The calendar has turned to November. You know this because it’s pitch black outside at 4pm now. It’s also time to look ahead to the holiday season. No, I’m not talking about Thanksgiving because to be honest, Thanksgiving kind of sucks. It’s a day where I have people in my house that I don’t like, to eat food I don’t like, to watch football games of teams I don’t like. Pass. I’m talking about Christmas. Christmas is a wonderful time of the year that is often highlighted by presents.
The MLB GM Meetings began Monday and it’s akin to a MLB team writing their Christmas List. They meet with agents and discuss groundwork for trades with other clubs. Every GM would love to leave a shiny new bike under the tree on Christmas morning for their fans in the form of a new ace or a superstar slugger. Sometimes you’re the Mets and you give your fan base a pair of socks in the form of a two year deal for Anthony Swarzak.
With just about 7 weeks left until Christmas Morning, what are the five moves that Santa Cashman can pull off to make this the merriest of Christmases for Yankees fans? I don’t know. If you’ve ever been on “Yankees Twitter” then you know that no one can agree on anything. I will however list the five moves Santa Cashman can make so I have a Merry Christmas.
This is my New York Yankees Christmas List.
Trade for Corey Kluber
I was hesitant about putting trades on this list because you really don’t know who’s available and that’s the main reason you won’t see “Trade for Bumgarner/deGrom” on here because as far as we know, they’re not. But Kluber might be, and that window being cracked open should be enough for Brian Cashman to pounce.
Kluber is 32 and under control for another 3 years at a very friendly rate for someone of his caliber. You’re going to have to part with major pieces to get him, and it might mean Miguel Andujar, but you can’t say no to an ace like this if he’s available. This is the type of guy you want to slot in between Luis Severino and Masahiro Tanaka. Even if you’re apprehensive about his postseason numbers (and you shouldn’t be. Look at 2016 when the Indians went to the World Series and he was injured in 2017) the Yankees need to win the division next year, and Kluber taking the ball every 5th day would certainly help them do that.
Sign one of the “Big Two”
I can’t imagine an offseason where the Yankees have money to spend and there are two free agents the caliber of Bryce Harper and Manny Machado and coming away empty handed.
I prefer Harper for his lefty power, which the Yankees desperately need and his on-base prowess. He can play LF which keeps Brett Gardner as a bench payer and Giancarlo Stanton as your DH. However, with Didi Gregorius having Tommy John surgery and if you move Andujar for a starter then Machado is the guy you need to help a now very weak infield with Gleyber Torres being your only sure thing for 2019.
The Yankees shouldn’t pass on both and they shouldn’t sign both either. They’re going to need some financial flexibility when it comes time to pay their homegrown guys and locking yourself up with both Machado and Harper would prevent that.
Sign Marwin Gonzalez
Every team needs a super utility guy and Gonzalez could be THE super utility guy in MLB. Since 2017 the only positions he hasn’t played are Centerfield and Catcher. He has 101 extra base hits and has driven in 158 runs in those two seasons. He’s a switch hitter which also helps solve the issue of the Yankees needing more lefty bats. He can easily attain 500 at bats and never play the same position twice in a week.
He’s the perfect insurance if the Greg Bird/Luke Voit platoon doesn’t work or he can slot in on whichever side of second base Gleyber Torres isn’t. This makes too much sense not to happen.
Sign Patrick Corbin
This scares the hell out of me but I still want him because the Yankees need starting pitching and he’s the best free agent available. He’s got Sonny Gray written all over him but I still need to take that chance.
He’s only pitched 200 innings twice, in 2013 and this past season. He’s only had a sub 4 ERA IN 3 of his 6 seasons, which is the same amount of times he’s made over 30 starts. The red flags are there but if you make a big trade and slot him in as your fourth starter, knowing how much he wants to be a Yankee this could turn into gold, it could also turn into Sonny Gray. I’m still asking for him, I’m just making sure I’m keeping my receipt.
Bring back J.A. Happ
I was going to ask for a reliever here but I think even if the Yankees don’t re-sign/replace David Robertson and Zach Britton they should have enough arms to still have a strong pen. This team needs reliable starting pitching and no one was more reliable for the Yankees in 2018 than Happ.
Happ went 7-0 and had a 2.69 ERA for the Yankees after the July trade with Toronto. I know some people soured on him after his disaster at Fenway in the postseason but I haven’t. The guy routinely gets into the 6th inning having only allowed 2-3 runs which on the Yankees should win you about 95% of your games. That type of consistency is invaluable. It’s nice to put a guy on the mound and almost be able to guarantee what you’re going to get from him. An AL East battle tested lefty is hard to find and the Yankees shouldn’t make his career in Pinstripes a mere cameo.
That’s my Yankees Christmas List. Am I being bratty and asking for too much? I don’t think so. I’m already thinking ahead to Christmas 2019 when I can ask for some Yankees World Series swag and this list will help make that happen. It’s just up to Santa Cashman to deliver the goods.