3 Missing Pieces the Yankees Could Still Land This Winter
The New York Yankees have had an eventful offseason despite not making any major splashes, yet there is still some work to do.
They have already found Derek Jeter's successor in Didi Gregorius, traded for young starter Nathan Eovaldi, re-signed third baseman Chase Headley, brought in reliever Andrew Miller and made a handful of other smaller moves, so it has not exactly been quiet on the Yankees' front.
Still, the Bronx Bombers 2015 roster as it is presently constructed has some question marks. The rotation's health should be a major concern. Rob Refsnyder, who appears to be the favorite to win the second-base job heading into spring training, may or may not be ready for the job. Even the coaching staff has missing components, and it's already January.
With spring training and the 2015 season fast approaching, here some pieces Yankees general manager Brian Cashman may look to add before the offseason comes to an end.
For this one there is actually no guess work involved.
The Yankees need and will have some new coaches joining manager Joe Girardi's staff by the time Opening Day rolls around. The team currently has openings at hitting coach and first-base coach after letting go of Kevin long and Mick Kelleher earlier in the offseason.
It is actually surprising that it has taken New York this long to fill the positions. After all, spring training is just over a month away already. The Yankees' coaching search should have ended a while ago, but alas, it goes on.
One name that was just recently brought up in the search is a familiar face: Willie Randolph.
According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, the Yankees already interviewed him at some point this winter. Randolph spent 13 seasons with the Yankees as a player before serving as a base and bench coach with the team under Joe Torre.
A Veteran Infielder
Following Derek Jeter's retirement, the trade of Martin Prado to the Miami Marlins and the shuffling of names that took their position at second base last year, it appears the Yankees' middle infield will be going through a rejuvenation of sorts in 2015.
We already know that 24-year-old Didi Gregorius should receive some serious time at shortstop as the Yankees begin to develop him into what could be a key player for years to come.
However, with Prado gone, the Yankees only current option at second base is to go with youth. As of right now, it seems Rob Refsnyder, 23, is the best bet to win the starting job after hitting .318 between Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre in 2014. Jose Pirela is another option, but he seems less likely.
There have been some questions raised as to whether Refsnyder is ready. While most feel that his bat is ready to transition to the majors, the Yankees may not want to take that chance just yet. They could acquire another infielder as insurance just to make sure Refsnyder is ready.
One possibility is the Tampa Bay Rays' Ben Zobrist. Like Prado, Zobrist can swing the bat with a nice mix of contact and power and can play just about anywhere. He became expendable when the Rays signed Asdrubal Cabrera.
Another possibility is Stephen Drew, but that did not exactly work out the first time around.
Another Starting Pitcher
The Yankees need to be concerned about the health, and to some degree the talent, of their starting rotation.
Masahiro Tanaka, CC Sabathia and Michael Pineda are all fine at the moment, but everyone knows any of the three are this close to a major injury given their histories, particularly what they each went through in 2014. Ivan Nova will hopefully be back a month or two into the season, but who knows where he will be at after Tommy John surgery. The Yankees will likely rely on Chris Capuano in his absence.
Then there is Nathan Eovaldi. While talented and the owner of an electric arsenal, the 24-year-old struggled mightily while playing in pitcher-friendly Marlins Park in 2014. It's also worrisome how not-so-good numbers at Marlins Park (6-14, 4.12 ERA) will translate to the hitter-friendly confines of Yankee Stadium.
While the quantity of arms are there at the moment, the quality may not be, and that is assuming those first three guys stay healthy. It would not be a bad idea for the Yankees to consider bringing in another arm.
They could opt to make a major splash by going after either Max Scherzer or James Shields, but both would be expensive moves that the team does not seem to want to make. Cheaper options include Brandon Beachy, Alexi Ogando and Chris Young.
All stats were obtained via Baseball-Reference.com.
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