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Yankees Hot Corner – Three questions for next season

The Yankees’ season is over and for the first time since the 1910’s the Yankees will miss a World Series for an entire decade. The Yankees fell short once again to the Houston Astros and this off-season will be the most important since 2009.

At this point, Brian Cashman should know what he has with his team. He has a group of “savages” that have more firepower than any other team in the league but can’t get over the hump because of their strikeout problem. He also has a team that needs a starting ace in the worst way. Masahiro Tanaka and James Paxton have proven they can carry the team in the playoffs, but as evidence from this postseason, the more elite starting pitching the better.

The Yankees have plenty of horses in the stable (lineup) but they also have a lot of potential holes in their lineup and in their bullpen. There are many questions that pop up as the off-season begins, but these are the three biggest;

How much money is too much money for Gerrit Cole?

Gerrit Cole will be one of the highest paid pitchers in MLB history. If he brings the Houston Astros their second World Series in three years, he will be laughing all the way to the bank.

Cole’s become a shut down pitcher after his move from Pittsburgh to Houston. He didn’t completely shut down the Yankees but he kept them off the board and has been flat out dominant the entire season. He isn’t the sole reason why the Astros are in the World Series but he certainly has made his case.

The Yankees should throw the bank at Gerrit Cole simply for the reason that they need a bona fide ace. The Yankees have plenty of good arms but they don’t have that one shutdown guy. Masahiro Tanaka can get the job done during the postseason. James Paxton showed his moxie in Game Five of the ALCS and Luis Severino is a complete Wild Card when it comes to both health and performance.

With C.C. Sabathia retiring, J.A. Happ struggling this season and Domingo German uncertain to return due to his domestic violence case, Gerrit Cole needs to be a Yankee. Cole would bring the Yankees to another level and would be the perfect pitcher for New York.

What should the Yankees do with Miguel Andujar?

Lost in all of the injuries of this season were the season-ending surgeries Miguel Andujar went through. Andujar was slated to be the third baseman of the future, with a sweet swing and a knack for the big moment. Unfortunately, Andujar had shoulder surgery and his season was lost. In stepped Gio Urshela, who came out of nowhere to have a fabulous season.

With Andujar back in the fold, the Yankees are going to have to make a difficult decision regarding Andujar. Was Urshela’s season a fluke or is he the real deal? Will Andujar ever get back to his record-breaking season when he was a rookie two years ago? Can Andujar’s defense ever sniff Urshela’s, who is one of the best defensive third basemen in the world?

Andujar may even move to first if they don’t want to trade him for assets. Having both Urshela and Andujar in the fold would be the most ideal situation but there may not be room for both players if the Yankees wind up re-signing Didi Gregorius.

Should the Yankees commit to Didi Gregorius?

The Yankees’ biggest question, which will affect the other aforementioned questions, is whether the Yankees should commit to shortstop Didi Gregorius. Didi is coming off a decent season in which he returned early from Tommy John surgery.

Gregorius had one big playoff moment once again, a Grand Slam against the Minnesota Twins in the ALDS. However, Didi didn’t do much the rest of playoffs, and his prolonged slump towards the end of the regular season and he may just be too expensive for the Yankees’ liking.

With the Yankees wanting to be aggressive with Gerrit Cole, Didi may be the first one out in free agency. Didi was a great soldier and took over for Derek Jeter with the utmost grace, but he’s replaceable with Gleyber Torres being a natural shortstop and D.J. Lemahieu being a Gold Glove second basemen.

Some other questions the Yankees have are as follows;

  • Do the Yankees want to pick up the options on Aroldis Chapman and Edwin Encarnacion? (The answer is no)
  • Is the Clint Frazier experiment over?
  • Where will Brett Gardner be playing baseball next season?
  • Will Dellin Betances become the next Yankees closer if healthy?

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