Pitchers and catchers report in just a few weeks, the rest of the players soon to follow. Many teams in MLB are finalizing their rosters now and there are still many free agents available. There are two questions on all Yankees fans’ minds – will the Yankees pull the trigger and sign a pitcher such as Yu Darvish or Jake Arrieta, and will they sign an infielder to play either third or second? Those questions are the genesis of these final Yankees free agent predictions.
My prediction for both answers is a big, fat, NO.
This year’s free agent crop, while decent, pales in comparison talent-wise to what will be available after this season, especially for pitchers. Darvish and Arrieta are the top-2 pitchers available now and will demand top-dollar, but they simply are not worth the asking price. The Yankees starting rotation is pretty set with Luis Severino, Mashiro Tanaka, Sonny Gray, Jordan Montgomery, and CC Sabathia. Also, they have young pitchers like Chance Adams that can be given a shot if necessary during or after spring training. There simply is no reason to go big with Darvish or Arrieta, not when they are not viable solutions at this time and there is a very good chance that one of the youngsters earns a spot or someone like Dallas Keuchel is available as a free agent next year.
As for infielders – there really are no good options available at this time. Most are over 30 years old or demanding too high a price. The Yankees have so many options available in terms of young players such as Gleyber Torres, Miguel Andujar, and Tyler Wade, that they should leave spring training with one or more of those players manning second and third. Plus, resigning Todd Frazier to play third is an option that may make financial sense, especially when you consider that Manny Machado will be available as a free agent next year, so the Yankees need to see what they have already available to them before deciding to pull the trigger on Machado.
While Yankees fans are not known for their patience, and they are normally surprised when the Yankees don’t break the bank to fill a need, it is wise for the Yankees to see what they currently have, see if the youngsters are worth keeping, resetting the luxury tax penalty so they can go big in next year’s free agency class, and then possibly create a dynastic team that could rival the teams of Jeter, Williams, Posada, Pettite, and Rivera. So have faith Yankees fans!
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