Sports

The extent of the Yankees’ lineup uncertainty after dispiriting finish to the season


For a staff that got here inside one playoff spherical of attending to the World Series, the Yankees may look considerably totally different subsequent season.

No, Aaron Boone isn’t going anyplace after Hal Steinbrenner instructed the Associated Press on Wednesday that the Yankees manager would be back, and all indications are Brian Cashman will likely be again as normal supervisor. But no matter who’s in cost, the lopsided loss to the Astros within the ALCS has created a storm of uncertainty around the organization. There are essential choices to make at almost each spot on the roster — particularly in terms of an offense that got here up small within the postseason.

First base

Anthony Rizzo and his left-handed energy are invaluable to the Yankees, and a reunion is feasible — maybe even possible — as a result of the Yankees don’t have a superb various. But he has a $16 million participant choice for subsequent season that he’s not anticipated to train, which might make him a free agent.

Second base

Gleyber Torres is coming off a wildly inconsistent season on the plate and a dud of a postseason. He’s due not less than $9 million in arbitration. It’s unclear what the Yankees may get in a commerce for Torres, who turns 26 in December, however they may use DJ LeMahieu at second base in the event that they wished to maneuver on from Torres.

Third base

Josh Donaldson’s playoff struggles on the plate would make him an unpopular Opening Day starter at third base, but it surely received’t be simple for the Yankees to attempt to transfer his hefty contract earlier than subsequent season.
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

If LeMahieu isn’t shifted to second, the Yankees may go together with him at third, however that may imply discovering a taker for Josh Donaldson and the ultimate yr of his albatross of a contract. Donaldson’s dismal first season with the Yankees was adopted by an excellent worse playoffs. He is due almost $30 million subsequent season with a $21 million wage and an $8 million buyout of a $16 million choice for 2024.

Shortstop

Isiah Kiner-Falefa was benched in the course of the playoffs then introduced again in the midst of the ALCS, a back-and-forth that confirmed the Yankees had misplaced religion in his protection. Boone mentioned Kiner-Falefa was “pressing.”

Kiner-Falefa himself was left wondering about his Yankees future whereas within the post-game clubhouse after the Game 4 defeat to Houston.

If it’s not Kiner-Falefa at shortstop, the Yankees may go together with some mixture of Oswaldo Cabrera and Oswald Peraza till high prospect Anthony Volpe — who completed the season at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre — is deemed prepared.

Because the group is increased on Volpe, the 22-year-old Peraza — who was left off the ALDS roster, began an ALCS sport and was in any other case glued to the bench — could possibly be a part of a deal if the Yankees look to commerce for an outfielder or beginning pitcher.

The wild card

New York Yankees third baseman DJ LeMahieu #26 (L) leans on the dugout fence along side his teammates during the 8th inning.
DJ LeMahieu missed virtually 40 video games and your entire playoffs throughout a second straight injury-plagued season.
N.Y. Post: Charles Wenzelberg

That infield mess leaves LeMahieu, who may wind up anyplace from first base to second base to 3rd base to a super-utility position. But after struggling by a second straight injury-plagued season since signing a six-year, $90 million deal previous to the 2021 marketing campaign, there’s no assure how wholesome he’ll be after addressing the toe accidents that value him a lot of the second half, in addition to your entire playoffs.

Catcher

The Yankees overused Jose Trevino, who was much less efficient on each side of the ball down the stretch, however figures to be again. With Kyle Higashioka due a increase to shut to $2 million in arbitration, the Yankees may flip to Ben Rortvedt as a backup.

Outfield

Whether Aaron Judge is in The Bronx or not, after all, is the largest query of all.

If the Yankees decide to signal their greatest participant to a megadeal that’s now anticipated to have to be upwards of eight years and $320 million following Judge’s historic season, they’ll seemingly not add a lot else. If Judge leaves, nonetheless, all bets are off.

They’ll nonetheless have Harrison Bader in heart, however they’ll want a left fielder, until they wish to use Cabrera there regularly, although his 2-for-28 hitting efficiency with a dozen strikeouts to finish the playoffs is cause for concern.

New York Yankees center fielder Harrison Bader (22) rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run in the sixth inning in Game 4 of the ALCS against the Houston Astros at Yankee Stadium, Sunday, Oct. 23, 2022, in Bronx, NY.
Harrison Bader’s postseason energy surge validated the Yankees’ resolution to commerce Jordan Montgomery to the Cardinals for him on the commerce deadline.
Corey Sipkin

Andrew Benintendi could fill the role, and the Yankees nonetheless imagine a wholesome Benintendi — in addition to a wholesome LeMahieu and Matt Carpenter — would have made a distinction towards the Astros’ hard-throwing right-handers within the ALCS. But Benintendi is also a free agent. Aaron Hicks’ Yankees future is unclear, even with three years and $30 million remaining on his contract.

Then there’s Giancarlo Stanton, who will likely be 33 subsequent month and certain should be nearly a full-time DH.

Starting rotation

This is one space that appears pretty set, with Gerrit Cole again, Nestor Cortes three years away from free company, Luis Severino a protected guess to return again on a $15 million staff choice and Frankie Montas hoping to return again robust from a shoulder harm that rendered him ineffective after arriving in a commerce from Oakland. Jameson Taillon is a free agent.

Bullpen

Jonathan Loaisiga pitches on Friday during the Yankees' win over the Red Sox.
Jonathan Loaisiga is likely one of the few near-certainties to return to the Yankees bullpen.
Robert Sabo for the NY POST

Gone will likely be disappointing high-priced lefties Zack Britton and Aroldis Chapman, so there will likely be have to be some key additions to hitch Jonathan Loaisiga, Wandy Peralta and Clay Holmes, the one three reliable relievers by the tip of the postseason.

What to do with Clarke Schmidt?

The first-round choose was lastly wholesome in 2022, and at occasions was a useful piece of the pitching workers as a starter and reliever. But the right-hander had loads of ups and downs. From being yo-yo’d between The Bronx and Triple-A early in the season to pitching poorly in key spots late in the summertime and in the playoffs, it’s laborious to know what’s subsequent for Schmidt, who will flip 27 in February.

Clarke Schmidt pitches on Thursday during the Yankees' loss to the Twins.
After splitting his time between beginning and relieving, Clarke Schmidt may settle into the again half of the Yankees rotation.
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

There is a few thought Schmidt could possibly be in consideration for a spot in the back of the rotation subsequent yr. The Yankees want depth there after they traded away most of the superior minor leaguers who might need served that position subsequent season. They shipped Ken Waldichuk and JP Sears to Oakland and Hayden Wesneski to the Cubs on the commerce deadline.

Benchings could be deceiving

Here’s a enjoyable sport nobody desires to play: Who was the Yankees’ third-best hitter within the postseason, as measured by OPS?

Would you imagine…Isiah Kiner-Falefa?

Isiah Kiner-Falefa #12 of the New York Yankees hits a triple against Cal Quantrill #47 of the Cleveland Guardians during the fifth inning in game one of the American League Division Series.
That Isiah Kiner-Falefa was one of many Yankees’ greatest postseason hitters could say extra in regards to the staff’s struggles on the plate than their oft-criticized shortstop.
Getty Images

Yup, that’s how dangerous the Yankees offense was within the playoffs.

The man who bought benched and hardly hit all yr had an OPS of .683, forward of Stanton, Donaldson, Judge and Torres.



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