NY Daily News | Kristie Ackert: It’s hard to imagine a 32-year-old who came to the Yankees with the intent of being used as a utility man becoming the key to the 2021 offseason, but that’s exactly the case with DJ LeMahieu. After two MVP-level seasons, LeMachine is a free agent, and so much of the Yankees strategy for this winter hinges on whether or not he comes back for 2021. The DJ decision will be the first of many dominos falling this winter, and we’re all stuck waiting for that decision to be made.
NJ.com | Brendan Kuty: Clarke Schmidt didn’t impress in his brief MLB stint in 2020, but the Yankees pitching prospect still boasts a lot to be excited about. Aaron Boone did admit the righthander probably needs more seasoning before being counted on in a full-time role, however, and Schmidt will likely start 2021 in the minor leagues, relying on his performance there to dictate when he returns to the Bronx.
ESPN | Jeff Passan: Robinson Canó will not play in the 2021 MLB season, as the one-time Yankee superstar tested positive for a performance-enhancing substance for the second time in his career, receiving a one year ban for the offense. Canó, 38, is coming off a 141 wRC+ season for the crosstown Mets, and is still under contract for two more seasons after 2021, at $24 million a pop.
FanGraphs | Ben Clemens: Not totally Yankee-related, but Ben gives us a fascinating look at what home-field advantage really means, which largely boils down to “first inning advantage”. Home pitchers are noticeably better in the first inning than road pitchers, and that difference is enough to play a significant role in a team’s performance at home overall.