Yankees: 26-man roster projection for 2021 season

5 of 8
Miguel Andujar #41 of the New York Yankees (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

Recapping the projected positions players on the 2021 Yankees roster.

Position player recap

That looks pretty similar to this year’s squad, huh?

Well, New York isn’t in a position to add flashy names and spend hundreds of millions on another free agent. It’s time for the Yankees to take care of their own players.

The Yankees have a number of long-term extensions they need to take care of in the coming years as Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez and Luis Severino will all be free agents in 2023.

It will be hard to add another high-paid superstar to go along with Cole and Stanton with those players still waiting to get paid. The Yankees are known for spending money but they have to be careful not to handcuff themselves with another massive contract before other star players hit the market.

One way the Yankees could shake up the roster is via trade. Most notably, Miguel Andujar, Clint Frazier and even Mike Tauchman. While all three are big-league talents, the loaded Yankees roster will make it hard for them to find playing time.

While Cashman can make moves to free up space for the aforementioned trio, they could be moved this offseason if the price is right.

In this projection, Andujar and Tauchman remain on the roster. Andujar’s bat should allow him to get playing time and hopefully, another offseason can allow him to develop at other positions. While Tauchman will be the primary backup outfielder. He can play all three outfield positions and boasts a perfect Yankee Stadium swing.

The one area that could see adjustment is the Yankees outfield. The health surrounding the typical starters (Judge, Hicks, Stanton) forced me to keep both Tauchman and Gardner on the team.

Tauchman has no minor league options left so the Yankees would have to waive him and he would probably be snatched up rather quickly.

When it comes to Gardner, New York can exercise a club option, paying the veteran $10 million in 2021. Gardner’s contract does have a buyout clause that would pay him $2.5 million if it is not exercised.

Call it a hunch but the Yankees may find themselves yet again relying on Gardner for another season. Hopefully, he can end his career on top as a champion.

On the bubble

UTIL Thairo Estrada

Probably the only player currently in the organization that can fill Tyler Wade’s role. If Wade cannot prove himself at the plate this season, or early on in the 2021 campaign, Estrada could quickly find himself back in pinstripes.

OF Clint Frazier

Simply put, Tauchman jumped Frazier last season. Tauchman was able to provide similar if not better production at the plate last season and has the ability to play all three outfield positions.

If the Yankees only keep four outfielders, there is no way Frazier can be trusted to back up Aaron Hicks. Gardner or Tauchman are more viable options at this point.

1B Mike Ford

Voit has the first base locked down. With minor-league options, Ford may be in Scranton for most of next season unless the injury bug bites again.

UTIL Rosell Herrera

The darling of spring training, Rosell Herrera made plenty of noise in 2020. He is certainly a longshot to make the team next year but if the Yankees can keep him around next year maybe he forces himself back into consideration again.