4 budget free agents Yankees need to sign in 2021
By Adam Weinrib
The Yankees should sign these budget free agents, even if they plan to splurge in 2020. No harm in saving a little money!
Whether you agree with the Yankees’ apparent desire to operate on a shoestring budget or not, there are necessary reinforcements to be made before 2020.
Even if DJ LeMahieu and Masahiro Tanaka are re-signed and a good portion of the rest of the available money is pocketed by the Steinbrenners, we can’t sit back and act as if the 2020 roster was otherwise flawless. The Yankees exited the postseason because they needed bullpen help, offensive consistency and depth, and reliable contact hitting.
Luckily, there are winning players available at the margins this offseason. Like there always are.
Sometimes, it seems the Yankees make a big-budget acquisition like Gerrit Cole, then take to the trade market for unforeseen upgrades instead of shelling out a little more money to make sure someone like Jordy Mercer doesn’t play big innings in ’21. These four budget free agents would fit on the roster, and it’d be so, so easy to secure them! So simple!
4. Joakim Soria
The Yankees should bolster their bullpen with the always-good Joakim Soria.
By far the Yankees loss we shrugged off the most heavily in 2020 was Tommy Kahnle.
Fans believed in the team’s fearsome bullpen and their proliferation of weapons, but when it came down to it, a slightly off season from Chad Green was enough to throw the whole rickety bridge into chaos. Zack Britton was nails, Aroldis Chapman was Aroldis Chapman, and there was nobody outside of those three who you wanted to see in any situation, big or small.
The Yankees don’t need to sign All-Star closers out the ying-yang to fill out their ‘pen, but they do need more trustworthy arms who can be deployed in day-to-day situations.
Enter Joakim Soria, who is nothing but good every single year, and is entering his age-37 season. An All-Star with the Royals back in 2008 and 2010 as a stud closer, Soria is coming off a 2.82 mark in the middle of the A’s bullpen. Typically, the worst Soria will provide is a 4.00-ERA regular season as a middle-innings option, but his usual baseline is much more impressive. Essentially, he’s a far less volatile Adam Ottavino.
Why wouldn’t the Yankees fire off a low-cost contract to Soria, after he’s thrived with many of their AL rivals?