a quick thought on 2021 and looking forward to 2022

There has already been a lot said and written about 2021. I liked in the YES postgame how the guys were pretty much all in agreement that while the season wasn't the success we all hoped for, it wasn't a failure either but it is a disappointment. I also thought Jack and Michael hit the nail on the head looking forward. Keeping or removing Boone by itself isn't enough. This team has to shake up its philosophy. Whether that means some new analytics people, new scouting, new coaching, it's got to be something other than the guy who simply follows THE PLAN set by the front office. I'm not always Michael Kay's biggest fan (or even any kind of fan) but I appreciated his emotion in his disappointment and that he pointed the finger at the entire organization. Boone said a lot about how the league caught up to the Yankees. While I disagree (there were plenty of terrible teams this year too), I would agree that the Yankees thought they were clever and could get away with some inferior pieces and that clearly didn't work. I've also seen many places say the Yankees need to stop emulating the Rays and start emulating the Dodgers. I hope the Yanks feel that way too.

Buck also had some silly expression that I forgot but the point was not just to look at your roster and say who's a keeper and who's not but what role do they fill? That's a really interesting question because if you just look at the pieces the Yanks currently have, there are a lot of good pieces but how they fit together is quite a puzzle. Let's take a peak.

outfielders Gallo, Hicks, Judge, Gardy, Stanton and Florial top guy in the minors

infielders DJ, Voit, Gleyber, Gio, Wade, Velazquez and Peraza as a guy in the minors with a shot to help

catchers Gary, Higgy and Donnie Sands from the minors

starting pitchers Cole, Monty, Taillon, Sevy, Cortes, German with Gil, Garcia and Schmidt in minors (King probably long relief?)

pen Green, Chapman, Johnny L, Holmes, Rodriguez, Peralte, probably King, maybe Luetge too? I'm not counting Britton since from what I've seen he's probably out all year.

I should also mention Andujar and Frazier though neither should be counted on for anything at all and I'd hope the Yanks are looking to move these guys to open up spots on the 40 man.

First observation is how this group and the group this past year really could have used one guy in particular. He's a former Yankee and his name rhymes with Bobamiro Sanaka. But moving past that and looking forward and just looking at the names and you can see how the Yanks might truly just run back this same team. They'll blame bad luck and bad health last year, point out Hicks is coming back (though likely not even close to 100%), should get a full year from Sevy, Taillon can increase his workload, Monty can be a #2 (he can't but I've seen several people suggest he can) and there's a lineup that can bash.

But of course this is where the pieces don't fit. Even if you were content to go with that pitching staff (for the record, I'm hoping for two quality starters as additions. I think the Yanks need to be exceedingly careful with Sevy, think Taillon is still a high risk of injury and overall that the rotation can be upgraded to compete with some of the better teams). The pen can work and hopefully this year shows that dumping money in the bullpen is mostly a waste of resources. But the defense and the lineup. There lie the biggest problems.

Who plays short? Who plays center? Is there an upgrade at catcher? Will the Yanks trust Stanton can stay healthy and use him in the outfield more this year to free up the DH spot? If Judge is playing center, will they take care to not overtax him the way the Mets killed Cespedes a few years ago? Is Gallo really an answer? Especially if he's the major lefty bat in the lineup, can he perform consistently enough to take a top spot in the lineup? Or is he a #6 or 7 hitter on a championship team? Will the Yanks smartly extend Judge? Will they use him as trade bait? (I'd hope Gallo is the one traded if the Yanks need to shake things up) What to do with Torres and Voit? Cashman has never traded young guys when their value has taken a hit so what do you do with them? Is Gio the every day SS? Do the Yanks have hopes/confidence that Peraza to take over at short next year? I feel like every one of these questions (and more) need to be answered before the Yanks can even plan their ideal course. (signing Rizzo? pursuing a big shot SS? signing a short term place holder at short? adding any pitchers? making a move for catcher?)

I've also read some suggestions that the Yanks need to move over half the players on the roster. That's certainly not going to happen but I'm really curious which direction you think the Yanks should go and also which direction the Yanks will go. Is this the year for some furious trades and free agent signings? Will they be selective and go for a few specific targets? Or again, do they pretend that they're working hard but really just have intentions of rolling this team back again unless something else falls in their lap? Of course the worst part is last off season almost anything could have been had as there were quality players available at pretty much any position through trade or signing. This year, well there are definitely some interesting names available but not the abundance of last year and with fewer players available there might be more competition to get them (and outside of signing Cole, the Yanks have basically showed the past few years they're not really interested in competing that way).

So what would you do? What do you think they will do? This off season will be interesting and we won't have any real answers any time soon but I'm still really curious what you think.

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