency also have more talent and have shown more production than Anderson, which may show the Yanks that signing Anderson would be a downgrade from their current rotation.
9 Chase: Jake Arrieta (SP)
What a way to rebuild the pitching rotation rather than sign the ace from the Chicago Cubs, Jake Arrieta. Arrieta would be looking at a big contract, but with the production he has showed, it would be well worth it. Only two years ago, Arrieta finished the season at 22-6 with a 1.77 ERA. His production hasn’t been that dominant like during his stellar 2015 season, but he has still been great. Having pitched two no hitters and winning the Cy Young Award in 2015, signing this guy could get very pricey. Reports have stated that Arrieta’s asking price for this offseason is very high.
However, this is the New York Yankees. The Yanks are known for signing big name players to help build their team, and this would be one of the best signings since they signed C.C. Sabathia and company. Arrieta is a stud of a pitcher and would easily take the number one job over in the Bronx. Hank Steinbrenner may want to get over being thrifty, and give this man his money.
8 Stay Away: John Axford (RP)
The Yankees may be in desperate need of a relief pitcher, which may cause them to make some cheap, poor decisions. Hank Steinbrenner hasn’t been able to follow in his father’s footsteps, as he has been fairly cheap with his spending’s since his father passed. John Axford of the Oakland Athletics, may be that perfectly cheap relief pitcher to bring in.
However, Axford has struggled, and it doesn’t seem that he will magically perform at a higher level by coming to New York. This season, Axford has a 6.43 ERA, allowing 16 earned runs this season. Axford has had some good seasons, which may turn the Yankees to wanting to sign him. But his struggles have been apparent lately, and the last thing these Bronx Bombers need are more relief pitchers struggling to perform.
6 Chase After: Alex Cobb (SP)
The young, Tampa Bay Rays pitcher has been pretty solid over the course of his six-year career. This would be a huge pick up for the Yankees. Alex Cobb has been consistent over the course of his career with the Rays, and is still pretty young. At the age of 29, Cobb still has awhile to go left in his career, and for a team that is young building for the future, Cobb would be a great addition.
Supposedly, the Rays were trying to shop around, but due to injuries they needed to keep him on the roster. Cobb did have Tommy John surgery, which changed his game as he can no longer throw his main pitch, his split-finger fastball. The Rays have been hesitant to use him because of the injury, but I’m sure the Yankees wouldn’t mine utilizing him. Cobb would be a huge pick up for the team that has dealt with some inconsistencies in the starting rotation.
4 Stay Away: Jayson Werth (LF)
Age is a major concern for Jayson Werth, which would be why signing him would be a poor choice. Werth was never the most dominant fielder, but as he has aged he has taken a step back. With the Yankees outfield being so dynamic and great fielding, it would be weird to see the Yankees bring in a less talented fielder.
At the plate, Werth still continuously puts up decent numbers. But the Yankees would rather another outfielder with more consistent numbers. Signing Werth would put them in the same situation they have with Ellisbury, except Ellisbury is a better fielder. The Yankees may want to look for someone younger, who is more consistent. The Yankees need more consistent hitters, rather than finding old sluggers.
3 Chase: Curtis Granderson (DH)
Another fan favorite that would be awesome for the Yankees to bring back, would be Curtis Granderson. One down year seemed to be the end of Granderson’s career in the Bronx, even after putting up amazing seasons. Granderson got back on track in Queens, and has been performing at the slugger level that he was at.
Granderson is a bit older, and that is why he would be great as designated hitter being his main position. This gives the Yankees a slugger at DH, as well as allowing them to find a more consistent outfielder. Granderson is an electrifying player who can knock the ball all around the field. He can even play the outfield, which could help on rest days for players. Granderson would be a good complement to Aaron Judge, especially if they don’t sign Matt Holiday back to the team. Granderson may seem himself staying in New York once again, but this time back in the Bronx.
2 Stay Away: Lucas Duda (1B)
Lucas Duda has been great his whole career, and has been one of the great sluggers for the Mets before his time ended and he moved on to the Tampa Bay Rays. Unlike other positions, first base is a huge need for the Yankees. Duda would be an improvement from anyone else the Yankees have, but the Yankees may want to look for someone that will last. Duda is getting older, and has had a low batting average for most of his career.
Instead of temporarily putting in Duda to the Yankees mix, they may want to check out other options rather than stick on the Rays first baseman. Duda could be a good fit, but with better fits out there, the Yankees should look for a better fit. The Yankees would also like to bring someone in that played as well maybe as Mark Teixeira, who had a good bat and field.
1 Chase: Eric Hosmer (1B)
The Yankees could sign one of the best first baseman in the league, which would drastically improve their first baseman position. Eric Hosmer is set to go into free agency after this upcoming season ends, and he is definitely due for a paycheck. The Yankees have done it once before, and they can definitely spend the money again to bring Hosmer in.
Hosmer has been consistent his whole career, even this season with a .315 batting average, 20 homeruns and 68 RBIs. The best thing is that Hosmer is still young, at only 27 years old. Hosmer would last with the Yankees in the future and help give become that electrifying first baseman that the Yankees so desperately need. Hosmer is set up for success, and becoming a Yankee would help give him that future of success. Hosmer could get paid big in the Big Apple, as well as go on to win multiple championships. Lucas Duda wasn’t a bad choice, but Eric Hosmer would be too good to pass up. This signing would help put the Yankees back in a spot that they want to be in.