The Yankees retained first baseman Anthony Rizzo and made an important trade to solve the left side of their infield, bringing in Josh Donaldson and Isiah Kiner-Falefa. However, they do have a high number of players that, for one reason or another, will don a different uniform in 2022.
This post is dedicated to find out where they will play and how are they looking with their new threads.
One of the iconic Baby Bombers of the second half of 2010s said goodbye just a couple weeks ago. In an effort to fortify the aforementioned left side of the infield, the Yankees traded for Donaldson and Kiner-Falefa, as well as backup catcher Ben Rortvedt. To get those three players, they had to surrender a catcher and third baseman of their own: Gary Sánchez and Gio Urshela.
The “Kraken” wasn’t always productive, especially in the last couple of seasons, but he is one of the symbols of the Yankees’ homegrown talent in the last decade. Here’s hoping that he can resurrect his career in Minnesota with the Twins, where he will share catching duties with youngster Ryan Jeffers.
If Sánchez is the symbol of the Yankees’ homegrown talent; Urshela, who is joining him in Minnesota, should be the flag for the organization’s player development staff. He came from the Toronto Blue Jays as a journeyman before the 2019 season and posted consecutive 130+ wRC+ campaigns in 2019 and 2020. His high-contact bat and versatility will be missed, as well as his clubhouse presence.
The Yankees really needed a healthy Luke Voit last season, but knee and oblique issues derailed his 2021. As an injury-prone corner infielder with a bad glove, the Bombers opted to re-sign Rizzo and trade Voit to the San Diego Padres for a high-upside minor leaguer.
Voit has loads of power (he led MLB in homers in 2020 with 22), and if he’s healthy, he is the ideal designated hitter. There wasn’t much of a chance to play for the 2022 Yankees, though, so with the NL now fully adopting the DH as well, San Diego offers Voit the perfect chance to start anew.
Kluber and Yankees fans will always have the righty’s no-hitter against Texas last May, the first for the franchise since David Cone’s perfect game over two decades prior. He missed some time with shoulder issues, though, and got a good contract from the division rival Tampa Bay Rays.
The Klubot was very, very good with the Yankees, with a 3.83 ERA (3.85 FIP) in 80 frames. It’s a shame they couldn’t bring him back on a short deal, as the rotation depth is looking iffy at the moment. The Rays are surely hoping that his arm last for longer than 80 innings, of course.
Amid inconsistent play and hidden injuries, Clint Frazier’s 2021 was… eventful. He was worth -0.9 WAR in just 66 games while quietly battling concussion issues that he kept to himself, though, so yeah: It was hard to watch. The Yankees decided to release him, as they faced a roster crunch to protect valuable prospects from the Rule 5 Draft.
The Chicago Cubs are taking a chance on Frazier on a cheap one-year deal, so hopefully he can find the plate appearances to unlock his full potential. Most importantly, we wish him health.
Perhaps Wade played a bit more than the Yankees would have wanted in 2021, but to his name, he was the eighth-ranked position player in fWAR, with 0.9. New York traded him to the Angels for a player to be named later or cash considerations, though, so Los Angeles is getting a solid utility-type infielder with good speed and some versatility.
Rougie was another player who was on the field more than the Yanks would have preferred, and while he hit 15 homers in 102 games, he wasn’t good with the bat overall with an 83 wRC+. He was a solid clubhouse guy, though, and his competitive drive will be missed.
The Yankees released him last year, and the Baltimore Orioles are taking a chance on him on a one-year deal.
Allen played just 15 games for the Yankees in 2021, and while he had a 140 wRC+, his career OPS is just .655: he wasn’t going to have a big role in 2022. The lowly Pittsburgh Pirates claimed him off waivers and will give him a bench spot, at the very least.
Fun fact: Allen hit a homer and stole a base against the Yankees just a few days ago in a spring game.
Poor Heaney had a rough time last year. He wasn’t good, but fans were even worse to him. However, he latched on with the Los Angeles Dodgers, so get ready for the 180 innings of a 3.75 ERA and 200 strikeouts in 2022.
Velázquez played for his hometown Yankees last season, but couldn’t hit and was waived. His was a cool story, though, and now he is a part of the Angels’ organization (just like his fellow infielder, Wade).
Gittens was extremely impressive in Triple-A, hitting 14 homers in just 184 plate appearances, but struggled in 16 MLB games with a .111/.250/.194 line in 44 plate appearances. He is now a member of the NPB’s Rakuten Eagles in Japan, where he is teammates with old friend Masahiro Tanaka.
Health issues, most notably a hamstring injury, cut O’Day’s 2021 short, and he is now back with the reigning World Series champions Braves. He played in Atlanta from 2019-20, so it’s a familiar spot for the sidearmer.
Nelson was moved so the Yankees could open up some 40-man roster spots ahead of the Rule 5 Draft. He was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies, where he will get a chance to make the big league bullpen if his control issues give him a chance.