The New York Yankees are ready to make that move that next year. Brain Cashman has cleaned house of big contracts and older, non-productive players and the future looks bright for the Yankees, but they are still missing a few pieces.
The Yankees way has always been youth mixed with wisdom and this is the route they must go in again if they wish to see the postseason. The Yankees missed the Wild Card by five games in 2016. That was an incredible feat considering it looked as if the front office had given up on the season when they had their fire sale. But the young players that were left, put their big boy pants on and almost pulled off the impossible.
While they didn’t make it, it did give them a sense of accomplishment as the city got behind what is to be the future core of the team for years to come. While players like Gary Sanchez, Sterling Castro, Aaron Hicks and Didi Gregorious will provide a spark they still need that veteran player that will give that BOOM that will be missing in 2017.
Looking at the free agent class, there are not many players that can do that. Well, maybe one. The Yankees faithful may not agree with me on this but the Yankees must make an offer to Jose Bautista.
Bautista, at age 35 can still produce and with the Yanks being in the American League they can take the same approach they did with Alex Rodriguez. Bautista can play the DH role. In 2016, in 116 games he hit 22 home runs and drove in 62 runs in an injury plagued year. You add his bat to a lineup that can play small ball and the Yankees just added another run per game.
His price tag of $14M per season is a bit much for his age and production but if he’s willing to come down to say, $8-10M, Cashman should really consider this move. If Bautista was to join the middle of the order with Gardner, Ellsbury, Sanchez, then Bautista, the Yankees will be a dangerous out for any pitcher. I understand the team is young and the rotation needs arms, but for a team that finished in the bottom half of home runs and RBIs, this is a must needed move.
There may be cheaper players on the market but Bautista brings that experience, leadership, plate discipline and confidence that a young team looking to take that next important step needs.