The Yankees parted ways with some household names during the 2020 offseason. Players like Didi Gregorius, Dellin Betances, and Austin Romine found new homes for this year as all three signed one-year deals to play elsewhere. So, how did they do in their new threads? Let’s take a look back, as we near another winter during which the Yankees will make more tough decisions.
Pretty much every single Yankees fan cringed at the sight of Didi in a Phillies uniform. He was such an integral part of the Yankees for five years that it hurt to see him in anything except pinstripes. That said, I’m sure it makes fans happy to see that he had a pretty solid season with Philly.
To start, Gregorius played every single game of the shortened season. After playing only 82 games in 2019 with New York due to Tommy John Surgery, seeing Didi bounce back by not missing a single game is a good sight to see. He slashed .284/.339/.488 with a .827 OPS and 116 wRC+. Those numbers are only over a 60-game span, but they’re all above-average marks.
That will play large for Gregorius as he enters free agency again this offseason, but some may question how legit those numbers may be. According to Baseball Savant, Gregorius was dancing with lady luck a little bit. He placed in the bottom two percent in exit velocity and bottom eight percent in hard hit percentage, not to mention his -1 outs above average number with his glove. That comes after he posted -14 OAA during his 2019 campaign.
Didi was sturdy for Philadelphia this season. As he hits free agency for the second straight season, he should get some decent offers. While it’s doubtful, maybe he could end up back in the Bronx if the Yankees are unable to retain some key free agents of their own like DJ LeMahieu.
He was deemed as a “Christmas gift” when the crosstown rival Mets signed him to a one-year deal, but he was unfortunately anything but that. He threw a mere 11.2 innings in 2020 with a 7.71 ERA and was not the reliable arm out of the bullpen that they hoped he would be. He was wild in most of his outings, as he walked 12 batters, and helped the Yankees to a 2-1 walk-off win in late August with his wildness:
Betances’ contract with the Mets includes a $6 million player option for 2021, with a $3 million buyout. So he may or may not be a free agent this offseason; we’ll just have to wait and see. After so many years of dominance in the Bronx, he did not nearly produce as much over in Queens.
After the horrific season that Gary Sanchez had this year, Austin Romine didn’t do much better. Playing in 37 games, Romine hit .238/.259/.323 paired with a .582 OPS and 55 wRC+. For someone who was considered to be one of the better backup catchers in baseball the last few years, he was a dud for the Tigers as a starter.
Kyle Higashioka proved to be the more productive player this season, as it seems the Yankees made the right decision on their backup backstop. Romine will hit free agency this offseason, and will have to see if he will be offered another contract to be an everyday catcher with a ball club.
Didi Gregorius, Dellin Betances, and Austin Romine were all valuable players for the Yankees. However, none of them had an incredible season, especially Betances and Romine. All will look to bounce back to their normal forms this upcoming year.