Well the 2017 Major League Baseball season is officially over and congratulations to the Houston Astros for winning their first World Series title. It was a heck of a series that carried over from an insane American League Championship Series which ended the Yankees season. Now what will we make of the NY Yankees Free Agency Tracker activity and the team’s plans for them during the MLB hot stove season.
First, and I understand fans of the team will not want to hear it, but this past year was a rebuilding year and not a season the club was supposed to contend. This was the year that the young guys got their feet wet while the club watched to see what they had. This was also a year to clear excess salary and expiring contracts off the books and reset before the 2018 MLB free agency bonanza. NY Yankees free agency activity will be coming, make no mistake about that, but first let’s see which contracts have reached their end using our NY Yankees Free Agency Tracker. The NY Yankees Free Agency Tracker is a companion to the Yankees trade tracker that can be found here.
NY Yankees Free Agency Tracker – Expired Contracts
3B – Todd Frazier – He should be kept as a veteran presence but will demand more than a .200 hitter with 25-30 home run power will handle. So I expect him to be gone. This changes if the Yankees can move Chase Headley.
DH – Matt Holliday – Probably gone. He hit .231 in 105 games. He was a good mentor but will not get another $13 Mil deal.
LHP – Jaime Garcia – Garcia is gone. He went 0-3 in eight starts with a 4.82 ERA.
LHP – CC Sabathia – Quietly had a great year. Not a $25 Mil year but if Sabathia is a realist then the Bombers might offer him a 1 year $12-$14 Mil deal with a team option at $10 Mil. For that he is an inning eating number four at worst. I am good with that. Especially if Tanaka opts out.
RHP – Michael Pineda – The injury was bad for him but gave the Yankees the justifiable reason to not extend him an offer. He will get more than he deserves in this year’s market. Good luck in the future Michael.
C – Erik Kratz – He did hit 1.000 last year but it was 2-for-2 and lets face it, there is no spot for a 37 year old catcher in NY.
NY Yankees Free Agency Tracker – Player Opt Out Options
RHP – Masahiro Tanaka
Let’s take a look at Tanaka. If you asked me before the season if he was going to opt out my answer would have been a resounding yes. Then if you asked me in July if he was going to opt out my answer would have been no. Well now he strung together an incredible post-season run and it is a week free agency year for frontline pitching so yes. I believe he will opt out to get extra years. Although I would expect his average annual salary to drop, I think he will get a four or five year deal.
When you are a pitcher that makes three starts in the post-season against the Indians offense and the Astros offense that is tough. Now if that pitcher throws 20 innings in those starts and gives up two earned runs, strikes out 18 and walks three then people will look at you different. Besides his numbers are not as bad as the ERA implies. After a horrid May, his ERA in June, July, and August was 3.94, 3.82 and 2.63. He will opt and he will get paid. The question is whether NY Yankees free agency includes bringing him back. Personally I am fine with letting him go at the price point he will command.
Tanaka Update: Decision made quickly and no further concerns to debate. Over the weekend Tanaka exercised his player option and will remain with the New York Yankees.
NY Yankees Free Agency Tracker – Additions
LHP – CC Sabathia – Yankees have brought back Sabathia on a 1yr/$10 Mil deal with innings pitched incentives
Quick Thoughts: It seemed like a forgone conclusion that Sabathia would end up back in New York. While he was not the CC of a decade ago, his numbers more than suffice for a No. 5 starter which is the expectation with this signing.
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