3) The Yankees will regret keeping a lineup reliant on power
Bringing back Aaron Judge was a necessity. Re-signing Anthony Rizzo seemed pretty important, too. Cashman presents to the fans a 2023 starting lineup with zero significant changes expected from the start. Is it a smart move?
The Bronx Bombers were a top-10 team in multiple major categories last season. This was truest with the offense. They scored the second most runs. Nobody hit more home runs. And yet the team barely got past the Cleveland Guardians in the postseason and then were swept by the Houston Astros. Owners of the fifteenth-best batting average last year, bringing in one guy who could hit .300 for them might have made a major difference.
Players like this aren’t easy to find. Retaining Andrew Benintendi might check off a lot of the boxes for what the roster needed. He’d be a left field upgrade and someone who could provide them with a boost in terms of batting average. Seeing the contract he got from the Chicago White Sox, re-signing him would’ve been a brand new offseason mistake for Cashman to wish he could take back.
From big moves to smaller ones, the Yankees had options. Reigning American League batting leader Luis Arraez was traded. Trea Turner and Carlos Correa were both free agents. Old friend Gio Urshela hit .285 last season and found himself a new home with the Los Angeles Angels.
More realistic than any of those names, the Yankees could have explored part-time players. Isiah Kiner-Falefa’s glove in a part-time role feels redundant when you have DJ LeMahieu around. A strong situational hitter would fit in much more nicely. Unfortunately, many past roster decisions from the addition of Josh Donaldson to the never-ending Giancarlo Stanton contract should take some of the blame.