With how the New York Yankees started the 2022 MLB season, it looked as if they were going to be able to go all the way. They ended up hitting a slump along the way, still finished with a 99-63 record which won them the American League East, and they got to the ALCS. In the end though their season would come to a close, losing to the Houston Astros in Game Four of the ALCS. They have a team full of potential to make a run again, but first there are moves they must make this offseason to do so.
1- Re-Sign Aaron Judge
This should be priority number one for the Yankees. Aaron Judge is the star of this team and without re-signing him it would be a massive loss to their offense and right field spot. In 2022 over 570 at bats, he had 133 runs, 62 home runs, and 131 RBIs all of which led the MLB. In addition, he also had a slash line of .311/.425/.686. His ability to drive in runs and consistently get on base kept this Yankees’ offense clicking as he elevated the play of those around him. In the field he was just as great with 275 putouts on 281 chances. The Yankees have some other great hitters like Anthony Rizzo and Giancarlo Stanton, but neither of them can replace the production of Judge. For a successful 2023 season, they need Judge back on the team.
2- Acquire Pitching Depth
The top of the Yankees rotation was formidable with Gerrit Cole, Nestor Cortes, Luis Severino, and Frankie Montas. When they traded for Montas though, they ended up losing pitching depth and as starters got injured or came out of games early it became evident that the depth was lacking. They have already started to add depth when they claimed Junior Fernández off waivers from the Pittsburgh Pirates, but they should continue, especially with Jameson Taillon a free agent. Carlos Rodón could be an option, last season he had a 2.88 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, and 237 strikeouts. The Yankees looked at him last offseason and could very well do so again to secure the starting depth. To save money, they could also look to trade for someone like Pablo Lopez who had a 2022 season with a 3.75 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 174 strikeouts. The relief corps of Clay Holmes, Wandy Peralta, Jonathan Loaísigia, and Michael King is serviceable but could use reinforcements there as well.
3- Make The Change At Shortstop
Isiah Kiner-Falefa wasn’t bad for the Yankees in 2022, but he wasn’t great either. Of his 483 at bats, 66 turned into runs, four home runs, and 48 RBIs while having a slash line of .261/.314/.327. His defense is where it gets really shaky for Kiner-Falefa, as he had 495 chances but only turned 149 into putouts while also having 15 errors. When throwing to first as well, things could’ve been worse if Anthony Rizzo wasn’t as great as he is with being able to secure off target throws. Kiner-Falefa and the Yankees did come to terms on a one-year, $6,000,000 deal, and Kiner-Falefa is definitely someone they should keep, but as depth. At the shortstop position, they have two players that should be competing for the starting spot, Oswald Peraza and Anthony Volpe.
Peraza saw playing time in 18 games to close out last season. During that time he hit eight runs, a home run, two RBIs, and had a slash line of .306/.404/.429. In the field, he recorded a perfect fielding percentage. Volpe on the other hand in 2022 saw time on both the Double-A Somerset and Triple-A Scranton teams. Volpe would finish 2022 with 21 home runs, 65 RBIs, 50 stolen bases, and a slash line of .249/.342/.460. Both Peraza and Volpe provide better defense, and would provide a huge boost to the shortstop spot.
These are just the main three areas the Yankees should be looking at addressing in the offseason. The team has the potential and playmakers, and a successful offseason would go a long way to helping this team contend in 2023.