The New York Yankees need to populate their righty-heavy lineup with lefty power threats in 2021, and these three guys fit the bill.
Guys, guys, two things can be true! The Yankees lineup was extremely good in 2020, and will be good if presented in 2021 as-is.
It was also built incorrectly.
Time and again, we’ve watched elite right-handed relief work buzzsaw through the Yankees’ elite batting order in the postseason. Let’s face it: We’re in need of an infusion of patience, as well as a different look from the other side of the plate. And we don’t have much room to work with.
No matter what happens for the remainder of the offseason, the depth the Yankees import for 2021 should be primarily left-handed, and should have a greater realm of offensive capability than Mike Tauchman or Tyler Wade, who barely helped at all in 2020.
Allow us to put these names on the table. In a mostly right-handed class, they could certainly fit.
3. Tommy La Stella
Tommy La Stella is a perfect fit with the Yankees in 2021
Lefty, pesky, named “La Stella” … yeah, this guy belongs on the next great Yankees team. The second the team comes to an extension agreement with DJ LeMahieu, adding Tommy La Stella to beef up the infield depth should be the very next move.
He can go anywhere. Plug and play. Like Whit Merrifield, but actually available. And he’s a lefty.
Following an All-Star 2019 season with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (how often does a guy like La Stella get recognized in such fashion?!), he bounced from the LAA to Oakland and OBP’d .370 with a .281 average. He’s a second baseman, third baseman, classic pinch-hitter and potential outfield option in case of emergency.
Frankly, he’s got the type of face and vibe you can’t image declining to fulfill any task or requirement.
With his first real chance to contribute with regularity in the postseason this year, La Stella hit .273 and .313 during the A’s two round-long run. If needed, though, he’d clearly be happy regressing to fill-in status, and he’d be eminently more valuable in the Bronx than the number of retreads we were forced to watch man the infield in 2020. Sorry, Jordy Mercer. Injuries happen, and when they do, the Yankees will need insurance like La Stella.