Yankees Already Looking to 2019 May Have Huge Changes On The Way

NY Yankees
Julie Jacobson / AP

Most teams surging toward the playoffs at this point of September aren’t thinking about the next season, but the Yankees aren’t like most teams. While they are trying to secure home-field advantage in the wild-card race, they are also putting together a wish list of players to pursue, potential position changes, and a list of players on the hook to be traded. Most fans won’t like some of the rumored moves, but in order to stay competitive, general manager Brian Cashman is always wheeling and dealing.

The bullpen has been solid this year, aside from Aroldis Chapman’s injuries, so it is likely they will make a solid offer to David Robertson per NJ Advance Media. He has always liked pitching for the Yankees, but it’s also never stopped him from leaving for a a bigger check. If his price is on the high side, Cashman will let him walk in a heartbeat. It will be a take it or leave it offer, it will be fair, but it will likely not be as much as he can get elsewhere because it won’t be closer money.

Miguel Andujar has too much bat to not have in the lineup if he stays on the team, but he is so bad defensively he can’t be used at third anymore. It’s not even a point of debate that he is the defensively worst starting third baseman in baseball, the statistics bear that out. He turns average grounders into adventures. He is more suited to first base, or left field, but either move will depend on three other moves; what the Yankees do about Brett Gardner, and pursuing Manny Machado and Bryce Harper.

If the Yankees acquire Machado, expect Andujar to potentially be trade bait for pitching, especially if they go after Harper also, which there are rumors of per The Sporting News. If the Yankees get Harper, expect him to work out at first. If for some reason the Yankees pick up the $12.5 million option for Brett Gardner, Andujar may be stuck in a no man’s land of rotating positions. Hard as it is for some fans to swallow, the potential Rookie of the Year candidate may not be in pinstripes next year.

Brett Gardner is almost as good as gone. Whether Harper is acquired or not, there is a logjam of outfielders and Gardner is too old, too unproductive, and too expensive to keep around. Even as a fourth or fifth outfielder per NJ Advance Media. Along with him, the Yankees may A-Rod Jacoby Ellsbury’s $42 million remaining on his deal, eating the cost to release him and clear a roster spot. Estevan Florial is on the way up soon and needs a slot.

The book on Gary Sanchez has been his positives outweigh his negatives, or put another way, he hit well enough to be the worst defensive catcher in baseball. This year that hasn’t been true. He has been awful at the plate, he isn’t throwing runners out which was his one strong suit. He hasn’t learned enough English to communicate with the pitching staff on the mound without someone interpreting for him, and he spent two months injured. The sad thing is, his groin injuries are the product of the weight he is carrying, which former manager Joe Girardi said he had to lose to stay healthy and productive.

Of the Yankees’ pitchers, J.A. Happ will likely be a keeper so long as he will take a shorter deal of no longer than four years. Lance Lynn will likely leave for a bigger check, and it is a safe bet that Sonny Gray will be dealt somewhere, most likely for a pair of prospects. With Jonathan Loaisiga, Jordan Montgomery, Domingo German, and of course Justus Sheffield will all be fighting for a spot according to The Inquisitr. While C.C. Sabathia has said he will pitch one more year if the Yankees don’t win the 2018 World Series, his knees may balk at that and call him to retirement per the MLB website.

The Yankees are always a team in flux, and this winter will be no different. After a year of spending under the luxury tax cap, the Yankees have room to spend huge this off-season. They will likely bring in a superstar and a couple of big names. In doing that, people have to go, and that includes sentimental favorites like Gardner and maybe a rising star like Andujar. When new additions are looked at along with rising prospects that need to play or be dealt, this will be one of the busiest winter meetings for the Yankees in recent memory.