SPANISH HARLEM – As the Yankees deal with the retirement of Mark Teixeira and the release of Alex Rodriguez, it got me thinking about what other Yanks could be dealt and/or released by this time next year. So, with my pinstriped GM cap on, here’s a my list of players that deserve to stay and those I would like to see let go.
With the likes of Aroldis Chapman, Andrew Miller and Carlos Beltran already gone, the Yankees are looking to get younger. Gary Sanchez ,brought up from the minor leagues, is getting a lot of playing time, so it looks like Brian McCann’s days as a Yankees could come to an end sooner rather than later. The last couple years the Yankees have developed catchers the way Apple develops new iPhones. Every year it seems the Yankees have a young catcher ready for the big leagues. This year it’s Sanchez’s turn. Sanchez has been considered the future of the Yankees for some time now, as he has progressed and played well at every stop of the minor leagues. Still only 23, the Yanks feel they have a future All-Star at the catchers position.
It certainly isn’t a bad idea to entertain offers on an aging catcher like Brian McCann when you have a player like Sanchez, who is younger and cheaper. It seems as though the Yankees are at their wits end when it comes to paying huge salaries for players past their prime. They will continue to look at their options, as McCann recently made it through the waiver wire. It won’t be easy and they may have to pay some part of his salary (2Yrs/36 Million left on the contract) but I think it’s a move you have to make.
As the Bombers look to get younger at key positions, another player that I feel they should look at is Chase Headley. His age (32) and numbers give you an idea of the player you will be getting for the duration of his remaining contract (2Yrs/26 Million Left), a below average third baseman with declining power. At a position where you would expect a power bat, you have a player like Headley who has averaged 11 home runs and 50 RBIs, as a Yankee since coming via trade in 2014. That just won’t cut in this league and when you consider how bad the Yankees hitting has been this year, you can look at Headley as one of the key reasons why. As of now he is on the books for two more years at an average of 13,000,000 million year… I see a player who is not worth the money. It will be a difficult decision since they don’t have a ready made replacement but they are the Yankees, you bite the bullet and make room for a younger more productive option from the minors.
Next up is Brett Gardner, who still brings value to the Yankees as a defensive player. His development has always baffled me; I definitely expected a better career than he has had so far. I saw a lot of value for a young gold glove caliber outfielder with the speed to steal bases and the eye for getting on base. But here’s the problem, for someone that walks as much as he does…he doesn’t steal bases. Now I know stealing bases aren’t as popular as they used to be but speed can be helpful especially when the team is scrapping for runs. Speed is a value that Gardner doesn’t seem take advantage of – he either doesn’t steal or gets caught when he does. If I’m the Yankees, I look to trade him while he is still relatively young and healthy. He had his chance to show what he could do and though the intangibles are there, I don’t see them play out too often.
The most difficult decision I see the Yankees facing is what to do with CC Sabathia. The big guy is owed 25 million next year on the final year of his deal. If he pitches the way he did in the first half of the season, then you can find some value, especially being a left-handed pitcher. He is basically a .500 pitcher, who no longer has the fastball to make up for any mistakes. The Yankees don’t seem to be as fortunate with young pitchers as they are with position players in the minor leagues, so I can see a scenario where CC plays the whole season next year in Pinstripes and walks away for good with a possible Hall of Fame induction. I still root for him but don’t expect much out of his starts anymore. With the Yankees not long on pitching and with a possible need for a lefty reliever next year, I can see them keeping Sabathia for one more season. But don’t be surprised if somewhere down the line… that changes.
That’s it. Comment below and let me know who you think should go on the Yankees and please follow us on Twitter @MeetTheMatts & @BuddyDiaz19 and like Facebook page, Meet The Matts. And definitely come back tomorrow for Different Matt. Thank you.