After an early exit from the postseason yet again, the New York Yankees face a multitude of questions and decisions to be made before the start of the 2022 season. The biggest one is if the Yankees have it in them to create a shakeup that can turn this team into a World Series contender for real. If they can do that, some faces of the Yankees will have to go. So here is my assessment of the situation facing the Yankee organization in no particular order.
Unless Hal Steinbrenner wants to shake up the whole organization, it is doubtful that he will part with Brian Cashman, but in over twenty years of leadership, he has brought the Yankees to only one World Series. For his supporters who want to bring up the early Championships of Joe Torre, those teams were not built by Brian Cashman. Stick Michaels and Joe Torre built those teams.
During his tenure, the San Francisco Giants have won the World Series three times, the Red Sox twice, and even the lowly Kansas City Royals and Washington Nationals have won. If the Yankees part with Cashman, the name Theo Epstein comes to mind, but I think he wants to own a team, not be general manager of one. Beyond that, it’s anyone’s guess.
Although the front office has shown support of Aaron Boone, I believe he has only a 50/50 chance of remaining the Yankee manager. After four seasons, he doesn’t seem to be the man that can bring this team to a World Series win. He doesn’t seem to be able to motivate players and has made many on-the-spot questionable moves. Should the Yankees decide not to renew his contract at the end of this season, there are a host of replacement possibilities.
With the Yankees’ failed experiment with a manager with no experience, they will not likely do that again in favor of a manager with experience. The first one that comes to mind is the consistently successful win-it-now manager Dusty Baker. It is not likely that Baker will be rehired by the Astros, even though he brought the team to 95 wins.
Others to consider are ex-Red Sox manager John Farrel and Mike Scioscia of the Angels. Many believe that Alex Rodriguez would make an excellent yet controversial manager of the Yankees. The only problem with that is he can make megabucks elsewhere rather than accept a low-paying manager job. Other possibilities are Bruce Bochy and Buck Showalter. The knock against them is that they are not the type of big analytics guys that Cashman will want.
My guess is that the Yankees will not do the right thing and replace this lack of a motivator manager who fails to reward players for excellent play nor hold them responsible for poor play. He is just not the man for the job.
Just the fact that the Yankees’ most controversial player comes up at the end of every season as someone the Yankees should replace should be a signal that the guy has got to go. He hasn’t grown as a player or a catcher, and I don’t think you would want him teaching any upcoming Yankee catcher. His lack of defensive abilities and batting average says it’s time for him to go finally.
With the New York Yankees likely to have to put out money for a shortstop and center fielder, they likely will not spend big in favor of keeping Kyle Higashioka as a bridge to prospect, Austin Wells. Higashioka, although not the home runner Sanchez is, is a far superior catcher with better framing and a better contact hitter percentage.
Gleyber Torres is a failed experiment that has not grown as a Yankee; he has regressed as a failed shortstop and error-ridden second baseman. Probably the fault of the Yankee organization; I don’t see a long-term improvement in Torres, who is no longer the 22 year old with a bright future.
The New York Yankees have a bivy of possibilities to get themselves a new shortstop. Trevor Story has oft been mentioned, but I don’t see him as a good fit for the Yankees. Exciting possibilities for the Yankees that won’t break the bank include Javier Baez, Carlos Correa, and Jose Iglesias, a cheapy.
I said in an article yesterday I have no clue why the Yankees gave him a big-time contract extension. He is in the mold of Jacoby Ellsbury and Greg Bird. I think Yankee fans will agree that Jacoby Ellsbury was Brian Cashman’s worst acquisition, but my friends, here’s one for you, Ellsbury played in 27 more games with the Yankees in his four years than Hicks has in his six years. So for anyone that believes that Hicks will stay healthy and be dependable in the center, it’s a pipe dream; the Yankees should buy him out and rid themselves of him.
There are many options for the Yankees for the offseason, including players with options such as the more significant money Jackie Bradley Junior or Kevin Pillar. Both are excellent defenders and can offer more at the plate than Hicks.
If the New York Yankees choose to resign Anthony Rizzo as their first baseman, the sad fact is the Yankees have no use for Luke Voit. Voit like Hicks can’t stay healthy. He played in only 68 games this season, primarily due to a multitude of injuries. He has lost his power and runs the bases like the tractor pull at your local county fair. The Yankees have a glut as DH, so he has no use there either.
Likely, Voit will not be in pinstripes again next year, and there is no reason to replace him, assuming they re-sign Rizzo.
I hate to even breach this subject because I love Brett Gardner and all he has done for the Yankees in his 14 years tenure with the Yankees, but he will turn 39 next year, and his time with the Yankees should be over. The fact is that he is no longer the player he once was. He is still an excellent defender, but his arm is not what it once was; he can’t steal bases and is a liability at the plate. This year he was supposed to be a bench player but ended up playing more than anyone expected. He did rise to the occasion during the last quarter of the season, but not well enough to warrant another year. Then, he can retire as a proud Yankee.
Not included in this article is hitting coach Marcus Thames who’s time with the Yankees should also be over. Please read my article on Thames here.
EmpireSportsMedia.com’s Columnist William Parlee is a member of the Society for American Baseball Research. Follow me on Twitter @parleewilliam.
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