Yankees: 3 players NYY must ditch before 2021 season
By Adam Weinrib
The Yankees have to get rid of some serious “talent” before the 2021 season. They have players who simply aren’t fitting.
The Yankees, expected to be the clear-cut favorites in the American League entering whatever the 2020 season was, instead limped around, for the most part. They lost close games. They lost blowouts. They let bad teams off the hook. They let their rivals dictate the narrative. Except for three beautiful games to start off the postseason, they were who we thought they were in early September.
And so, entering 2021, changes must be made.
Some pieces should be kept consistent. DJ LeMahieu, for example, needs to return. James Paxton should probably be extended the qualifying offer. Luis Severino will be back by mid-summer. All of that should help.
But anyone who watched the 2020 season must agree that lower-paid pieces on other teams (ahem, Mike G*ddam*ed Brosseau) performed more admirably for far cheaper than the seemingly effortless Yankees did on many occasions. These three players have likely run out of leash, if the front office has the fortitude to make the move.
3. Jonathan Loaisiga
The Yankees need to find a more enticing middle innings guy than Jonathan Loaisiga.
Repeatedly, we’ve advocated for Jonathan Loaisiga to get higher-leverage innings as the season has dragged on.
We are here to acknowledge that we were incorrect to advocate for such a thing.
Loaisiga, upon returning from a mysterious illness, struggled to regain his touch for the fastball, living far too often over the heart of the plate with his four-seamer instead of attempting to catch the edge with his two-seamer. Fenway Park Houdini Game aside (remember GARY SANCHEZ tying that one up?!), Loaisiga did the same thing down the stretch he’s done over the previous two years: Fail.
Everything about Loaisiga screams proto-Ramiro Mendoza, but somehow, the allowance of runs appears to be a foregone conclusion when he enters a late-and-close game. And without the ability to squeeze even one inning out of him when the rest of the ‘pen is tired, let alone two, it feels like the Yanks can’t bank on his potential anymore. Unfortunately, the last few weeks were his chance to prove he could acclimate to the role.
0.1 innings, one hit, one earned run, and two walks against Cleveland. 1.2 innings pitched, two hits, and another earned run against Tampa Bay. Two strikes, and years of wasted potential, and you’re unfortunately out. Dangle him to a team that thinks they can maximize his arsenal.