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It’s that time of year again when wishes are made and gifts are given -- and all of that includes your sports teams.
For Yankee fans there is a lot to be thankful for, like Giancarlo Stanton finding his postseason surge and, well, baseball happening in the first place. But the coveted World Series title didn't happen, even with Gerrit Cole looking like his ace self.
So what does that mean? It means it’s time to get your pens out and write to the baseball gods or GM Brian Cashman himself to deliver your wishes for the upcoming Yankees season. And if you’re stumped on what exactly to ask for, here are a few things you might want to jot down:
Re-sign DJ LeMahieu
Please. Just please make it happen.
A recent report said both sides were more than $25 million apart in negotiations, with NJ.com’s Brendan Kuty reporting the Yankees came with four years and $75 million. LeMahieu is looking for another year and $100 million.
Yes, it’s the top priority for the Yankees and Cashman has expressed that. But the more days that go by, the more worried Yankees fans will get that LeMahieu will not be in pinstripes next season. Honestly, the greatest gift of all for a fan this holiday season is a nice contract wrapped in a bow with LeMahieu’s signature on it.
Sign a rotation arm – any arm
Once the LeMahieu situation is complete (hopefully in the Yankees’ favor), the Yankees should be looking to upgrade their rotation. James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka and J.A. Happ all hit the market at the same time, and though the Yanks can rely on their young arms if they so choose, a veteran option would be more preferred.
Should Tanaka come back? Should it be someone like Jose Quintana or Corey Kluber? No matter who it is honestly, more depth is needed for next season. It doesn’t have to be on Christmas, or even New Year’s Day. As long as a new arm comes, it’ll be a good holiday.
Gary Sanchez figures it out
He’s in the Dominican Winter League getting regular at-bats right now, trying to figure out what went so wrong in 2020. But the Yankees tendered him a contract, hoping that he can somehow rekindle the budding All-Star from a few seasons ago.
Sanchez was benched for Kyle Higashioka this past postseason, a move that no one would’ve seen coming if you asked just two seasons ago. But that’s the reality of his struggles currently.
So here’s to hoping Sanchez figures out his swing down in the DR, or spring training, or even at the start of the 2021 campaign. Because the Yankees desperately need that to happen before they really look into the catching market.
Aaron Judge has an MVP season
It’s only right… right?
After bursting onto the scene in his Rookie of the Year season with 52 homers in 155 games, Judge hasn’t been able to replicate it. Injuries have been a main cause of that, but with a clean bill of health, could the face of the franchise collect his first career MVP?
It's certainly possible if he can stay on the field. And if the Yankees want that World Series title, someone other than LeMahieu needs to produce consistently on a nightly basis. Judge started off the shortened 2020 campaign red hot. Wishing for that and more this season couldn't hurt.
Sustained health in 2021
Of course, we wish everyone the best of health in the new year. But we’re looking at you Judge, Stanton and the rest of the Yankees’ roster.
This year proved to be another that found the injury bug hit the Yankees’ clubhouse. Judge was out for a long period of time. Many others were as well. Even before the season began, Luis Severino had to undergo Tommy John surgery, which he is still recovering from.
It’s good to hear that Gio Urshela’s surgery to remove a bone chip was successful, and that everyone is ramping up for spring training as we speak. But through the long, grueling season that is found in this game (hopefully 162 games is the number played next season), the Yankees need to stay healthy.