Yankees upcoming free agents

After a memorable 2017 season, the New York Yankees have some work to do before pitchers and catchers report in February. First off, the team needs to decide whether or not to re-sign GM Brian Cashman and Manager Joe Girardi, and after those are sorted out, the club has a few critical free agents to deal with as well. The list of notable Yankee free agents is as follows:  SP CC Sabathia, DH Matt Holliday, 3B Todd Frazier, SP Jaime Garcia, and SP Michael Pineda. It is also worth noting that Masahiro Tanaka could join this list if he decides to opt out of his contract.

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The longtime veteran starting pitcher CC Sabathia has finally fulfilled his mammoth contract he signed before the 2009 season, and it is safe to say he was worth every penny. CC finished the regular season 14-5 with a 3.69 ERA and 2.8 WAR, and in four postseason starts, he was 1-1 a 2.37 ERA. It is safe to say the lefty had a stellar season for the Yanks and shows he still has some gas in the tank. However, he is 37 with knee problems that led him to consider retirement just this summer, so a long-term contract is unlikely. After the heartbreaking game seven ALCS loss in Houston, CC told reporters, “This is my home. I want to see things through. I want to come back here and finish things off. This is where I want to be.” With the uncertainty of the Bronx starting rotation, the Yankees could do worse than resigning CC Sabathia to a short-term deal. Prediction: CC re-signs to a one year ~$8m-12m deal.
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Matt Holliday is another 37-year-old free agent, but unlike CC, the righty slugger did not finish the year on a high note. After going on the DL for the second time, Holliday never regained his starting spot finishing the year batting .231 with 19 HRs, 64 RBI, 0.0 WAR, and a .748 OPS on 373 at-bats. In the playoffs, Holliday was hitless through three at-bats. The Yankees could go a number of ways at the DH spot, from looking to the farm system with Miguel Andujar, using Chase Headley and Jacoby Ellsbury again, or signing a more productive free agent like a JD Martinez to fill the role. Holliday was a great mentor to rookie phenom Aaron Judge, but that probably won’t be enough to garner a new contract for the Yanks. Prediction: Matt Holliday leaves for greener pastures.
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The lifelong Yankee fan, and if you haven’t heard, the Pride of Tom’s River, Todd Frazier is a free agent as well. Coming over in a trade from the Chicago White Sox, the righty third baseman finished the year batting .213 with 27 HRs, 76 RBI, 3.4 WAR and a .772 OPS in 424 at-bats. Frazier quickly became a fan and locker room favorite with his trademark thumbs down sign that took over the team through the end of the season. However, like Holliday, there is a lot of options the Yankees can go at his position, with Chase Headley still on the roster and prospects like Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar waiting in the wings, it is unlikely the Yankees front office makes Frazier a priority this offseason. Prediction: Yankees possibly offer Frazier smaller contract, but Frazier leaves for a better offer and an opportunity to start.
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Jaime Garcia is another trade deadline addition for the Yankees, as the lefty starter came from Minnesota right before Sonny Gray came from Oakland. Garcia finished the year 5-10 with a 4.41 ERA and 1.6 WAR but finished the year relegated as a long reliever for the postseason with Jordan Montgomery. As much uncertainty the Yankees have in the starting rotation, the Yankees don’t need to offer Garcia a new contract, as they can add better options in free agency or use younger options like Chance Adams and Jordan Montgomery to fill his spot. Prediction: Garcia also leaves and signs with a new club.

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Michael Pineda came over from the Seattle Mariners in 2012 for in a package deal that included Jesus Montero, at the time it was pretty controversial, as Montero was a prized prospect for the Yankees. Needless to say, it worked out in the Yankees favor, as Montero has done next to nothing in the Mariners organization and the Yankees got almost four semi-productive years out of Pineda. The righty starter has always been a tantalizing but inconsistent piece for the Yanks, as he never seemed to fully reach his potential while in the Bronx. Pineda started the year 8-4 with a 4.39 ERA this year, but his season was cut short in July when he underwent Tommy-John Surgery to repair a torn UCL. Prediction: This injury will most likely preclude the Yankees from resigning the former All-Star.

The Yankees have a lot of decisions to make this year, and between these free agents decision and a boatload of arbitration-eligible players, the 2017-2018 offseason will be an exciting time for the Bronx faithful.

Article by: Maxx Hotton

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