One word that defines the New York Yankees is greatness. Fans and the organization alike hold the team to extremely high standards, but for a team with 27 world series rings, there even been a world series appearance since 2009, just playoff letdown after letdown, from seasons with such high expectations.
After a loss to the Tampa Bay Rays in game 6 of the 2020 AL Divisional series, the Yankees fell short yet again from an illustrious 28th world series. With an organization filled with talent and a fanbase that expects nothing less than greatness, GM Brian Cashman has been in hibernation since the game 6 loss, and after the Padres landed both Yu Darvish and Blake Snell, Yankees fans are screaming for the front office to make moves and land some top talent.
Before the Yankees look to improve on their weaknesses, the first order of business needs to be resigning DJ Lemahieu, the Yankees best player 2 years in a row, the AL batting champion in 2020, and a silver slugger winner in 2019 and 2020. Lemahieu has been the most consistent player on the Yankees 2 years in a row, he is the best all-around player on the team by far, and honestly, Cashman needs to hand him a blank check.
Other than Lemahieu, the only other question marks are the starting pitching and the outfield situation. In terms of starting pitching, the Yankees will be receiving a boost with their ace, Luis Severino, coming back healthy for the 2021 season. Other than Gerrit Cole, the Yankees’ other starters are either extremely inconsistent or unproven. With JA Happ being let walk into free agency and Masahiro Tanaka still not being resigned and his future as a Yankee being uncertain, there are holes to fill in the starting rotation. Names that are consistently being thrown around include Trevor Bauer, the reigning Cy Young Winner, Taijuan Walker, a 28-year-old righty who had a very solid 2020, posting a 2.70 era in 11 starts, and Jose Quintana, who had a decent 2020, but when at full form could provide a much needed lefty starter with the departures of both JA Happ and James Paxton.
The only other thing that needs to be addressed is Clint Frazier’s status in the outfield. After finally coming to fruition on the defensive side of his game, Frazier should be an everyday starter the Yankees should build around. Frazier has established himself as one of the game’s top young outfielders and needs to be playing every day for the Yankees. An outfield of Frazier, Aaron Hicks, and Aaron Judge is tops in the MLB.
When healthy, the Yankees are one of, if not the, best team in the MLB, if the injury bug doesn’t hit them as it did in 2020, and the front office can land some starting pitching, with one of the deepest lineups in the league, as well as a top 5 bullpen. The Yankees’ chase for their 28th ring is by no means a longshot, and if a player like Gary Sanchez can return to his 2017 form or find his groove again, there is not a team in the MLB that can match up player for player with the New York Yankees.