The New York Yankees were a few managerial moves away from the World Series this past season and while they have no manager, the team must still make a big offseason splash. Their woes will show that pitching is a top concern, but Brian Cashman may be trying to save his job and go for the big fish– Giancarlo Stanton. While adding a bat like Stanton’s to the lineup will give the Yankees a boom, going yard is not their problem. What they need is a leadoff hitter who will make a pitcher work and that’s where Dee Gordon comes into play.
The Yankees have Starlin Castro at 2B and while his numbers (66 runs, 133 hits, 16 home runs) are good, Gordon’s numbers (114 runs, 201 hits, two home runs) are better suited for this team. Yes, the Yankees have won with Castro but imagine what they could do with Gordon batting first. Castro does have more power than Gordon but where Dee Gordon makes up for it is with his speed. What team in MLB would not love to have a player who has 208 stolen bases over the past four seasons?
Looking back at Gordon’s numbers, you have to wonder what he could do with better hitters protecting him. With Gordon as the Marlins’ leadoff hitter, he’s protected in the lineup by Christian Yelich (18 home runs, 0.282 BA) and Stanton (59 home runs, 139 RBIs) last season. While Stanton is the NL MVP, the Marlins were forced to use Stanton in the second hole just to drive in runs with Gordon and his 0.308 batting average. What that did was hinder the Marlins as their two best players were at the top of the order with no real practical threat after them. The Yankees have no such problem.
Picture Gordon at the top of the order followed by Brett Gardner, Aaron Hicks, and Aaron Judge. That’s a player with a threat to steal a base every time he reaches, followed by the Yankees leading hitter (157) then Hicks (52 RBIs), with Judge (52 home runs) and Gary Sanchez (33 home runs) backing up. It may not seem like much of a difference on paper but with Gordon on base as the leadoff guy, that will make any pitcher nervous. With the pitcher looking over his shoulder at Gordon, he then has only a split-second to focus on Gardner which can lead to a mistake the Yankees will take advantage of.
Castro has been great for the Yankees but comparing the production with the cost, Gordon is the productive way to go. Castro is on the books to make $21 million over the next two seasons with a club option for $16 million in 2020. Gordon will cost the Yankees $23.5 million in the next two seasons with another $13 million in 2020. Do the math and Gordon is the best option here, money and production wise.
— UNINTERRUPTED (@uninterrupted) September 26, 2017
According to CBSSports, the Yankees are still searching for a manager and while this may take some time, the team still has holes to fill this offseason. Stanton may be the hot name on the market and there is no denying his production, however, Gordon is the smarter play if the Cashman is looking to improve the offense.
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