1. Jonathan Loaisiga
Now that the Yankees won’t be threatened by the dreaded CBT, maybe it’s time to take care of one of their own a little ahead of schedule, much the same way they did with Severino prior to the 2018 season?
Jonathan Loaisiga has proven this season that he’s not your run-of-the-mill middle innings arm, but has much more potential than that. He’s come a long way from … well, from the tail end of 2020, when it kind of seemed like he might be a tweener who’d never “make it” or carve out a role for himself.
Now, he’s showing off the poise of a future closer, both on the mound in every non-fatigued outing he’s thrown this year, as well as off the field, where he seems to praise his teammates at every turn and take full responsibility for his failings like a young and humble Mariano Riv–don’t say it. But it’s been refreshing.
Loaisiga is under control through 2024, and he only strikes out a batter per inning, atypical for a shutdown late-innings option — but that doesn’t tell the whole story. We all know relievers are fungible, so we’re not expecting the Yankees to shoot the moon here, but it would be nice to lock up his final arbitration years at a cheap price, as well as one more season after that, keeping him in place for the next four years after this one.
If you believe in him as the heir apparent to Aroldis Chapman, you make this move now.