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How to Fill the Holes in Yankees’ Key Positions

Yankees' Key Positions

The New York Yankees have are in a difficult situation. They are trying to look for players to fill key roles in their lineup. Brian Cashman, the Yankees’ GM and Senior Vice President, has a lot of work to do. Whether it is pitching, a first baseman, or a center fielder, there are a few of the Yankees’ key positions that really need to be filled and quickly.

Centerfield

Centerfield is one of the most critical of Yankees’ key positions that needs to be filled. It is uncertain as to what is going to happen with Brett Gardner. Last Thursday, Gardner declined the player option valued at $2.3 million. The Yankees also declined the club option, valued at $7.15 million with a $1.15 million buyout. This means that Gardner could be gone soon. So what players will the Yankees acquire for this key position and others?

Aaron Hicks is a player of interest for centerfield. Between the Minnesota Twins and the Yankees, he has played 740 games with over 2,400 at-bats. Although he has spent a lot of his Yankee career on the IL, with his experience, he is one to look at.

Yankees' Key Positions


Image Courtesy of Jason Rollison from https://www.bucsdugout.com

Another player the Yankees can acquire is Bryan Reynolds, center fielder for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Rumor has it that Yankees may be interested in Reynolds. According to Mark Polishuk from mlbtraderumors.com, Yankees have been asking about Reynolds for the past six months alone. Others teams like the Houston Astros, Miami Marlins, Milwaukee Brewers and Atlanta Braves have also been trying to get their hands on Reynolds.

Although Reynolds only has three seasons under his belt, with 2020 being a short season, he has a .290 career batting average. In the 2021 season, he hit .302 with 169 hits, 24 home runs and 90 RBIs. He is definitely a person of interest for the centerfield position.

Another option, according to Joel Sherman of nypost.com, is to trade for someone such as Starling Marte. Marte started his career with the Pirates back in 2012, got traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks in January of 2020, then got traded to the Marlins in August of 2020. Before becoming a free agent on November 3, 2021, he was on the Oakland Athletics, who acquired him from a trade of RHP Jesus Luzardo. Marte’s numbers are great, with a .289 career batting average, 1,256 hits in 1,134 games and 502 RBIs. Marte is a great fit for the Yankees.

Shortstop

The Yankees have several options here. They have DJ LeMahieu, Gleyber Torres and Gio Urshela. All three of these players are versatile and can play the whole infield although LeMahieu usually plays second, Torres at shortstop and Urshela as the third baseman.

The Yankees could also try to get Carlos Correa from the Houston Astros. This would help a lot with their offense, but there is one problem. Correas was part of the Astros cheating scandal that left a bad taste is many people’s mouths. It was the Astros that won the American League Championship Series against the Yankees in 2017 in seven games.

First base

First base is another issue. Anthony Rizzo and Luke Voit are players to look at for this position. Like Hicks, Rizzo has experience, having been in the league since 2011. According to MLB.com, Rizzo was drafted in the sixth round in 2007 by the Boston Red Sox. He made his MLB debut on June 9, 2011 for the San Diego Padres. Chicago acquired Rizzo on January 6, 2012 , along with right-handed pitcher Zach Cates, for right-handed pitcher Andrew Cashner and left fielder Kyung-Min Na.

Luke Voit, another first baseman, is a guy to consider. Voit has spent a considerable amount of time on the IL, only playing 68 games this season. His batting average is .239, although his career average is .267. Voit kept landing on the IL due to left knee inflammation, which ended his season on October 3, 2021. He has 133 career walks and a career OPS of .867 so he does get on base a good amount of time. Don’t count him out yet.

Pitching

Here is something interesting. The Yankees are really looking to make their pitching dominant. More rumors are going around, but this time it has to do with a specific pitcher. According to Mark Feinsand of MLB.com, the Yankees are one of eight teams likely to get Max Scherzer.

Yankees' Key Positions
Image Courtesy of Alden Gonzalez from https://flipboard.com

Scherzer’s MLB debut was April 29, 2008. Throughout his career, he played for four different teams: the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Detroit Tigers, the Washington Nationals and the Los Angeles Dodgers. Scherzer’s career ERA is 3.16 while his total innings pitched is 2,536.2. His latest stint with the Dodgers that started at the end of July shows that he still has skills. His ERA during this time was 1.98, with a 7-0 record in 11 games. Some would say that he is getting old, but this 37-year-old, but yet he is still one of the best pitchers in the game. With talent like that and still performing at such a high level, age doesn’t seem to matter.

There are many players that can fill these Yankees’ key positions. With all the different options that the Yankees have, it is not wonder that they have a bunch of decisions to make. Looking for the players for the Yankees’ key positions  is important. The Yankees need to figure it out and fast.

Featured Image Courtesy of Ron Juckett from https://calltothepen.com

Stats Courtesy of MLB.com

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