Three Essential Offseason Moves for the New York Yankees

Jul 23, 2016; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman (54) delivers a pitch against the San Francisco Giants in the ninth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 23, 2016; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman (54) delivers a pitch against the San Francisco Giants in the ninth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports /

The New York Yankees are on the verge of another season without the playoffs. As we approach the offseason, there are three moves the Yankees can make to improve.

The Yankees are currently one loss away from being eliminated from the playoffs for the third time in the last four years. Yankee fans are growing impatient and want to return to the postseason as the AL East champions. This will be a difficult task in 2017 but it is a possibility with the correct off-season moves and decisions.

Move #1: Trade Brett Gardner

Brett Gardner has been with the Yankees since 2008. He is a world series champion, an all star, and one of grittiest players in baseball. But now, it is time to move on from the speedy left fielder. Gardner has been declining since the second half of 2015 and New York needs to pull the trigger by trading him.

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Since 2014, Gardner has been showing a power spike which increased his value but this year, it has been non existent. Gardner only has seven home runs this year to go along with a .256 batting average. These are very underwhelming offensive numbers but the most painful part about watching Brett Gardner has been his hesitancy to steal bases. Speed is Gardner’s best tool, yet he doesn’t know how to utilize it. In 2016, he only has 16 stolen bases.

People can argue the only above average facet of Gardner’s game is his defense and that is not enough for a player making $13 million per year. There are multiple teams that would be willing to take Gardner and the Yankees need to make a deal with one of them. Mason Williams and Aaron Hicks are the likely options to replace Gardner while Yankees top prospect Clint Frazier, is knocking on the door.

Move 2: Sign Aroldis Chapman

On July 25th of 2016, New York traded Aroldis Chapman to the Cubs for four players including Adam Warren and Gleyber Torres. Cashman has already been praised for the magnificent work he has done at the trade deadline and signing Chapman would be the continuation of his genius. It would be as if the Yankees acquired four players for nothing.

This is a very realistic possibility, but it all depends on how aggressive the Yankees will be. Chapman has expressed his love for New York, saying “I feel very happy and comfortable here in the city.” But more importantly, Chapman has also shown a willingness to return. He said” If the opportunity comes up where I can come back to the team, I would be more than happy.”

If the New York wants Chapman, they have the money to get him, but it will cost them. Chapman is expected to make more than Johnathon Papelbon, who signed with the Phillies in 2011. It was a 5 year, $60 million contract which is the largest ever for a reliever.

This is a lot of money for a reliever but this a perfect fit for the Yankees. Chapman has shown he can handle the pressure of New York already and with the recent struggles of Dellin Betances, a proven closer is needed in the Bronx. The Yankees can afford this type of contract and it must be an offseason priority.

Move 3: Trade Michael Pineda and Acquire a Starting Pitcher

This move is two trades in one and for good reason. Michael Pineda has disappointed Yankee fans again in 2016. Inconsistencies and an inability to pitch with two outs have been his downfall.

Pineda is a complete enigma as he has displayed dominance on the mound yet he owns a 4.89 ERA. This is an enigma the Yankees have been trying to solve over the last two years and at this point, it seems the only hope for Pineda is a change of scenery.

Although Pineda has struggled in 2016, he has posted phenomenal strikeout numbers with 202 strikeouts in 171.1 innings. This is what will cause interest from other teams. There will be a numbers of teams willing to take a chance on Pineda.

This something the Yankees are well aware of. The return wouldn’t be great but the purpose of trading him is not to get an exciting player. The purpose of trading him is to get rid of him and open a rotation spot for a more deserving starting pitcher. This starting pitcher is part two of this move.

Next: Five Reasons to Be Excited About the 2017 Yankees

The Yankees need to acquire a consistent starting pitcher who can eat innings. None of the club’s starting pitchers have thrown 200 innings since 2013. This was Hiroki Kuroda and CC Sabathia. Tanaka is a possibility for 200 innings this year but with his recent injury, it is far from a guarantee. Names like Jose Quintana and Chris Sale seem appealing but the cost for them is very high. A player such as Gio Gonzalez will be a better fit for the Yankees.