The New York Yankees are in the process of transitioning out the old and bringing in the new. With the acquisitions of shortstop Didi Gregorius and hard-throwing right-hander Nathan Eovaldi, it’s clear the Yankees are in a transition phase, attempting to field a younger and more athletic team. Both of these players are nowhere near finished products, but they are players that can be developed. While the Yankees have spent in the past to win-now, they aren’t blind to the idea their roster is aging and falling behind other teams in their division, short and long term, hence the shift to younger players of late.
Gregorius is regarded as an athletic fielder with a worthy glove to bring on to develop in hopes of getting something more out of his bat. Last season he hit .226/.290/.363 with six home runs and 35 RBI in just 299 plate appearances. The Yankees would like to see him cut down on his strikeout percentage (17.4%) to help utilize the amenity that the new Bronx Bomber has in a short right field.
Eovaldi, despite averaging 95.5 miles-per-hour on his fastball in 2014, is a player that yielded a league-leading 223 hits in 119.2 innings-pitched and had a porous ERA+ of 87. The Yankees’ brass are hoping that after time spent with pitching coach Larry Rothschild, Eovaldi can shape himself into being a staple within the middle of the rotation by turning his hard-throwing repertoire into swing-and-miss stuff.
Many fans are hoping that the Yankees are in the Max Scherzer sweepstakes, despite general manager Brian Cashman stating that the club is not heavily involved. Signing Scherzer will only add to the Yankees’ issue of financial dead weight down the road since it is very natural for players to decline in the backend of their careers after receiving desirable contracts. Regardless of whether or not the club is in on him, the Yankees are letting it be known that they need somewhat of a youth movement.
Injuries to many key players such as CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez, and Carlos Beltran bring up insecurity regarding what kind of production can be expected since they have not been able to contribute on a regular basis during the recent past years for the Yankees. Players like Gregorius and Eovaldi are players worthy of fan’s hope for a more athletic team moving forward. Despite the non-traditional moves this offseason by the Yankees, it still begs the question of whether New York has what it takes to compete in 2015.