Who are we kidding? Do we really think the New York Yankees are going to “learn” from their mistakes? The continued missteps have been occurring for years. Why would there be a change in philosophy at the snap of a finger?
Maybe the reality of everything coming crashing down after 2022 will help? Or maybe the front office will finally start realizing their way isn’t the right one. Perhaps there will be divine intervention. Whatever it is, there needs to be some sort of realization among the decision makers that whatever they’ve been doing has many cracks.
From the lineup construction to the analytical approach to the free agency/trade acquisitions, there’s something gravely wrong at more turns than we’d like to admit. And no offseason made that more obvious than last.
The Yankees got complacent. Their direct competition got worse, and they seemingly believed momentous upgrades weren’t needed — that they could take the next step with what they had, even though it was evident that “next step” wasn’t coming without change or reinforcements.
Now, with a number of holes on the roster heading into 2022, the Yankees will need to maneuver by making the right choices and avoiding the same mistakes that have doomed them the last few years.
One single person isn’t at fault. This is an organizational failure. And though it’s going to take a lot of folks aligning to turn things around, the objectives are relatively simple. If the team can get it right just this once…
The Yankees need to avoid these mistakes from last offseason in 2022.
3. Find an Answer at Shortstop
Somehow, the shortened 2020 season wasn’t enough for the Yankees to realize Gleyber Torres wasn’t a shortstop. Starting him at the position in 2021 wasn’t exactly egregious, but waiting until there were two weeks left in the season to make a real change was.
Torres was moved back to second base on Sept. 13 rather than at the trade deadline, when they couldn’t made the switch and found a solution in the form of literally anybody else. That could’ve very well saved their season. Instead, the Yankees went into the AL Wild Card Game with Andrew Velazquez as their starter, which was a big disadvantage since they were missing DJ LeMahieu, had guys like Joey Gallo underperforming, and had no choice but to start Brett Gardner (due to a lack of outfield depth) and Kyle Higashioka (Gerrit Cole’s personal catcher).
Velazquez at short probably wouldn’t have been that big of an issue if the rest of the cast was at full strength or somewhere close to it. Even worse is Torres cost the Yankees a number of wins with his awful defense during the regular season … and all it took was one more win for the Yankees to host the Wild Card Game rather than travel to Fenway Park for it.
Some people want the Bombers to go after guys like Carlos Correa and Trevor Story this offseason. We wouldn’t be opposed to it, but we just don’t see it happening. There are plenty of ways to go about this, but they just need to make sure whoever they appoint can play rock solid defense and bring some sort of differing element to the game with their offense (contact bat, big power, ability to steal bases, etc.) Anything. Because Torres disappearing act in the batter’s box played a role in the team’s regression here as well.