The New York Yankees entered the 2020 offseason after another season where they came up short.
This was a disappointment for a team with a strong core of young talent.
Now, with the 2021 season approaching, the team is still trying to finish putting together their team.
Last season, the offense was hampered by injuries.
However, when they were all healthy and playing well, they were one of the most dominant offenses in the MLB.
A core part of that was superstar second baseman D.J. LeMahieu.
After becoming the first player to win a batting title in each league, LeMahieu became a free agent.
As mentioned on @MLBNetwork the Yankees will go 4 years for DJ LeMahieu. There’s still a $ gap, however; it appears there’s still a standoff with all the very top free agents. Dodgers, Jays, Mets among others interested but it’ll still be a surprise if DJ leaves. #HotStove
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 11, 2021
With the calendar deepening into January, it is getting late in the process to resign him.
However, the expectation is still that LeMahieu will remain on the Yankees.
With that in mind, what will the 2021 Yankees lineup look like?
Yankees Projected Lineup
Assuming that LeMahieu resigns, here is their projected lineup:
- D.J. LeMahieu, 2B
- Aaron Judge, RF
- Giancarlo Stanton, DH
- Luke Voit, 1B
- Gleyber Torres, SS
- Aaron Hicks, CF
- Clint Frazier, LF
- Gio Urshela, 3B
- Gary Sanchez, C
Pound-for-pound, this is one of the best lineups in the entire league.
They have a collection of some of the league’s most devastating power bats.
Aaron Judge is playing on rookie mode to start this season
SIX home runs already to start 2020 as the Yankees move to 7-1!
(via @Yankees) pic.twitter.com/j4K5u4rPrZ
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) August 3, 2020
Their biggest weaknesses are the high numbers of strikeouts and right-handed heavy bats.
Because of this, they were susceptible to right-handed pitchers that mix in high velocity and devastating off-speed.
It was evident against the Tampa Bay Rays, who seemed to constantly bring that type of pitcher out of the bullpen.
This year looks to be much of the same barring any drastic moves for the team.
However, their offense should be good enough to win this season.
Much of their success will depend on their pitching rotation.
Pitching Rotation of Unknowns
Heading into the season, their rotation is shaping up like this:
Gerrit Cole is the undisputed ace for the franchise.
However, after Cole, there are many unknowns in the rotation.
friendly reminder that the Yankees' current rotation is Gerrit Cole and a bunch of question marks held together by scotch tape. could absolutely still use Tanaka. https://t.co/2NZGM7CrdD
— Pinstripe Alley (@pinstripealley) January 13, 2021
With last year’s pitchers Masahiro Tanaka and James Paxton still free agents, there are holes that they need to fill.
They will need to have players step up to the task.
This means that players like Deivi Garcia, Clarke Schmidt, Luis Severino and Jordan Montgomery.
It will be a tall task to rely on this group of young players who are still relatively unproven in the MLB.
The Yankees will only be able to go as far as these pitchers carry them.
Moves The Yankees Can Make
The Yankees had their name mentioned in the Francisco Lindor talks before the Mets picked him up.
Though Lindor is off the board, this doesn’t mean the Yankees will go quiet.
After the Mets have had a standout offseason, pressure has been put on their fellow New York team.
They could choose to trade first baseman Luke Voit who had a breakout season.
This would bring in either another starting pitcher or a shortstop such as Trevor Story.
LeMahieu, assuming he does sign with the team, would then move to first base.
If they don’t bring him back, then they will likely make a move to bring in another infielder.
Also, the team will be looking for more help in their starting pitching rotation.
One such arm includes Corey Kluber, who recently held a showcase bullpen.
1/When it comes to Kluber, no team will have a better understanding of his physical condition than the #Yankees. The mound session today was at Cressey Sports Performance. The rehab is being done by Eric Cressey, who also is the NYY’s director of health and performance.
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) January 13, 2021
For now, the team has been overly quiet on the offseason market.
While they may still be one of the favorites in the A.L., they are looking for a move that takes them over the hump.
Heading into 2021, they are projected to have one of the best lineups.
They could make another move to further strengthen that part of the team, but their focus should turn to their pitching rotation.NEXT: What Happened To Jorge Posada? (Complete Story)