The New York Yankees have yet to make a splash this offseason, but they certainly might at some point. It remains to be seen how they will pursue players to fill out their roster. Here’s how they should handle each position.
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Third Base: Free Agency
There are two solutions for third base.
The first and most appealing option is to resign Chase Headley. He was solid for the Yankees after they acquired him from the San Diego Padres, hitting .262/.371/.398 with 6 home runs and 17 RBIs.
Headley was also very solid at third base. According to the Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) statistic, he saved 13 runs between the Padres and Yankees and his Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR) was 20.9 for the season.
If the Yankees can manage to keep him, they will have an above average third baseman for the next few years.
The second option is to have Martin Prado play third base while letting Jose Pirela and Rob Refsnyder battle for the second base job. It isn’t preferable, but it’s the best option if Headley signs elsewhere.
Prado is versatile and has played third base before. It would also give two youngsters who have talent a chance to win a starting job. It’s not terrible, but Headley would be nice.
Shortstop: Stop-gap via Trade and/or Free Agency
There are several possible scenarios that are possible.
The list of trade options is large. Troy Tulowitzki, Elvis Andrus, and Alexei Ramirez are all possibilities but Ramirez is quite possibly the most realistic. He is 33-years-old but has only one year remaining on his contract (plus an option year), and would provide the Yankees with above average offense (.273/.305/.408 with 15 home runs and 74 RBIs in 2014) and steady defense (his 2014 fielding percentage and RF/G were above league average.)
The only free agent option that would seem to make sense is Stephen Drew on a one or two year deal. He performed poorly for the Yankees after they acquired him from the Red Sox, but he is a much better player than his 2014 statistics would indicate.
Whatever the Yankees do, they should make a huge play for Cuban prospect Yoan Moncada. He is only 19-years-old and would likely start off in the Minor Leagues, but if the team signs him they should make sure there is a position available when he’s ready.
Starting Rotation: Free Agency
After being acquired by the Yankees on July 6th, McCarthy turned his season around, going 7-5 with a 2.89 ERA, a 3.22 FIP, and a 1.15 WHIP in 14 starts (90 innings pitched.) He was able to keep the ball in the ballpark at Yankees Stadium, allowing only five home runs in seven home starts, which not many pitchers can do.
He would be a solid number three or four starter if the Yankees can resign him.
Lester would solidify the rotation as one of the games best. He has tons of experience pitching in the American League East from his time with the Red Sox and puts up ace-like numbers year in and year out.
He is also a left, which this team desperately needs with CC Sabathia’s ability to pitch effectively still to be determined.
Though options like Scherzer and Shields wouldn’t be terrible, there are two other pitchers that are more sensible.