Yankees GM Brian Cashman’s to-do list is baseball’s job problem
At his end-of-season press conference several weeks ago, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said he would be “open to anything” when it comes to his 2022 roster.
He’s got a lot going on about it, but as GM meetings open on Tuesday at the Omni La Costa Resort in Carlsbad, Calif., It looks like a lot will be done at an annual gathering that Cashman long called “a necessary evil.”
Indeed, the collective agreement between Major League Baseball and the Players’ Association will expire on December 1, when most players expect owners to lock out players, freezing all offseason activity. until a new collective agreement is reached.
It is difficult to make moves when the rules in the future are unknown. Still, with the front office members of each club and most of the major agents in one place with enough time to get together, ideas will be shared and concepts discussed.
At the very least, some groundwork can be done in anticipation of the wave of activity that is expected after the establishment of a new CBA.
And the Yankees should be at the forefront in this regard. The needs abound as they attempt to reach the World Series for the first time since 2009.
The Yankees answered a pressing question last month when Aaron Boone, the manager since 2018, was given a new three-year contract (with a club option for a fourth year).
There are a lot of questions regarding the club’s needs for 2022, and Cashman didn’t dodge them when talking about Boone last month.
He acknowledged that the two-year experience of playing Gleyber Torres on shortstop was a failure, saying: “I obviously need to improve this position from a defensive standpoint.”
While some saw this as a signal that the Yankees will go big game hunting for some of the best shortstops on the market, such as Carlos Correa, Corey Seager, Trevor Story or Marcus Semien, the improved defensive position could involve a much cheaper cost. option such as Andrelton Simmons or explore the commercial market.
It is not yet clear what kind of budget Hal Steinbrenner will give Cashman and how flexible the owner is when it comes to exceeding the luxury tax threshold (if there is one in the new CBA). .
Catcher brings the usual offseason questions. Cashman has long been an enthusiastic supporter of Gary Sanchez, although that support has waned somewhat over the past two years.
“We’ll see,” Cashman said of Sanchez being the 2022 starter.
The Yankees have a pair of receivers in their system, Austin Wells and Josh Breaux, who are highly regarded, but none are considered at the majors’ gate. The free agent market is not particularly strong, and with the depth of quality capture a global problem for the industry, the few teams that have it want to keep it.
The first basis is a concern. Anthony Rizzo, while never quite the same offensively after a fight with COVID-19, was still a marked improvement in defense over injury-prone Luke Voit. After acquiring Rizzo before the trade deadline, the Yankees attempted to deal with Voit, and he could still be moved during the offseason. Rizzo could re-sign as a free agent.
DJ LeMahieu, three-time winner of the Gold Glove in second place, will not play there regularly as Torres returns to the post. The Yankees could turn LeMahieu, who can also play third, into a full-time first baseman, but that’s not their current preference.
There are also issues in the outfield, highlighted by center Aaron Hicks, whose durability has been a hindrance throughout his career. Hicks, 32, underwent end-of-season surgery in May to repair a torn tendon sheath on his left wrist.
Cashman is a big believer in the idea that you can’t get enough of it, so the Yankees will be exploring this market as well.
It’s certainly a to-do list in the offseason, but given the uncertainty of the job situation, the industry this week is less likely than usual to accomplish a lot.