Disgusted and dismayed, Yanks face big decisions for 2021
NEW YORK (AP) - Luke Voit was disgusted and dismayed with a disgusted cap on.
With downcast eyes he summed up the 11th straight New York Yankees season without a title, the team’s largest expansion since the desert between the Reggie Jackson era and the Derek Jeter renaissance.
"I hate that feeling. It sucks for the third year in a row," said the Major League home run champion. "So I'll be using it in every workout, every BP session, every cage session I have and be ready for spring training this year. "
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The 2020 season was so different: the novel coronavirus pandemic shortened the schedule from 162 to 60 games, triggered a summer camp for the second training session and left the stands of the Yankee Stadium on game evenings more filled with echoes than with the usual exuberant fans.
But the resolution was similar to 2019, with Aroldis Chapman abandoning a home run that eliminated New York from the playoffs, this time Mike Brosseau's eighth inning run in Division Series Game 5 against Tampa Bay after a walkoff shot by José Altuve of Houston in the ninth Inning of Championship Series Game 6.
Not even the addition of ace Gerrit Cole on a $ 324 million nine-year deal was enough to make the difference.
General Manager Brian Cashman now faces a number of important decisions. DJ LeMahieu, the batting master of the big league, is qualified for the free agency together with the pitchers Masahiro Tanaka and James Paxton. New York has a $ 17 million option on Pitcher J.A. Fortunately, the team made sure there was no guarantee and a $ 10 million option for 37-year-old outfielder Brett Gardner, the final link with the 2009 Yankees champions.
Giancarlo Stanton is expected to keep the remaining $ 218 million and seven guaranteed seasons on his contract rather than signing out, and Reliever Zack Britton is likely to remain under either player or club options.
"We'll get there. I know it. And it'll all be sweeter," said Aaron Boone after his third unfulfilled season as manager.
New York is expected to exercise Boone's option or give him a new contract in 2021.
"There's a lot of pain in this room. There's a lot of closeness and love in this room," said Boone after the 2-1 defeat on Friday night had some heartbreaking playoff losses. And it stinks, you know, it stings. I think this brings us closer and hopefully continues to make us hungrier. "
Boone knows he's being questioned about his decision to use rookie Deivi García to open Game 2 and replace him with Happ after one inning. García gave up a solo homer and Happ two pair runs with a 7-5 loss. Happ revealed he was campaigning for the launch and brusquely postponed questions about its use to Boone.
"I'm sure there will be people who will make it if we just start a guy and go with them. We'll win the game," said Boone. "I mean, it's kind of ridiculous. All over the league, things like that are really being done and done effectively and we've done it really effectively."
“So it was just a great back and forth series with another great team that had a chance to win a world championship and it basically came down to the last inning of the series. I don't think anyone is necessarily surprised by this. And we came up short. I dissect everything, usually every night. I can certainly look back and think about things, but I don't regret them, ”he said.
Despite a seasonally adjusted payroll of $ 84 million that ranks third in major leagues, the Yankees lost to the $ 29 million Rays, a team whose spending was third from the bottom. Tampa Bay beat the Yankees eight out of ten times in the regular season.
For the second straight season, the Yankees were decimated by injuries. After 30 players made 39 trips to the Injured List in 2019, the Yankee restructured its health and performance staff, replacing pitching coach Larry Rothschild with the more analytical Matt Blake. In a season that was only 37% of its normal length, 16 players had 18 stints on the IL.
Aaron Judge (strained right calf) and Stanton (strained left Achilles tendon) missed long distances for the second year in a row. While Stanton fought .308 in the playoffs with six homers and 13 RBIs, Judge hit .133 (4 for 30) with three homers and five RBIs.
Voit, who led major leagues with 22 home runs during the season despite plantar fasciitis on a foot that may need surgery, was 2 to 18 (.111) with a solo homer against the rays. Gio Urshela was 2 for 19 (.105) and catcher Gary Sánchez was used for four of five games in favor of Kyle Higashioka.
Attention immediately turned to the off-season and 2021. The rotation has to be filled in behind Cole, García and left-handed Jordan Montgomery.
Former ace Luis Severino is expected next season after Tommy John's operation on February 27, but highly competitive helper Tommy Kahnle was operated on by Tommy John on August 4 and will likely be absent for the whole of next year.
Domingo Germán, who led the pitching team for much of 2019, was also out all season while completing an 80-game suspension as part of Major League Baseball's domestic violence policy.
"We have the talent to do it," said Stanton. "It's just about getting it done."
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