It’s Christmas Eve and tonight, children and people all around the world will be going to bed dreaming about the gifts they’re going to give and receive tomorrow. That probably includes many of the Yankees’ players, coaches, front office, and more. Let’s try and dig into their minds and figure out what’s on some of their wish lists for this year.
Brian Cashman/Hal Steinbrenner/Yankees’ front office: A good fallback from Yoshinobu Yamamoto
Fans have, uh, not been pleased with the way the Yankees have operated in recent years, and it’s led many of them to completely turn on Cashman and company. While there are some people that are forever fully over the front office and won’t get won over again, a signing of the biggest name on the pitching market would’ve certainly helped to smooth some things over, at least until the season starts.
Unfrotunately, the Yankees ended up being the runner-up in the Yamamoto sweepstakes, so now they’ll have to pivot to a solid plan B. They’ve made one major upgrade already, but they’ve got a sizeable gap to close between them and the top teams in the league based on where they were last year.
Aaron Judge: Wolverine healing powers
While he was dinged for being injury prone early in his career, Judge had seemingly gotten past that rep in recent years, and played in 157 games in his historic 2022. Then in 2023, he was limited to just 106 games after a couple flukey injuries led to IL stints, including one after he literally crashed through a Dodger Stadium wall.
While he wasn’t quite as good as his ridiculous 2022, Judge was still incredible in 2023. In those 106 games, he still slugged 37 home runs in 458 plate appearances. That rate would’ve equated to 56 home runs had he gotten the same number of plate appearances as he got in 2022.
Therefore, to ensure we don’t get robbed of 50ish more games of Judge’s prime next year, he should ask for the self-healing power of X-Men’s Wolverine.
Juan Soto: A very big contract year
It’s no secret that the Yankees’ massive offseason acquisition is set to be a free agent after this season. In his introductory press conference, he didn’t outright rule out the idea of a contract extension, but the odds are that won’t happen and Soto will reach free agency after the season.
While someone of his age and talent is likely to get a very big deal even if he’s merely pretty good this year, he could get an astronomical contract with a great 2024.
Gerrit Cole: Some help
The Soto trade and other moves from this season have the rotation looking somewhat barren thus far. Carlos Rodón and Nestor Cortes certainly have the upside to be good pieces behind the 2023 AL Cy Young, but they also have a downside. The Yankees were connected to Yamamoto and have been in on other pitchers on the market this winter, so it appears that they’re trying, but they certainly could use some arms to back up Cole.
Anthony Volpe: An all-you-can-eat Chicken parm meal
A lot was made of the hot streak that the Yankees’ rookie shortstop went on after a chicken parmesan dinner with Austin Wells led to Volpe making a tweak in his batting stance. However, Volpe didn’t quite keep it up for the rest of the season after that. In order to try and get him to take a big step forward in year two, the Yankees should ensure that Volpe can get all the chicken parm that he needs.
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