Yankees Had to Re-Sign DJ LeMahieu, But There’s More Work to be Doneby Ben Fadden January 16, 2021 0 comments
The New York Yankees got back their MVP finalist, but it doesn’t make them any better from last year. So what is the next course of action?
Yankees fans are happy that they finally got back DJ LeMahieu on a 6-year, $90 million contract to be at the top of the lineup for many years to come, but it doesn’t make the team any better.
LeMahieu was arguably their best player last year once again, but they were still eliminated in the Division Series against their division rival, the Tampa Bay Rays. Other than bringing him back, the Yankees haven’t done anything to upgrade their roster.
The rotation needs help
The rotation isn’t strong past Gerrit Cole, as James Paxton and Masahiro Tanaka are free agents and it doesn’t seem like there’s much interest on both sides for them to return. Tanaka is reportedly considering returning to Japan if he doesn’t return to the Bronx.
After Cole, there a bunch of question marks in the rotation. Luis Severino is coming off of Tommy John surgery and while most pitchers are better after having surgery, he still hasn’t pitched a full season since 2018.
Jordan Montgomery pitched well in the postseason but he was at the back of the rotation last season. The front office obviously didn’t have much confidence in Deivi Garcia because they pulled him for J.A. Happ in the ALDS so who knows what we’ll see in Garcia’s sophomore season.
Is Brett Gardner coming back?
Another question mark right now after the rotation is the status of Brett Gardner. Although he is now 37 years old, Gardner is a leader on this team and always seems to be a go-to guy in the postseason for Aaron Boone.
Gardner’s power may be tailing off, but he plays better defense than Clint Frazier in left field and can be an insurance policy if Frazier struggles at the plate at any point in 2021.
If Gardner were to play another season, it’s only going to be in the Bronx.
Signing LeMahieu was huge because he’s always going to give you competitive at-bats and is always on base, but there are areas that still need improvement before we start saying the Yankees are true World Series contenders.
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