All the Yankees need for Christmas is for Brian Cashman to make a move

The Yankees’ offseason started in October. While that’s only two months ago, to Yankees fans, it feels as though it’s been longer.

Why? I can’t speak for all Yankees fans, but based on my own feelings as well as what I’ve read on Yankees Twitter and heard from angry callers on WFAN… it’s safe to say that we’re losing confidence in our front office. And the buck stops with Brian Cashman.

Photo Credit: SportingNews

It’s confusing, too; fans can rattle off fated moves of offseasons past, in which Cash made surprise deals and did not give up until he landed the player that he felt that the Yankees so coveted, that was so essential to their success in the upcoming season (looking at you, A-Rod and Giancarlo Stanton).

But now? When it’s blatantly obvious that a move needs to be made? Sure, I’ve seen At-Bat notifications dance across my phone about minor league RHPs being picked up and dropped off from the waiver wire… Yawn. Okay, we’ve acquired James Paxton, which is no small move. It just doesn’t feel like enough.

While I still stand firmly on the anti-Manny Machado bandwagon, I’m at the point that it’s not only about who comes to the Yankees anymore. I just know that someone has to. Okay, not just any someone -- but a someone who has the potential to be a game-changer, to change the chemistry of the current team and move them in the direction of World Championship #28. And let’s not forget that the return of Didi Gregorius in 2019 is promised to no one (as optimistic as the reports may be).

How come I’m not as picky as I was before? Why do I feel “more okay” with Machado (or with a number of other choices) than I did in say, October? Because a move for a catalyst indicates that Cash is strategizing. And right now, a day before Christmas with just two months left until Pitchers and Catchers report (the same amount of time since the offseason started for the Yankees, give or take a few weeks), the only sign of hope I've seen is the report that Machado is going to assumedly enjoy his holiday season before choosing a team in 2019. For the time being, that's on Machado, not on the Yankees' front office; however, there are other choices out there. 

The Yankees need Santa (aka Cash) to deliver a catalyst… potentially in the form of:

Manny Machado
While it seems as though all of Yankees Twitter is calling for the arrival of Machado (and we now know that he won't be arriving under the Yankees' Christmas tree but may be a present that arrives after the new year), I’m not -- and never was. I know I’m going to get heat for this notion, but, the Yankees don’t need another right-handed slugger who hits home runs but strikes out 100 times in a season… and doesn’t hustle. However. As I stated earlier, while I can’t say I’ve warmed up to the idea, I’d rather see Machado than no catalyst player at all. I’m not even going to bother to reiterate stats and highlights and reasons why he is good here; we all know them by rote. 

Dallas Keuchel
I don’t think it’s a secret to anyone who reads my articles that Keuchel is my first choice for a big move for the Yankees in this offseason. Starting pitching is too important of a factor in a World Series quest to leave the Yankees’ starting rotation as is (and that includes Paxton now). In 2018, Paxton went 11-6, with an ERA of 3.76 and 208 Ks. Keuchel went 12-11, with an ERA of 3.74 and 153 Ks. Sure, their stats are similar, but which Yankees fan wouldn’t love to have a rotation of… wait for it… Severino – Keuchel – Paxton – Happ – Tanaka, and still have C.C. Sabathia available (but not as often, which works considering his age and his 2018 performance as well as his recent heart surgery)?

Troy Tulowitzki
Seeing as the Toronto Blue Jays will have to foot the bill for the $38 million that is owed to Tulowitzki following his December 11th release, he’s a cheaper option than say, Machado or one Bryce Harper. While he didn’t play in 2018 and missed part of 2017 due to an extended stay on the D.L., his condensed 2017 numbers are nothing to sniff at. In only 66 appearances, he managed a .249 batting average. However, it’s important to note that Tulo is a righty -- and the Yankees could use a lefty.

Photo Credit: New York Post

Freeing up money and spots on the roster
The Yankees don’t necessarily need a player under their Christmas tree -- yet. Making a move doesn’t always mean acquisition, but could also mean… reduction.

While Stanton has a no-trade clause in his contract, that’s not to say that the Yankees couldn’t arrange a deal for him that he may approve. That’s one less right-handed bat in the lineup, and potentially creates a space for Machado or Tulowitzki that wouldn’t have existed before. And the loss of Stanton’s $325 million contract (even if the Yankees reach a deal in which they’d pick up part of the tab but not continue to pay Stanton’s salary in its entirety) would be a welcome relief, freeing up a 25-man roster spot and dollars to spend on, say, pitching…

The Yankees could also solve the problem at first base, at least partially, by presenting Greg Bird with his pink slip and giving Luke Voit the job, at least to open the season. If the “Voit Experiment” doesn’t work long-term, Bird’s $582,000 salary is available to spend on another possible first baseman if released; or, he can be used as part of a trade package. After Bird only hit .199, with 11 home runs and 38 RBIs over 82 appearances over 2018, confidence in his abilities is understandably low. Additionally, his postseason experience is minimal at best, and the Yankees need clutch hitters in the postseason who don’t record strikeouts with RISP every time they find themselves in those situations.

While it’s extreme to say that any move is better than no moves at all, the Paxton move was not enough to restore fan confidence in the Yankees’ front office. Cash, do better. We’ve come to expect a Christmas miracle. 

Article by: Mary Grace Donaldson


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