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The Yankees’ top priority this offseason

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What should the Yankees focus on this winter?

Citi Hoops Classic - Kentucky v Monmouth Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The Yankees’ braintrust gathered last week to discuss the team’s offseason strategy. These meetings create a roadmap for the winter, as the front office weighs a variety of possibilities. “I think it’s been a very healthy process for us to run through every year, to set up the winter program,” General Manager Brian Cashman told MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch. “It’ll take us wherever it takes us, so we’ll be in a better situation to evaluate any outside opportunities, be it trade or free agency, whether it’s pitcher or position player. We’ll factor it all in.”

Fresh off a frustrating departure from the ALDS, and with the stacked Boston Red Sox ready to continue their success, the Yankees have a lot of tough decisions to make. It figures to be quite the active offseason. The essential question, however, is where should the team begin? What stands out as the club’s top priority? There are several options to consider.

Signing Manny Machado or Bryce Harper

This free agent class features two elite bats, the kind teams dream about building around. At both 26 years old, Harper and Machado will hit the open market at the peaks of their careers. They will probably command record-breaking contracts, but that’s the price you pay for such talent.

As I wrote in a mailbag post over the weekend, the Yankees should always be in the business of adding impact talent. Signing Harper or Machado would fit the bill. The Bombers led the American League in wRC+ last season, but there’s no such thing as diminishing returns when it comes to offense. The Yankees figure to be involved, as they are with all top free agents, but will it be their number one priority?

Upgrading the starting rotation

The Yankees finished the 2018 season having received a 4.03 ERA (3.94 FIP) from its starters. With the impending free agencies of CC Sabathia, J.A. Happ, and Lance Lynn, as well as the seemingly inevitable Sonny Gray trade, Aaron Boone only has two reliable arms in his rotation. Luis Severino’s second-half avalanche slide and Masahiro Tanaka’s occasional inconsistency means the team needs some serious upgrades.

The free agent market offers some solutions, with Patrick Corbin headlining the list. The team could also pursue trades to round out the staff. Either way, the Yankees expect to be on the hunt for starting pitching. “We’re excited about adding to our rotation, it’s going to be a focus point for us,’’ Cashman told reporters earlier this month.

Replacing Didi Gregorius

The Yankees need to figure out who’s playing shortstop to start the 2019 season. That could determine the entire course of the offseason. The team may go big and sign Machado, or they could seek a more temporary replacement along the lines of Neil Walker or Adeiny Hechavarria. Internal options also exist, such as sliding Gleyber Torres over to short and using Tyler Wade or another infielder at second base. It stands to reason, however, that they will search outside the club for help.

Bolstering the bullpen

The Yankees have a number of key free agents when it comes to their bullpen. David Robertson and Zach Britton will both hit the open market. Kunj recently made the case for reinforcing the relief corps. Will the team act accordingly?

What do you think the Yankees should treat as their top priority? Vote in our poll and let us know in the comment below!

Poll

What should be the Yankees’ top priority this offseason?

This poll is closed

  • 10%
    Signing Manny Machado or Bryce Harper
    (608 votes)
  • 87%
    Upgrading the starting rotation
    (4978 votes)
  • 0%
    Replacing Didi Gregorius
    (29 votes)
  • 1%
    Bolstering the bullpen
    (64 votes)
5679 votes total Vote Now