1. Kevin Gausman
Yes, the Yankees probably should’ve traded for Kevin Gausman a long time ago, too. But it’s time to let bygones be bygones. It’s also time to correct those bygones by making proper moves.
Gausman, who might’ve started the All-Star Game this season if Dave Roberts hadn’t been trying to woo Scherzer to the Dodgers, took a step back in July before turning on the burners again in August and September. He hasn’t been quite as spotless as he was during the first half, but he’s plainly proven his first half wasn’t a fluke.
On the year, the sinker-balling righty has continued to piece his arsenal together after his early days in Baltimore, when he only ever seemed to look good against the Yankees. This season, he’s 14-5 with a 2.65 ERA (1.73 mark in the first half), and he very impressively fares better on the road than at his spacious home ballpark by the Bay (6-3, 3.39 at home; 8-2, 2.11 on the road).
This comes after 79 Ks in 59.2 innings with the Giants during the shortened 2020 season; clearly, he made the adjustment we all knew he had in him the second he landed in San Francisco.
If the Yanks go the extra mile and add Gausman to their rotation as a durable No. 2 with No. 1 upside, fans will have to hear endlessly about how Greg Bird was his high school catcher. Odds are that discourse will be worth it, though.
Kevin Gausman’s Projected Contract: Four Years, $64 Million