Editor’s Note- This is the first post written by a MattsBats.com Kid Correspondent. I developed this program to help kids interested in sportswriting learn from the experiences I gained from starting Matt’s Bats. This is a forum for them to gain writing experience and show off their work. If you, your child, or anyone you know may be interested in becoming a Kid Correspondent, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Today’s post comes from Daniel W. of Maryland. Daniel is an eighth grader and has a lifelong love for sports, and for the Yankees in particular.
Recapping the Yankees’ Offseason- By Daniel
The New York Yankees had a busy offseason, but less busy than what was expected. The Yankees are the richest baseball franchise, and are also valued the highest by Forbes. Many media pundits thought the Yankees were going to make a pursuit for big name free agents such as Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, or even improve their pitching by getting Patrick Corbin. However, that didn’t end up happening. Manny Machado recently signed a ten-year contract with the San Diego Padres. Patrick Corbin is one of the newest members of the Washington Nationals. And although the baseball world is awaiting news from Bryce Harper, his name is not being linked to New York.
Although they didn’t get any of the biggest names this offseason, here’s the additions the Yankees made to their roster this winter:
The first big move that they made was on October 31, when outfielder Brett Gardner re-signed a contract for one year, $7.5 million. A couple days later, they re-signed veteran pitcher CC Sabathia to a one year, $8 million contract. This was a good PR move, in my opinion, rather than a good signing move, because they wanted CC to retire as a Yankee.
On November 19, they acquired pitcher James Paxton from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for Justus Sheffield (their #1 pitching prospect), Erik Swanson, and Dom Thompson-Williams. I think this was a good trade for the Yankees because they got there clear number two starter, and now have a much better “starting three” pitching rotation if they should make it to the postseason.
Next, in December, they resigned pitcher J.A. Happ to a two-year, $34 million dollar contract.
January was the biggest month for the Yankees. It started out by signing shortstop Troy Tulowitzki to a one-year, $555,000 contract. This is considered a very low contract for someone who was once one of the best players in baseball and a five time All-Star, a two time Gold Glover, and a two time Silver Slugger winner. However, he is very much past his prime, and has been dealing with injuries for a while now. He is more of a rental since the Yankees star shortstop Didi Gregorius is dealing with an injury.
Next, they re-signed reliever Zach Britton to a three-year, $39 million contract. A couple days later, they signed second basemen DJ LeMahieu to a two year, $24 million contract. Signing LeMahieu ended up putting the Yankees out of the mix for Manny Machado, who waited until Spring Training started to sign with the Padres.
Their final move of the offseason was singing reliever Adam Ottavino to a three-year, $27 million contract, adding to their bullpen depth, which arguably has the best closer in baseball, Aroldis Chapman. Chapman had 32 saves last year, while posting a 1.05 WHIP, and a 2.45 ERA. The Yankees’ bullpen also has Zach Britton, how is a two time All Star, who also was the American League Reliever of the Year and saves leader in 2016. Another key player in their bullpen is Dellin Betances, who had 115 strikeouts in 66 games last year. If you add former first round draft pick Adam Ottavino to that mix, you have yourself a dangerously good bullpen.
Overall, I think that the Yankees offseason went well. It didn’t go as well as some would have wanted, as star reliever Dellin Betances noted, but they now arguably have the best bullpen rotation in the league, and they have much better starting pitching, which they desperately needed. For those Yankees fans upset the team didn’t sign Manny Machado as their star third baseman, remember that Nolan Arenado is going to be a free agent next year!