Yankees' next order of business: Getting the band back together


With Cole-a-palooza officially out of the way, the Yankees can turn their attention on filling out the remainder of their roster this Winter, and the first moves to be made should be taking care of the family business.  Per SNY’s Andy Martino, the Yankees could be closing in on a deal to bring back Brett Gardner soon.



Once Gardner is retained, the next order of business should be bringing back Dellin Betances, who is currently being pursued by the cross-town rival New York Mets, as well as the Philadelphia Phillies and former Yankee manager Joe Girardi.

Brett Gardner put together a career year in 2019, and with CC Sabathia officially retired, he would be the lone veteran presence who has been with the team prior to the 2014 season. He is the last holdover from the club’s latest championship team in 2009.


Photo Credit: Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports

Gardner, in his age-36 season, was expected to just play a complimentary role in 2019, with Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Hicks and Aaron Judge the projected everyday left, center & right fielders, respectively.  We know what happened next, however.  Stanton and Hicks both spent significant time on the Injured List, and Gardner was pressed into everyday service.  In 141 games, Gardner put up a .251/.325/.502 slash line with a 4.0 WAR, 117 OPS+ and 115 wRC+.  He would once again be expected to fill the void in center along with Mike Tauchman until Aaron Hicks - recovering from offseason Tommy John Surgery - returns in June or July.

Photo Credit: Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

Dellin Betances experienced a lost 2019 season, appearing in just one game, striking out both batters he saw.  Betances injured his shoulder in Spring Training that ultimately led to him needing surgery to remove bone spurs.  He returned in late September, only to partially tear his Achilles and end his season.  Surgery was not recommended, and he’s been in a walking boot since, with plans to begin his rehab soon.  Dellin experienced a dominant five year stretch between 2014 and 2018 in which he was one of the top relievers in all of baseball and accounted for an 11.6 WAR.  The Yankees certainly missed him in the 2019 postseason, as they were forced to overuse Chad Green and Tommy Kahnle.  Bringing back Betances for 2020 would give New York arguably the greatest bullpen ever assembled.

With the Cole deal now officially on the books, the Yankees will in all likelihood be blowing past the upper threshold of Major League Baseball's Competitive Balance Tax (Luxury Tax), so committing another $20 million or so to two old friends shouldn't be that much of a restraint.  The veteran leadership these two provide, not to mention their on-field production, would be the perfect cherry on top of this year's Winter Meetings.

Article by: Andrew Natalizio

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