Presently, the Yankees are at risk of losing three key players to free agency. But when you tell your significant other, they can date other guys – be prepared…
They all receive accolades from Yankees front office personnel whenever their name comes up in the media, indicating a desire to have them back in the fold for the 2020 season. But so far, the bird is not in the bush.
Now, for purposes of illustration only, if a person releases their significant other to date, other individuals, there is a risk involved – is there not? And does not the real possibility emerge that a “replacement” (for “you”) can be found?
Yankees: The birds are still in the bush
We already know that Didi Gregorius is actively entertaining the Cincinnati Reds as a possible suitor, and he is liable to “bolt” any day now.
You never know in these situations, and it could be this is merely a ploy thrown out there by Gregorius and his agent as a way to achieve his actual desire – which is to spur the Yankees to retain him with a competitive offer.
Brett Gardner is a bit different, though. All of his cards are on the table, and he has indicated he wants to finish his career with the only team he has ever played with.
And at 36, it’s clear to Gardner he’s entering the sunset of his career.
Given that Brett Gardner is married and has two sons, and with the knowledge that Gardner had (arguably) his best season ever in 2019 while earning a relatively modest $7,500,000 – it stands to reason that he might consider putting his family’s interest ahead of his own.
And if a team like the Mets who need a center fielder, for instance, were to come along with a two-year offer, or a one-year offer equal to the $9 million they gained by releasing Juan Lagares, that Gardner would at least consider the offer?
Not to be lost is the fact that both Gardner and Gregorius represent 100% of the Yankees left-handed bats in their 2020 lineup for at least the first half of the season while Aaron Hicks rehabs from Tommy John surgery.
But that argument centered on the extent to which the Yankees should engage with the Gerrit Cole‘s of the 2020 free agent sweepstakes. This is different, and it has to do with players who have excelled while wearing the Pinstripes.
Is this a who blinks first situation
On the surface, it makes perfect sense for the Yankees to re-sign both Gregorius and Gardner. Betances is, perhaps, expendable and suspect to health considerations.
With Gregorius gone, moving Gleyber Torres to be the full-time shortstop is not automatically a no-brainer, even though D.J. LeMahieu “conveniently” finds a permanent home at second base in the process.
Nevertheless, both the Yankees and the players involved have options available.
But to go back to the example presented beforehand, I’m not sure I’d be comfortable exposing someone I care about to a free-for-all regarding where her affections might ultimately end up.
Given the Yankees situation in their outfield and the precarious nature of Giancarlo Stanton‘s health and ability to stay on the field, together with the fragile nature of Aaron Hicks, Brett Gardner would seem to be critical.
That is not to mention the intangibles of leadership and grittiness he brings to the clubhouse.
Similarly, Didi Gregorius, as a fan favorite and another component of a united clubhouse, the Yankees are equally better to have him in the fold.
Given his so-so 2019 season, together with his impeccable restrained character, a one or two year deal is not beyond the realm of possibilities.
In the meantime, though, both are out there exploring the field.
So when reminded as we are every day that this (baseball) is a business, and therefore subject to teams and players acting in their own best interests, the Yankees might better be reminded that the clock is ticking…