As the New Year is upon us, we edge just a little closer to the start of the 2019 baseball season. The New York Yankees already making some noise with the acquisition of Troy Tulowitzki. The Yankees were without a shortstop for at least the first half of the regular season until Didi Gregorius returns, making it the perfect opportunity to sign someone like Tulowitzki as a temporary replacement. However, what does this say about their interest in pursuing Manny Machado? Also, the Yankees ended up passing up on David Robertson as he signs a two-year deal with the Philadelphia Phillies. What do they have in store for their bullpen this offseason?
The question most likely on everybody’s mind where the Yankees stand on Manny Machado after signing Tulowitzki. He is on a one-year deal and Gregorius is going to be a free agent next year, so they still need to construct a long-term plan unless they already have something in mind. Having both Tulo and Machado could pose some issues. Tulo could be served as more of a utility player, but keep in mind that he has not played a position that is not shortstop at any point in his career. Machado, though naturally a shortstop, has played most of his career over at third base. But, then where does Miguel Andujar play? Perhaps they have intentions of packaging him in some sort of deal to acquire an elite starting pitcher and make room for Machado. Would the Yankees really sacrifice the runner-up in the American League Rookie of the Year race for a rental that has not played a full season since 2009? Probably not.
It is becoming more difficult to believe that the Yankees will sign Machado given the current structure of their team. That scenario is confusing enough it does not even address the situation with Didi Gregorius. Perhaps they will move Tulo to bench and have Gregorius and Machado man the left side of the infield. If I were to guess, it is not happening. While I would not one hundred percent guarantee that; all the evidence points to the Yankees taking the more conservative route.
Since 2016, the Yankees’ bullpen was arguably the best Major League Baseball had to offer. After reuniting with David Robertson, who won a World Series with the team in 2009, in the middle of 2017 he went ahead and signed with the Phillies this week. What does this mean for the Yankees’ bullpen? It seems that they were more focused on potentially resigning Zach Britton and pursuing other options such as New York native, Adam Ottavino.
Ottavino is coming off a fantastic season with the Colorado Rockies after striking out 112 batters in 77.2 innings while maintaining a WHIP below 1.000. You also must give him credit because pitching in Colorado is not always the easiest of tasks. It is hard to say whether he is better than David Robertson though. Robertson is clearly more experienced and spent most of his career pitching for the Yankees proving that he can hang on baseball’s biggest stage.
One thing we do know for sure is that the Yankees will be grabbing more headlines later in the offseason. They could be on the verge of doing something big, or they could make a few small moves. Regardless of what they do, everyone knows they are not finished. There is still a solid month and a half left before pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training.