Where do Yankees go from here? From Aaron Judge to Aaron Boone, offseason highlighted by 5 questions

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The Bombers have, as soon as once more, bombed out.

Another season wasted, one other chase for 28 developing brief. The Yankees will fly house Tuesday evening after a 6-2 loss by the hands of the Red Sox within the AL wild-card recreation. Boston did the Yankees a favor, taking them out again like Old Yeller and ending the job for a limping, wounded, streaky squad.

Hopes that they’d flip the change as soon as once more to carry them by way of to the World Series had been met by a buzzsaw in Nathan Eovaldi in Fenway Park, with the Sox downing their AL East rivals within the playoffs for the second time within the final three years.

MORE: Yankees vs. Red Sox results: Early homers, strong start from Nathan Eovaldi propels Boston to AL wild-card win

So, the place do they go from right here? The Yankee window to win a championship is not fully closed, however after one other 12 months of developing brief within the postseason, New York enters a pivotal offseason for the way forward for the franchise.

Here are 5 questions that should be answered within the fast:

Trade Aaron Judge? Extend Aaron Judge?

Reports surfaced earlier in 2021 that the Yankees and Angels had “the lightest of flirtations” on an Aaron Judge commerce. Who or what could be concerned in that deal is pure hypothesis, however with the Yankees having a fairly busy outfield set for 2021, these flirtations may turn out to be full-on makeout periods over the approaching months.

The Yankees may have to decide on Judge’s future sooner reasonably than later: He’s beneath group management in 2022 earlier than hitting free company, and is coming off his greatest, healthiest season since his rookie 12 months in 2017. He’s additionally going to be 30 by the time he hits free company. That’s not outdated, but it surely definitely makes for a tough contract extension scenario.

That places the Yankees in a troublesome place: Do you maintain onto Judge for an additional 12 months, or commerce him for … no matter you may commerce him for this offseason? Maybe it is pitching assist, possibly it is prospect assist. His worth most likely will not be larger than it’s proper now, and with Giancarlo Stanton and Joey Gallo each beneath contract for 2022, there could possibly be an outfield glut to attempt to resolve.

If the Yankees aren’t planning to pay Judge in the long run, then they could view a Judge deal as an inevitability. That’s, by far, their hardest choice to make heading into 2022.

MORE: MLB postseason predictions — Who will win Fall Classic?

What do you do with Gleyber Torres?

Gleyber Torres is not 22 — the rallying cry of Yankee followers in the course of the 2018 postseason — and he’ll be 25 come December. Torres can also be coming off back-to-back actually unhealthy years for the Yankees, each on the plate and within the area, and there is a query of when potential will meet manufacturing once more.

While New York as soon as checked out Torres as an on a regular basis possibility at shortstop for the long run, his defensive skills have been bottom-of-the-barrel (negative-10 DRS at shortstop; negative-2 at second base in 2021) and he has additionally put collectively back-to-back seasons of poor offensive success for New York. Not fully encouraging indicators.

Torres performed significantly better as a second baseman than as a shortstop down the stretch, and is mostly a greater defender at second, too, although not by a lot. Does that place his future with the Yankees at second base? There are just a few different layers to peel again on this pungent downside onion:

  • What does that do for DJ LeMahieu? Does he shift again to the tremendous utility man? LeMahieu performed most of his innings at second base in 2021 (663 innings at second base, 620 innings at first base and third base mixed). LeMahieu can also be coming off a fairly unhealthy offensive season, however his contract means he is going to play on a regular basis someplace in 2022.
  • What occurs at shortstop? While the Yankees have certainly one of baseball’s high prospects, Anthony Volpe, within the pipeline, he is nonetheless two seasons away from being major-league prepared. There are loads of long- and short-term choices in free company, ought to they need to spend the cash.

While two unhealthy seasons is hardly a loss of life knell on a profession, Torres’ down energy numbers and lack of obvious development on the plate ought to have the Yankees no less than paying consideration to what’s taking place.

MORE: Why did Yankees pull Gerrit Cole after two innings? Ace gets quick hook against Red Sox in wild-card game

Re-sign Anthony Rizzo?

Anthony Rizzo had a fairly Rizzo stat line with the Yankees since his arrival on the commerce deadline, and he presents much more to the roster than merely being a lefty.

Rizzo is a lefty bat — one thing the Yankees desperately lacked to begin the 12 months — an honest defender and has energy that may play in Yankee Stadium over a full 162 video games. While Rizzo had a down 12 months total by way of offensive manufacturing, he is price taking the danger on a contract extension, if the Yankees go that approach.

If the Yankees can lock up Rizzo for, say, a four-year deal, that makes Luke Voit expendable in any commerce. The Yankees want to steadiness their lineup higher; with Voit, Giancarlo Stanton and others vying for time at DH, a Rizzo re-signing and subsequent commerce of extra components kills two birds with one stone.

MORE: (*5*)

Pitching, pitching, pitching

Was pitching the No. 1 downside with the Yankees in 2021? No. But they hit on their lottery tickets, which is usually a dangerous proposition for just a few years in a row.

While Brian Cashman bought his “white whale” in Gerrit Cole, he seemingly had a troublesome time filling out the workers behind him in recent times. Corey Kluber pitched a no-hitter after which was on the shelf for 3 months. Jameson Taillon appeared to determine issues out this 12 months and pitched fairly erratically in 2021, however was first rate sufficient for a back-end man.

If Deivi Garcia — who struggled in Triple A this 12 months — or Clarke Schmidt or any of their extremely touted younger arms do not come by way of in 2022, the Yankees are going to have to cut price store for beginning pitching once more.

It’s clear the Yankees would reasonably commit sources to shoring up the bullpen as opposed to the rotation — simply have a look at any and all of their pitching strikes not named Gerrit Cole during the last 4 seasons — so if that is the route they select to go once more, they could possibly be coping with a patchwork rotation that is mild on innings in 2022.

MORE: Yankees broadcaster hilariously botches Giancarlo Stanton non-home run call in wild-card game: ‘What did I do wrong?’

Will the Yankees hearth Aaron Boone?

Aaron Boone has drawn the ire of Yankee followers for the reason that day he was employed. Maybe it is as a result of he seemingly is not a hard-nosed disciplinarian like his predecessor, or possibly it is as a result of he appears to have an “Aw, shucks” vibe about him, or possibly it is as a result of he is not nice on the day-to-day … managing stuff.

As all the time, the reality lies someplace within the center. Boone has been a wonderfully nice supervisor for the Yankees; He has helped information them to a .601 profitable share within the final 4 years and has had to navigate a variety of murky and uneven waters in that span.

No, Boone’s in-game selections have not all the time been one of the best. But extra blame must be levied on common supervisor Brian Cashman than Boone after the most recent Yankee playoff bust.

After diminishing playoff returns since 2017, Cashman’s method to group constructing hasn’t precisely yielded one of the best outcomes. While he is heralded for his trades, Cashman has skirted by on a good quantity of accountability when it comes to group constructing. The 2021 commerce deadline confirms that: Usually reserved for including one or two ending items, the acquisitions of Rizzo and Joey Gallo had been extra made to remake the lineup on the fly than to add to a near-finished product.

That may not be the stuff followers need to hear, particularly in an period when managers are extra expendable than ever. But when a supervisor has to navigate a season with a patchwork rotation and accidents and ineffectiveness within the high-priced bullpen, an unbalanced lineup and poor performances by pivotal gamers … that is loads to ask anybody to overcome.

If Boone is subsequent in line to get his strolling papers, however Cashman will get one other go at propping open that playoff and World Series window — that’ll make for some good Bomber drama this offseason.

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