Yankees shouldn’t be facing this many questions with star-studded roster


Why do the Yankees continually face roster questions when they’re this good?

Is it the fans? Is it the New York market? Is the the fact the Yankees seemingly refuse to go for the jugular in recent years when they’ve had the opportunity to do so?

We honestly don’t know, but at this juncture in the offseason, it’s safe to say the Yankees facing this many roster questions for both the short term and long term is beyond comprehension. This is one of the deepest rosters in the sport, yet every offseason it feels like we’re talking about additions that need to be made or else we’re doomed.

One the one hand, it’s obvious why this is happening. The Yankees have high expectations yet have fallen short for quite some time now. But were teams like the Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago Cubs, Boston Red Sox and Washington Nationals under intense scrutiny during their recent stretches of failure before capturing a title?

Not nearly as badly as the Yankees, that’s for sure!

Look at this! We’re talking about further bolstering the bullpen when that’s one of our biggest strengths! Imagine any other team with Aroldis Chapman and Zack Britton as their eighth- and ninth-inning guys. There wouldn’t even be a question about adding another reliever. But the loss of Tommy Kahnle and the decline of Adam Ottavino changed everything. Since when do sixth- and seventh-inning guys change the entire complexion of a bullpen that calls for another All-Star addition?

How about the outfield? Up until a few months ago, Clint Frazier was a perpetual trade candidate. Now he’s a necessity on this roster. Aaron Hicks was a shrewd signing prior to the 2019 season, now he’s a payroll liability in the eyes of others. Aaron Judge may not have a future with the team because he can’t stay on the field, though he’s one of the best players in the sport. Brett Gardner’s career 2019 season proved he was a mainstay on the Yankees even though he’s only got a few years left in his career. Then a lackluster 2020 changed everyone’s minds.

Shall we move on to the infield? Luke Voit was a rumored trade candidate for some reason, simply because his value was high. He’s been nothing short of a consistent, impact contributor for the Yankees. Gio Urshela was in the same boat. The middle infield? Gleyber Torres is being ruled out as the shortstop of the future by some because of a poor small sample size. How can we address that? Only with a blockbuster trade in the form of Francisco Lindor, of course. And that’s created a conundrum with DJ LeMahieu. Do the Yankees pay upwards of $100 million for him if Torres isn’t the answer at short?

Forget about the starting rotation. That’s always a problem and perhaps the only part of the roster that should be incessantly questioned on an annual basis.

But behind the plate? We supposedly had the best hitting catcher in baseball, and now fans want him gone. Not traded — just gone. Non-tendered a contract. Released. See ya. We can’t blame them, either, because Gary Sanchez has batted .200 since 2018 and has gotten few timely hits. He strikes out a ton and plays bad defense. But how did it come to this?

We’re just as confused as you are. If you looked at this roster without it being associated with the New York Yankees, you probably wouldn’t have a critique. But because of the high expectations and what’s been determined as colossal failures, we’re here arguing about whether or not a blockbuster trade or free agent signing will push this star-studded team “over the hump” to win its first World Series since 2009.

Maddening wouldn’t even begin to describe the discourse.