Why George Springer could ruin the 2021 Yankees’ season
By Adam Weinrib
George Springer could ruin the Yankees’ season if he makes his next move quickly.
The Yankees have already had their 2017 and 2019 seasons ruined, in part, by George Springer, alongside the rest of his Houston Astros brethren.
Even though Springer’s departure from Texas is imminent, seemingly weakening the Yanks’ top rival from the past four years, he’s uniquely poised to dictate the outcome of their 2021 season, too. Great.
For most of the offseason — right through Christmas — it was assumed Springer would go to the New York Mets, and would scoot his way out of the league to join the “rivals” who most Yankees fans safely ignore, save for a few days every summer.
But after the Francisco Lindor trade was completed as dialed last week, it seems more and more likely that Springer will head north to the Toronto Blue Jays, the only other supposed big spender that’s been competitive for his services.
And the longer he waits to make that decision, the more of an impact he has on DJ LeMahieu.
As Passan put it, Springer’s quick trigger could put an extreme amount of pressure on the Yankees-LeMahieu staredown — or, by some miracle, it could expedite a deal. The player with all the power here is the 32-year-old center fielder.
"Whatever the fuel behind the Yankees’ decision-making, every day that goes by, they’re daring LeMahieu to leave. He could take the Toronto Blue Jays’ money, which hasn’t been very popular even though it spends the same, or go jewelry-chasing with the Los Angeles Dodgers, who won’t pay him what he wants but have a 24-karat gold, diamond-encrusted sales pitch. And every day, their bluff hasn’t been called.The danger for the Yankees comes if, as some expect, Springer signs first — and it’s not with Toronto. For all the intrigue of, say, LeMahieu playing third base for the Atlanta Braves, the Blue Jays have made the most sense fit-wise outside of the Bronx. And if they missed on Lindor and missed on Hendriks and missed on Springer, overpaying for LeMahieu — while antithetical to how president Mark Shapiro and GM Ross Atkins run the organization — is not out of the realm of possibility."
First, there’s the annoyance of Springer joining the division long-term. And, we must say…pretty annoying! But him signing up north right away is actually the best-case scenario for the Yankees.
If he drags out conversations with Toronto, that keeps a large pile of money free for LeMahieu. And if the Jays feel they’re drifting away from Springer, they could up the ante to further convince a dismayed LeMahieu to abandon his post.
Of course, there’s also the potential of Springer signing with the Mets — or another interested team — in the next week. That’s certainly what LeMahieu’s camp wants. It would create a minor frenzy.
All things considered, most seem to agree that Toronto will come “close” to securing LeMahieu’s services, enjoying the resulting press, but will not sign him away from the Bronx.
But if those teams are the so-called “final two” — and they appear to be — then George Freaking Springer holds all the cards.
We just can’t get rid of this guy.