New York Yankees: This team needs to make a big move this offseason

BRONX, NY - OCTOBER 17: Aaron Judge #99 of the New York Yankees looks on from the dugout prior to Game 4 of the ALCS between the Houston Astros and the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on Thursday, October 17, 2019 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
BRONX, NY - OCTOBER 17: Aaron Judge #99 of the New York Yankees looks on from the dugout prior to Game 4 of the ALCS between the Houston Astros and the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on Thursday, October 17, 2019 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /

The New York Yankees have sat idly by for too long and let big players pass them by. It’s now time to bring in a star who can help them win a World Series.

It was another rough end to a great season for the New York Yankees after a 103-win campaign where they fell at the hands of the Houston Astros in six games in the ALCS. Now, it’s time to look forward and see where they can improve and finally break through to get to and potentially win a World Series after a ten year drought.

This team has two major issues as it heads into 2020. The first is the issue they have in the lineup with the inability to hit for average. We saw throughout the course of the 2019 season that this lineup actually held its own and wasn’t as strikeout-crazy as everybody thought it would be heading into the season. The Yankees finished the regular season with the 14th-most team strikeouts in the league, as opposed to one year prior where they finished with the 9th-most.

The Yankee lineup did a much better job putting bat-on-ball this season, and in return, they wound up leading the league in runs scored (943) and finishing second in home runs hit (306), just one behind the Minnesota Twins.

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They got production from backup and fill-in players as they continuously suffered injury after injury from Game 1 to Game 162. Gio Urshela broke onto the scene and (most likely) secured a permanent spot at third base next season. Mike Tauchman and Cameron Maybin came out of nowhere in elevated outfield roles with the injuries to Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Hicks, and Aaron Judge to go for a combined .281 batting average, 24 home runs, and 79 RBIs- not too shabby for two utility outfielders. Hell, even Brett Gardner got himself 28 home runs in a generous one-year contract stint he was awarded much to the chagrin of Yankee fans.

But the MVP of this team was DJ LeMahieu at the top of the order hitting for a robust .327 with 26 home runs and 102 RBIs. DJL went severely under-the-radar the previous offseason and seemed to be somewhat of a steal by the Yankee front office heading into the 2019 season. Little did everybody know the New York Yankees had brought in a former batting title winner who could play all four infield positions and put the bat on the ball as well as any position player in the game.

That was a great find for the Yankees.

But once again, we saw the strikeout issues rear their ugly heads once again when the lights were the brightest as the Yankees struck out 64 times in six ALCS games to Houston pitching. After such a great regular season where the strikeouts (for the most part) were tamed from where they were just one year prior, it felt like “more of the same” from this Yankees lineup of young boppers and potential superstars.

The second major problem the New York Yankees still face is the lack of a number one ace pitcher. The basic rundown of this year’s Yankee rotation was that it let up a high number of earned runs and gave the team little-to-no length at all, meaning the bullpen got a ton of work cleaning up any mess that was left in the first 4-5 innings.

Luis Severino, who is in-line to be the ace of this current rotation, was hurt for the majority of the year with a bad rotator cuff, and upon return, there was no real hope of stretching him out the way the team needed him to be in a playoff scenario. Hopefully, he can get himself healthy and put in a ful 2020 season because he has all the capability to be one of the best pitchers in baseball.

As for the rest of the Yankee rotation, James Paxton caught fire in the second half of the season, but had his awful moments, Masahiro Tanaka stayed pretty level until the postseason where he turned into Madison Bumgarner 2.0, Domingo German got himself jammed up with domestic abuse allegations, and the back end of CC Sabathia and JA Happ limped to the finish line and were relegated to the bullpen just to find a spot on the postseason roster.

Something that this New York Yankees front office has yet to figure out is that it has to spend money the way the old Yankees used to do. Right now, you have Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg on the open market. Cole could’ve won the CY Young and Strasburg was the World Series MVP. Looking back on this 2019 season, there were a ton of players and pitchers that the Yankee front office passed upon in order to roll with the guys they had on the roster.

They missed out on Patrick Corbin (who’s now a World Series champion), Bryce Harper, and Manny Machado in the offseason, as well as the likes of Dallas Keuchel, Mad-Bum, Zack Greinke, and Trevor Bauer during the course of the regular season.

It’s rather evident that the current roster that they have isn’t quite good enough to get them over the hump. It’s good enough to win 100+ games in back-to-back seasons. It’s good enough to win them a playoff series or two. But in terms of actually breaking through and claiming title number 28 for the franchise, they need to make some kind of splash this offseason.

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They need to bring in a bona fide number one starter and continue to find available contact hitters that can hit in clutch situations. They’re moving in the right direction with LeMahieu still on board, Gleyber Torres continuing to develop, and Miguel Andujar (still on the team) coming back healthy for 2020. But they absolutely need to take a risk and lock up either Cole or Stras, preferably Cole as he’s the better of the two. No more penny-pinching. No more playing it safe. Go out there and actually make a big move.