2017 Fantasy Recap: The New York Yankees
The New York Yankees appeared to be a championship-caliber club that took us on a thrilling and unforgettable year of baseball that incredibly ended in Houston with a 4-0 Game 7 loss to the Astros in the American League Championship Game.
The Yankees had two chances to get one more win and move on to what would have been their 41st and most improbable trip to World Series. As you’d expect, all of the Yankees are hurting now and these depressed feelings probably will take a while to get over completely, but they’re surely proud of themselves, too, because they know huge strides were made in 2017.
Now that their postseason run is over, the Yankees have their fair share of decisions to make, in regards to this offseason.
Left-hander CC Sabathia’s contract is up, he’s 37 and not retiring, and he wants to re-sign with the Yankees after having a remarkable bounce-back season. Sabathia was very reliable going 14-5 with a 3.69 ERA in 27 regular-season starts this season, then better going 1-1 with a 2.37 ERA in four postseason assignments. The Yankees first need to decide if they want Sabathia back, then at what price.
Masahiro Tanaka can opt out of his deal and look for a better contract elsewhere. The righty proved he is a big-time pitcher despite an up and down season. He deserves a lot of credit for going 2-1 with an 0.90 ERA in three playoff starts, he was just 13-12 with a 4.74 ERA during the season. In 30 starts, he allowed seven or more eight runs five times, five or more earned runs nine times. The thought here is that Tanaka loves the Yankees and will not opt out.
The Yankees explored trading left fielder Brett Gardner last winter when he was coming off a good season and they could do it again this winter even though he had a better year. There probably would be a lot of interest this winter in Gardner because he brings a lot of veteran leadership plus speed (23 steals), power (career-high 21 homer) and Gold Glove defense as a leadoff hitter who can still contribute in multiple ways.
At third base, the Yankees have something of a logjam with Todd Frazier, Chase Headley, and highly-touted prospect Gleyber Torres. They’ll probably let Frazier walk, and re-sign Headley to a short-term deal, as he’s coming off a season of .273, 12 HRs and 61 RBIs while rotating from third to first to DH.
Now appears to be an appropriate time for the Yankees to get shortstop Didi Gregorius signed to a long-time contract extension because he’s become a legitimate star with four-plus years of service time. The Yankees were hoping for a good replacement when Derek Jeter retired, and three years later they incredibly have a shortstop who is just as good as No. 2 was in his prime. Gregorius entered the postseason with a .287/.318/.478 slash line, and had 25 home runs on the year — the most ever for a Yankees shortstop. He ranked second among all shortstops with 87 RBI. His four-category production has put him among the top five at the position in terms of earned fantasy value.