2015 was a solid year for the New York Yankees. Even though their season ended in the Wild Card game, they still made it to the postseason and competed against the likely AL Cy Young winner. The 2015 season also showed the organization and its fan base where the weak spots are, and the front office needs to act on that this offseason. While the organization needs improvement across the board, as every team does, this is the Yankees wish list for assembling a championship roster for 2016. The Yankees primary needs: second base, more pitching, and healthy bodies.
The first thing the Yankees need to do is find themselves a second baseman. Ever since Robinson Cano left for Seattle, the Yankees lineup hasn’t had the same pop in it. Stephen Drew, Brendan Ryan, or Dustin Ackley aren’t going to cut it any longer. There are a lot of second basemen who will become free agents in the offseason, most notably Daniel Murphy, Ben Zobrist, and Chase Utley.
While the Yankees have the money to obtain these stars, a perfect fit would be Steve Pearce of the Baltimore Orioles. Pearce, a career .250 hitter, has the ability to hit for power as well as average. With 53 career home runs over his nine-year career, 36 coming in the last two years alone, he can certainly provide a spark for the Yankees towards the bottom of the order. Pearce spent part of 2012 with the Yankees, appearing in 12 games and hitting a measly .160. Pearce has matured as a player since then, and has moved from a fill-in guy to an every day guy for the 2013-2014 Orioles. Pearce will certainly be a step up from the disaster the Yankees had at second base in 2015 without having to overspend.
For the most part, the Yankees are pretty good in the starting pitching department, but adding one more arm would solidify things. With the rotation looking like Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda, Luis Severino, Nathan Eovaldi, and CC Sabathia, another veteran arm to have in Joe Girardi’s back pocket just in case of injury would be great. Of all of the starting pitchers available this offseason, Doug Fister would be the best fit for the Bronx Bombers. Fister, who owns a 65-63 career record with a 3.42 ERA, would benefit with the Yankees high scoring offense. Even though Yankee stadium is a hitters park and Fister is a contact pitcher, he can still give you 5-6 good innings consistently, and has the ability to pitch to a lead and his experience against American League lineups will work in the Yankees favor.
Everyone knows of the Yankees set up man-closer combo of Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller. Left-hander Justin Wilson will get more innings out of the pen next year, the Yankees could use a solid, hard-throwing, right-handed arm to really make the bullpen stronger. Joakim Soria seems like the best option for the Yankees to pick up. Soria, who pitched for the Pirates and Tigers in 2015, has averaged 69 innings of work a year over the course of his eight-year career. Soria could be the 7th inning guy, and really make the back end of the bullpen even more dominant. Soria was used as a closer for most of his career, but the Pirates didn’t use him as such and he flourished. Soria posted a 2.03 ERA after being traded, it was his lowest since 2010, when he was an All-Star. Soria can be the arm that allows the Yankees to stay in games, as well as lock down some close ones.
A health pack
The Yankees were hit with the injury bug in 2015, with injuries to Mark Teixeira, Nathan Eovaldi, Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury, Tanaka, Miller, Carlos Beltran, and Pineda. All of these injures negatively affected the overall outcome of the Yankees ball club. The replacements to the injured didn’t produce, and were unable to live up to the standards that the guy in front of them set. The baseball season is long and grueling, and if they can stay healthy for the most part, then they should be successful.
The Yankees have the rare combo of having a talented team as is, and the money to go out and acquire the guy who can best fit what their looking for. By making a few additions to their team, as well as staying healthy, the Yankees can return to the postseason again, and hopefully make it further than the Wild Card game.