The Yankees may have had 100 games, but their season was still a disappointment. After losing to the rival Red Sox in the ALDS, New York is going all in for a World Series run in 2019. They can’t be counted out on anyone.
Current State: World Series Contender
Yankees acquire SP James Paxton In Exchange for SP Justus Sheffield, OF Dom Thompson-Williams, RHP Erik Swanson
The Yankees have acquire starting pitcher James Paxton from the Mariners in exchange for pitching prospects Justus Sheffield and Erik Swanson, and outfield prospect Dom Thompson-Williams. Paxton, 30, had a 3.76 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, and a 3.23 FIP. He has two years left of team control, but he has never come close to reaching 200+ innings and has dealt with injuries. He has the talent to be a frontline starter, but he’s yet to put it together. He induces more fly balls than ground balls, so he also isn’t a terrific fit for Yankee Stadium. Sheffield has the stuff to become a front line starter and is one of the game’s top pitching prospects, and the Yankees gave him up for a pitcher who’ll likely have an ERA around 3.50. This is an understandable trade for the Yankees, who needed to upgrade the rotation. However, Paxton isn’t the right fit, and he isn’t worth the price the Yankees paid.
Yankees Sign SP JA Happ
The Yankees have resigned JA Happ to a two years, $34 million contract. Happ, 36, had a 3.65 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, and a 3.98 FIP between the Blue Jays and the Yankees. With the Yankees, he had a 2.69 ERA with a 1.05 WHIP and a 4.21 FIP. That success with the Yankees is encouraging, and may have been what made the Yankees want to resign him to this deal. Still, it’s not encouraging that Happ’s FIP was so high and that he induced more fly balls than ground balls. Still, his contact rate was a career best, while his strikeout to walk ratio remains solid (3.78). Happ is a consistent starter, who can be a perfect middle of the rotation arm for New York. Going to a third year for the 36-year-old would have been risky, so getting him on a two year deal makes this deal an even better one. I’m not sure Happ completely matches this value due to his age and the few red flags, but he’s a safe bet to come close to matching it. This is the definition of a decent, but not great contract.
Yankees Sign SS Troy Tulowitzki
To possibly fill in at shortstop, the Yankees have signed Troy Tulowitzki to a one year deal for the league minimum. Tulowitzki, 34, was released this offseason by the Blue Jays. Therefore, they’ll be on the hook for his $20 million salary, while the Yankees get him at the league minimum. Injuries prevented him from playing in 2018, but in 66 games in 2017 he posted a .249/.300/.378 slash line with 7 home runs and a 0.1 WAR. In his past full season in 2016, he posted a .761 OPS and a 3.4 WAR. The Yankees will be banking on Tulowitzki to come close to that 2016 season in terms of production, as he may be asked to be the team’s starting shortstop until Didi Gregorious returns after having Tommy John Surgery, which is expected to happen in late July. Considering that Tulowitzki hasn’t played a full season in two years and wasn’t great then, the Yankees may want to look at adding another shortstop. Luckily for them, Manny Machado is still available. This is a good deal in terms of adding depth, but even then Tulowitzki is a short stop only. Still, it’s a gamble at the league minimum, which eliminates the risk of it. As long as Tulowitzki isn’t asked to start next season, he’s a fine addition to the Yankees at a cheap price.
*Will Be Updated With Every Move The Yankees Make