Scott Thompson, SNY.tv | Twitter |
Over the past few seasons, the Yankees have been building themselves back into legitimate World Series contenders. A "rebuild," if you even want to call it that because it lasted about a season and a half, involved players like Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, Gleyber Torres and Luis Severino trying to find themselves in the league.
But it wasn't long before Judge became the AL Rookie of the Year, Sanchez burst onto the scene smashing balls over the wall, Torres became one of the best players in the league at 22 years old, and Severino -- before his Tommy John surgery -- showed dominance on the rubber.
That's why for the past two seasons the Yankees have played late into the postseason, and they just missed competing for a World Series last season when they lost in the ALCS to the Astros. Still, in 2020, they made even more improvements to be the team to beat -- if/when the season starts.
Will that still be the case three years down the road?
While sporting a very solid young core, the Yankees are famous for dipping into the free agency pool and swinging trades to make themselves even stronger. Also, their farm system touts some blue chip prospects just waiting for the opportunity to prove their worth.
So, with all of that in mind, let's take a look three years down the road in 2023 to see what the Yankees roster could look like...
Catcher: Gary Sanchez
Sanchez is among the current Yankees who should see a long-term extension come his way. Though his performance of late hasn't been worthy of a megadeal, expect GM Brian Cashman to give him a deal before he hits free agency in 2023.
First Base: Luke Voit
When the Yanks traded for Voit, they knew they would uncover something the Cardinals just couldn't. And they have. So with team control until 2024, the Yanks will continue to reap those benefits of Voit solidifying first base. He just needs to prove it in the batter's box until then.
Second Base: Gleyber Torres
At 23 years old in 2020, Torres has already become a staple of this Yankees squad. He's a cornerstone piece that won't hit free agency until 2025. But why second base? Look down...
Shortstop: Francisco Lindor
Here's the first big change for the Yanks. Lindor is one of the best players in the league, and when he becomes a free agent in 2022, Cashman signs him to a huge deal to create the best middle infield tandem in the league. In turn, though, DJ LeMahieu likely has to walk into free agency.
Third Base: Gio Urshela
Lindor will make a ton, and with other big contracts on the team already, the Yankees will love to stick with Urshela. This, of course, is if he can prove 2019 wasn't a one-year fluke. His glove is very reliable in the hot corner.
Left Field: Aaron Hicks
There's a long way to go on the seven-year deal he signed in 2019, but with the person down below coming up through the minors, Hicks -- 33 years old in 2023 -- will move over in the outfield. The switch bat in the lineup makes him the only one, too, so that helps his cause.
Center Field: Jasson Dominguez
The team's top prospect has shot through the minor leagues, and the next Mike Trout is ready to start proving that at the big league level. Dominguez is only 17 right now, so he will be 20 years old with a huge spotlight on him. The Yankees are willing to see if he can handle it.
Right Field: Aaron Judge
While remaining one of the faces of the game, Judge receives a long-term extension from the Yanks before he hits free agency after the 2022 season.
Designated Hitter: Giancarlo Stanton
At 33 years old in 2023, Stanton won't be opting out of his very lucrative contract anytime soon. The only way he'll leave the Yanks is if Cashman trades him somehow (don't ever count out that possibility). Having Stanton primarily be a force in the batter's box is what he's destined to be for the rest of his career, with a small chance to be an outfield option if needed.
1. RHP Gerrit Cole
He'll be making another $36 million this season as the team's ace, and he should be providing that type of pitching for more years to come after 2023.
2. RHP Luis Castillo
We think the Reds will struggle in 2020, so Trevor Bauer bails after the season, pushing back their window to contend. And the Yankees take advantage of that with a big trade for the team's ace. Since Castillo is one of the better young pitchers in the game, it'll be a haul that hurts with Miguel Andujar finally getting traded with top pitching prospect Clarke Schmidt and C Josh Breaux also part of the package. Worth it for another ace-like rotation arm.
3. RHP Luis Severino
The Yankees have an option to drop Severino's $15 million salary for 2023, but he'll be 29, still throwing well in a starter's role and should remain with the team. He's past his Tommy John surgery and should be solid with more years left on the bump.
4. LHP Steven Matz
Though James Paxton pitched well, he's well into his 30s by 2023 and the Yanks need another lefty. Why not keep Matz in New York, as the Mets let him go after the 2021 season?
5. LHP Jordan Montgomery
"Gumby" remains a solid back-end rotation man for the Yankees at this time. Though he could be trade bait down the road, Cashman keeps him on after pitching well following his Tommy John surgery.
Closer: LHP Aroldis Chapman
The Yankees keep the "Cuban Missile" in pinstripes at age 35 by signing him to a short deal.
Setup: RHP Luis Gil
Gil could easily develop into a starter, but the current No. 5 prospect in the Yankees' system has an electric fastball that hits triple digits. He'll give the Yankees a setup man who could easily turn into their closer once Chapman calls it quits, or falls off completely.
RHP: Deivi Garcia
One of the team's best pitching prospects hasn't found it in a starter's role, but his electric stuff has proven useful in the bullpen. He's even become a back-end piece.
RHP: Mychal Givens
The Yankees sign the former Oriole in 2022 to keep him in the AL East. A former closer himself, Givens could be a back-end arm.
RHP: Chad Green
Green will reach an extension with the Yanks before he becomes a free agent in 2023. A reliable pitcher who can be used as an opener.
RHP: Domingo German
A long reliever now with Montgomery stopping him from starting, German still plays a vital role on the team as the next man up whenever a starter goes down.
LHP: Zack Britton
He's re-signed to a short-term pact, maybe even one year, as his contract is up in 2023.
LHP: T.J. Sikkema
The crafty lefty finds himself in the pen to start his career. Tthe Yanks need another lefty here, so after making his debut in 2022, he's in the pen.
Catcher: Anthony Seigler
The 2018 first-rounder beats out Kyle Higashioka for the backup catcher role, and begins learning behind Sanchez.
First Base: Brandon Belt
A lefty bat perfectly made for the short porch in right, Belt signs with the Yanks in 2022 to provide quality backup to Voit.
Infield: Anthony Volpe
The 2019 first-rounder is obviously stopped by Torres and Lindor in the middle, but his quality glove and bat have him up with the big leaguers to provide depth.
Infield/Outfield: Tyler Wade
Still playing all roles in a versatile manner, Wade is the Swiss Army knife on the bench.
Outfield: Clint Frazier
The Yankees still haven't found him a full-time role, but because of Hicks' age and Dominguez's inexperience, he is getting ample playing time.