New York Yankees aren’t done; 3 moves the team still must make

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 17: New York Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman looks on during batting practice prior to game four of the American League Championship Series against the Houston Astros at Yankee Stadium on October 17, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 17: New York Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman looks on during batting practice prior to game four of the American League Championship Series against the Houston Astros at Yankee Stadium on October 17, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /
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Find a Center Fielder

Prior to the 2019 MLB season the Yankees and center fielder Aaron Hicks agreed to a 7-year, $70M deal. The move was set to secure the position for the team for the foreseeable future.

However, after an injury-rattled season for Hicks, one that ended with him having to get Tommy John Surgery, the center fielder will likely miss most, if not all of the 2020 MLB season. Because of this, the Yankees must work to secure an everyday center fielder.

The good news is that there are some more than qualified options available to the team, beginning with Brett Gardner. Gardner has been a Yankee mainstay since the 2009 championship season. What’s more, the 2019 season was his best by far as a major leaguer.

In that season, Gardy hit .251 with a .325 OBP and .503 SLG. He set career highs in home runs with 28 and RBI with 74 while also posting the best OPS (.829) of his career.

Another good option is Kevin Pillar, who played seven seasons within the division with the Toronto Blue Jays. What’s more, he’s younger than Gardner and also had his best offensive season in 2019.

While with the Blue Jays and San Francisco Giants in 2019, Pillar posted career highs in OPS (.719), home runs (21) and RBI with 88. Also, unlike Gardner who has struck out 100 or more times eight times in his career, Pillar has done so zero times.

Finally, a less likely option to play the position is Cameron Maybin, whom the New York Yankees grew to love in his 82 games with the team last season. Exceeding all expectations, Maybin actually had an even better offensive season than both Gardner and Pillar in 2019, though he played only about half the games.

Though a return to the Yankees is unlikely, the team has to consider that his .285 BA, .858 OPS, .362 wOBA, and 127 wRC+ leads both Gardner and Pillar by a long shot.

At the end of the day, however, loyalty has to come in to play for the organization. Because of this, my prediction is that Brett Gardner and the Yankees reunite for one more season at a deal comparable to last season’s $7.5M.