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New Year’s resolutions for the 2020 Yankees

What should the Yankees resolve to do in 2020?

League Championship Series - New York Yankees v Houston Astros - Game Six Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

Happy New Year, everybody! As the new year begins, it’s that time to set some New Year’s resolutions to inspire improvements in the coming year. What are some goals the Yankees might set in 2020?

Matt Blake: Bring the pitching staff into the 21st century

As a member of the Cleveland Indians organization and a coordinator for Cressey Sports Performance, Blake worked with technology and advanced data to not only improve pitchers’ performances, but also their health. He was apparently a key component in the development of Cleveland’s top-shelf starting pitchers, including Trevor Bauer. By replacing Larry Rothschild, the Yankees hope they can bring their pitching staff to the next level.

Tanner Swanson: Unleash Gary Sanchez’s full potential

The Yankees made another big coaching staff acquisition in 2019, hiring Tanner Swanson away from the Minnesota Twins and naming him the new Major League Quality Control Coach and Catching Coordinator. Swanson was credited with the defensive breakout of Mitch Garver in 2019, and while Gary Sanchez has been successful at all elements of catching (framing, pitch blocking, and throwing at runners) at points in his career, he has never been able to put it all together. If Swanson can turn Sanchez, who many scouts said would never stick behind the plate, into at least an average one, it will be a big boon for the Yankees.

Deivi Garcia, Michael King, and Jordan Montgomery: Force difficult decisions

As of now, the Yankees’ rotation has locks in Gerrit Cole, Luis Severino, James Paxton, and Masahiro Tanaka, with one spot that could go to J.A. Happ or any of the young starters on the team. And much like Montgomery did two years ago, pitching his way onto the roster through a great spring training performance, it’s up to Garcia, King, and (once again) Monty to force the issue and steal the spot.

Gerrit Cole and Giancarlo Stanton: Show fans why they’re paid the big bucks

Do you think Stanton warned Cole that Yankees fans turn on guys with large contracts almost as quickly as they call on Brian Cashman to sign them? The best way to prevent that is to remind the fanbase why they received the large contracts. For Cole, that involves a repeat of his elite 2019; for Stanton, it means putting the injury-filled 2019 behind him and swat a bunch of dingers.

Clint Frazier: Leave 2019 in the past

At least at the plate, the first half of 2019 was a dream come true for Frazier: he was one of the team’s most reliable hitters in Judge’s absence, driving in 11 home runs and 11 doubles while posting a .283/.330/.513 line in 53 games (209 plate appearances). Unfortunately, most of the media and fanbase only remembers the defensive struggles and his “controversial” decision to exercise his union-negotiated right to take three days to move back to and report to Scranton.

Due to the amount of outfield depth on the Yankees, Frazier probably only has one more season to make an impact and show the Yankees that he must be part of their long-term plans. And to do that, he needs to not worry about 2019.

Masahiro Tanaka: Change the calendar to October

In 46 postseason innings, the Yankees’ right-hander has a 1.76 ERA—two full points lower than his career regular season ERA of 3.75. Tanaka has always thrived most in big games, so much so that he turns from solid mid-rotation piece to ace in the month of October. With that in mind, everybody should just change all the calendars near him to October, and convince him that he’s playing in one long postseason.

Gleyber Torres: Remind MLB that he’s part of the youth movement

Baseball has been in a youth movement for the last few years (arguably since Mike Trout and Bryce Harper entered the league). Nonetheless, the Yankees’ young middle infielder has remained as under-hyped as anybody with two All-Star appearances before the age of 23 could be, as he is continually ignored in favor of Ronald Acuna, Vladimir Guerrero, and Carlos Correa, among others. The 2020 season would be a good time to change that.

The entire lineup: Keep being savages

Sometimes, a resolution isn’t something that needs to be changed; sometimes it’s something that needs to be maintained. The group of savages that will return mostly intact in 2020 led all of baseball in runs scored and came in second in home runs and OPS+. Of the 16 players with more than 100 plate appearances in 2019, 13 had an OPS+ of 100 or more (and two of the players who weren’t were Didi Gregorius and Austin Romine). The entire 2020 projected starting lineup put together a 117 OPS+ or more in their last full season.

The entire organization: Upgrade the strength and conditioning program

Unfortunately, the one thing that could be this team’s undoing is the thing that made the 2019 squad special: the sheer number of injuries. Now, some of them cannot be prevented, such as Edwin Encarnacion’s broken wrist, but the large amount of pulls, strains, and tears almost certainly are indicative of a systemic problem with the strength and conditioning program.

Fortunately, the Yankees have reportedly overhauled the strength and conditioning staff. Hopefully, that’s not an example of forcing somebody to take the fall, but rather an indication that actual changes are underway.


The last decade was a lot of fun for Yankees fans, aside from those dark years known as 2013 and 2014. The beginning of the decade witnessed the core of the 2009 champions give a few more title runs before it fell apart in 2013. Three years later, we finally saw what a rebuild was like, and experienced the excitement of trading Aroldis Chapman, Andrew Miller, Carlos Beltran, and Ivan Nova for prospects while Gary Sanchez and Aaron Judge made their debuts. Expecting to see the first sub-.500 team in twenty years, 2017 instead saw the breakout of the Baby Bombers, and since then, the Yankees have been a super-team.

The only way this decade could have been better? A parade down the Canyon of Heroes. So let’s do that in the next decade, shall we?