For each division, we will be doing an in-depth look at each team’s situations for the off-season and offer some insights to what would make sense.
We now move to the AL East, which is very top heavy and looks to be a boring off-season free agency-wise for most of the teams. The Orioles are the epitome of a dumpster fire, the Rays don’t/can’t spend money, the Blue Jays trade for two infielders every year and they don’t pan out, and the Red Sox and Yankees get into a dick-measuring contest.
New York Yankees
Top FA Targets:
- Patrick Corbin, SP
In one of the worst kept secrets, Patrick Corbin would like to play for the Yankees… and the Yankees need SP help. If they can line up the dollars and years, this is almost a sure thing.
- Manny Machado, SS/3B
With Didi Gregorius set to miss much of 2019 and it being a walk year, the Yankees could go ahead and sign Machado to a record deal. Machado could occupy SS for now and then shift to 3B in a few years (or sooner depending on Didi’s future in NY and Andujar’s defensive progression). Manny would benefit greatly from some protection in the lineup and form a “murderer’s row” with Judge, Stanton, Sanchez, Torres, and Andujar.
- Andrew Miller, RP
The Yankees haven’t had a dominant LHRP since they traded Miller away… wouldn’t it be scary seeing that 3-headed monster of Betances-Miller-Chapman again?
- Kelvin Herrera, RP
With David Robertson a free agent, the Yankees could look to another RHP with closing experience in Herrera. Herrera had great numbers in the AL prior to the trade to Washington and could be a bargain coming off an inury.
- Garrett Richards, SP
Same as the Red Sox… Looking ahead to 2020, as Richards is likely to miss all of 2019. Yankees can sign him to a 2 year deal and maybe he can make a postseason appearance in the pen before gearing up for 2020. CC Sabathia will retire after 2019 and he could fill the void in 2020.
Top 3 Trade Possibilities:
- Yankees trade SP Sonny Gray to the Reds for 2B Scooter Gennett
Sonny Gray is as good as gone… but to where? His $8.75M walk year is palatable for almost any team for a change of scenery. I predict the Evil Empire moves him to Cincy, who is hell-bent on adding pitching. With Gennett set to make $9M this year, the salary matches up well and the Reds can hope the change of scenery does well for Gray. If he turns it around, he would likely fetch a nice return at the deadline. For the Yankees, they add some LH pop to 2B and allow Torres to move to SS.
- Yankees trade OF Jacoby Ellsbury and OF Clint Frazier to the Phillies for 1B Carlos Santana
Jacoby Ellsbury has 2 years/$47.85M remaining and Carlos Santana has about 2 years/$41.5M remaining… pretty close in money. The Yankees have no place to play Ells with their current roster and the Phillies need to free up 1B for Hoskins. The Phillies receive former top prospect Clint Frazier in return for taking on the extra money for the worse player.
- Yankees trade OF Estevan Florial to the Mariners for SP James Paxton
This one is fairly straightforward. The Mariners need to rebuild and the Yankees need a couple SP. In Paxton, they snag a solid one with 2 years of team control for their top position prospect. Florial doesn’t have a clear path to the majors right now and the Yankees don’t have time to wait.
- Yankees trade RF Giancarlo Stanton to the Giants for 1B/OF Brandon Belt & 2B Joe Panik
The Stanton experiment never made sense on paper and after one year, it would be better for the Yankees to move him. The fans never fell in love with him and the Yankees don’t need two RFs. The Giants are starting a quick rebuild and could form a somewhat competitive team around Stanton during Posey’s twilight years. As mentioned in previous articles, the Giants need to free up 1B for Posey and would love to unload Belt and the $17.2M/yr for the next 3 years. On the flip-side, Belt would add some balance to a RH-heavy lineup and could thrive with the short porch in NY. Panik is set to make $4.5M this year (with one more run through arbitration in 2020) and could play a solid 2B for the Yankees until Didi returns.