Oct. 25: Rizzo quite eager to return to Yankees in 2022 (report)
First baseman Anthony Rizzo seemed to enjoy his brief tenure in pinstripes, so much so that he could be looking to return to the Bronx. The Newark Star-Ledgers Bob Klapisch cites an unnamed member of Rizzos family in reporting that the free-agent slugger is quite eager to return to the Yankees for the 2022 season (and perhaps beyond).
According to a family member, Anthony Rizzo is quite eager to return toYankeesin 2022. Thats an important first step, assuming NYY want him back. Have to assume they do.
The Yanks acquired Rizzo via trade from the Cubs on July 29, and went 17 games above .500 the rest of the way en route to an appearance in the American League Wild Card Game. Rizzo cooled off to roughly league-average production after a red-hot first week in pinstripes, but the addition of him and Joey Gallo helped to balance a Yankees lineup that was previously overly dependent on right-handed hitting.
Rizzo has family in nearby New Jersey, a potential advantage for the Bronx Bombers in drawing him back, but plenty of teams could be looking to add a slugging first baseman this winter — especially if Freddie Freeman re-signs with the Braves. In March,The Athletic reportedthat Rizzo turned down the Cubs five-year, $70 million extension offer, offering a hint of what he could be looking for on the free-agent market.
Oct. 24: How will Yanks address pitching staff this offseason?
With many holes to address on the position-player side, including shortstop, catcher and center field, filling out the pitching staff may not be near the top of Yankees general manager Brian Cashmans to-do list this offseason. However, MLB Network insider Joel Sherman thinks theres enough uncertainty with the teams pitching that Cashman should pursue at least one more arm.
Writing for theNew York Post, Sherman gets the sense the Yankees will not be a player at the top of the starting-pitching market with Max Scherzer, Robbie Ray, Kevin Gausman or Marcus Stroman and wont take a risk on Carlos Rodn or Clayton Kershaw, both of whom come with medical red flags.
Sherman names pending free agents Justin Verlander, Noah Syndergaard and Raisel Iglesias and trade targets Sean Manaea of the As and Pablo Lpez of the Marlins as intriguing options for the Yankees.
Verlander and Syndergaard are both coming back from Tommy John surgery, but could be worthwhile gambles due to their upside, in the same vein as Corey Kluber.
The Yankees signed Kluber to a one-year, $11 million deal last offseason after he missed most of 2020 with a shoulder injury. Kluber was sidelined for three months by another shoulder issue in 2021, but he gave the team a solid 3.83 ERA over 16 starts, including a no-hitter.
Sherman thinks the Marlins could dip into their pitching depth to improve their offense. Lpez missed time with a rotator cuff strain in 2021 but has recorded a 3.26 ERA with 174 strikeouts, 44 walks and just 15 homers allowed in 160 innings across the past two seasons. The 25-year-old is under team control through 2024.
Manaea, 29, can become a free agent a year from now, so hell likely be less costly to acquire than Lpez. The left-hander posted a 3.91 ERA and a 194-to-41 K/BB ratio over a career-high 179 1/3 innings in 2021.
If the Yankees are comfortable with their rotation depth, they could pursue a high-profile bullpen arm such as Iglesias, who just finished up a stellar season for the Angels in which he registered a 2.57 ERA, 103 strikeouts and 12 walks in 70 innings.
Oct. 22: Heyman: Seager could answer multiple questions
Early on, Brian Cashman has been clear that addressing the Yankees hole at shortstop is a top priority this offseason. In an MLB Tonight segment on Wednesday,MLB Network insider Jon Heymanpostulated that of the free agent shortstops on offer, Seager might be the best fit for New York.
The Yankees notably struggled to balance out a righty-heavy lineup in 2021, adding Anthony Rizzo and Joey Gallo at the Trade Deadline to add left-handed power to the roster. However, the crowded infield prevented the addition of a shortstop. Left-handed hitting shortstops are hard to come by — the Yankees have a recent history of seeking them out, having made Didi Gregorius a cornerstone of their late-2010s teams — and Seager would be a solution to two of the teams biggest problems.
Oct. 19: Will Yankees make move for big-name shortstop?
Gleyber Torres run as the Yankees starting shortstop seemingly came to an end late in the 2021 season, with New York moving Torres back to second base and playing Gio Urshela at short down the stretch.
Its been assumed that the Yankees would be a player in the shortstop market this offseason, when Carlos Correa, Corey Seager, Javier Bez, Trevor Story and Marcus Semien are set to reach free agency.
While he didnt discuss specifics, general manager Brian Cashman confirmed Tuesday that addressing the position is a priority.
Bottom line, shortstop is an area of need, Cashman told reporters on the same day the club announced manager Aaron Boones new three-year deal. We have to address it.
MLB Network insider Joel Sherman recently wrote a story for theNew York Postbreaking down the Yankees options at shortstop and shared the opinion that if New York does go after one of the top free-agent shortstops, it will be Seager or Semien.
Sherman thinks lingering resentment toward the Astros within the Yankees organization following Houstons 2017 sign-stealing scandal will prevent New York from pursuing Correa. The Yanks showed interest in Bez and Story before the 2021 Trade Deadline, but Sherman gets the sense that the front office viewed Bez as a short-term solution and has fallen out of love with Story.
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Two of the Yankees top three prospects are shortstops, but neither Anthony Volpe (No. 1) nor Oswald Peraza (No. 3) is projected to reach the Majors until 2023, according to MLB Pipeline. Cashmans contract expires after 2022.
Oct. 16: Is Seager the best SS fit for Yankees?
MLB Network insider Joel Sherman writes in anarticle for the New York Postthat in the star-studded shortstop free-agent market this offseason, Seager may just be the best fit for the Yankees. Sherman notes that the Yanks currently have a right-handed-heavy lineup, and Seager could provide a power bat from the left side for New York. He is also postseason-tested, winning the NLCS and World Series MVP Awards in 2020 for the Dodgers.
There are risks, of course — Seager has a significant injury history and the Yankees have a pair of highly touted shortstop prospects coming up through the farm system, Anthony Volpe (YankeesNo. 1 prospectper MLB Pipeline, and No. 15 overall) and Oswald Peraza (YankeesNo. 3 prospect, No. 58 overall). Sherman points out, however, that Seager could be a candidate to slide over to third base should one of those prospects graduate to the Majors soon.