Welcome to SB Nation Reacts, a survey of fans across Major League Baseball. Each week, we send out questions to the most plugged-in New York Yankees fans, and fans across the country. Sign up here to join Reacts.
The offseason is virtually over for the Yankees, and spring training is officially upon us. Pitchers, catchers and position players have already reported to camp to get ready for the season.
Fans let their opinion be known, through SB Nation reacts, about a couple of burning questions regarding the Yankees. Whether the Yankees did enough in free agency or not is a very subjective topic, as is the most problematic position heading into the season.
Here’s what Yankees fans think about the two questions:
The Yankees entered the offseason with a clear priority: re-signing Aaron Judge. The reigning 2022 AL MVP hit .311/.425/.686 with a new AL-record 62 home runs this past season, and put together one of the best performances in recent history. For an offense that struggled for most of the second half and the postseason, retaining Judge was a must. There were some hairy moments with the San Francisco Giants very much involved, but the Yankees came through in that particular regard.
They also retained Anthony Rizzo and brought back reliever Tommy Kahnle. The biggest addition, however, was left-handed ace Carlos Rodón. He signed a six-year, $162 million deal to be the co-ace of the team.
The Yankees handed over more than $500 million in free agency, yet it feels like they didn’t do enough to be real threats to the Houston Astros and the emerging forces in the junior circuit. They failed to bring in reinforcements for the offense, and there were lots of top names available: Trea Turner, Xander Bogaerts, Carlos Correa, Dansby Swanson, Justin Brandon Nimmo, Andrew Benintendi, Mitch Haniger, Michael Conforto, and more.
Since they are fielding basically the same lineup that had a hard time scoring runs since late July, the Yanks certainly didn’t do quite enough despite the elite pitching additions.
Now, to the second question:
When asked about the Yankees’ most problematic position at the moment, nearly two thirds of the voting community think it’s left field. Aaron Hicks looks like a declining player and slashed .216/.330/.313 in 453 plate appearances last year. Those numbers are obviously abysmal, yet the organization insists in Hicks getting the majority of the time in left field. Oswaldo Cabrera would be a fine alternative, but the Yanks would have been better off retaining Benintendi or trading for Bryan Reynolds and giving the impressive 2022 rookie a super-utility role.
Twelve percent of the people voting believe that shortstop is the Yanks’ most glaring issue. That could be true if the team gave Isiah Kiner-Falefa the starting job, but if Cabrera or Oswald Peraza were to win it, there is potential for above-average offensive production. Anthony Volpe is also an option, though he will probably start the year in Triple-A.
The closer’s role is probably not much of a concern for Yankees fans given that the team has lots of quality alternatives to navigate the latter innings: Clay Holmes, Jonathan Loáisiga, Ron Marinaccio, and Wandy Peralta are some of them. Third base is, frankly, far more of a concern from a production standpoint given that the projected starter, Josh Donaldson, had a 97 wRC+ last year and is 37 and declining.
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