Yankees: 3 players who’ve likely played their last game in New York
By Adam Weinrib
These three Yankees have likely played their final game in New York now that the 2020 MLB season has concluded.
Once upon a time, it felt safe for us to fantasize about the Yankees making power moves to solidify their core in the 2020-21 offseason.
Masahiro Tanaka and DJ LeMahieu returning? That was the easy stuff. Once those slam dunks were finished up, then we could move on to bigger and better maneuvers.
Except, eh, apparently the Yankees plan to go the impoverished route, post-pandemic (mid-pandemic?). LeMahieu and Tanaka deals now seem more difficult to fit in, and it seems likely that any shopping the team does outside of essentials will be coming from the two-for-one rack.
Also, we must add that a few of the team’s narratives, as they pertain to established players, were definitely altered in this 60-game campaign.
All things considered, these three players probably aren’t coming back.
3. Masahiro Tanaka
It’s starting to feel like Masahiro Tanaka isn’t long for the Yankees.
It’s all about the vibes.
When Summer Camp broke and Masahiro Tanaka was on the shelf battling back from a terrifying incident where he was struck by a line drive, who among us thought we’d be witnessing his final sprint in pinstripes? He felt more intrinsic to the club than even Didi Gregorius did the previous offseason.
And yet, Tanaka returned to very little fanfare, then posted a string of farewell-type messages after his final regular season start intended to celebrate the end of a seven-year deal. They sounded like they were doing far more than that.
Playoff Tanaka didn’t come to pass this year, either, as the 31-year-old righty scuffled both in a monsoon and in perfect San Diego weather in his pair of outings.
Once upon a time, the post-2020 conversation generally regarded which Yankees free agent starter would return, with Tanaka seeming a more likely target than James Paxton. Now, though, the more prudent question is whether either has a chance to return.