Tensions boiled over in Yankee land.
New York manager Aaron Boone snapped at umpire Laz Diaz during Monday's game against the White Sox. It was the culmination of a few bad calls and (another) frustrating offensive performance by the alleged Bronx Bombers.
But, it was also the culmination of an entire season of frustration in New York. The Yankees entered the season as co-favorites in World Series odds. As injuries, slumps, and mismanagement have piled up, they now sit well out of playoff spot with little hope of clawing back in. What went wrong? And where do the Yankees go from here?
Aaron Boone's Laz Díaz imitation. 🤣 pic.twitter.com/s9Yij6JoCV— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) August 8, 2023
What's Wrong In New York, New York?
Most of New York's frustrations this year come from the win/loss columns. They currently sit just a hair over .500 and 5.5 games out of a playoff spot. Current playoff odds give the Yanks a 10.7% shot to make the postseason and if you've been betting on NY all season, you're having a rough time:
|Betting Market||Yankees Record||Unit Profit|
|Moneyline Overall||58-55||-6.8 Units|
|ML Without Judge||24-30||-9.4 Units|
But, New York fans' pain this year goes beyond the standings. Major injuries to Carlos Rodon and Aaron Judge, two of the team's most expensive players, certainly haven't helped. But, the biggest 2023 NY issue, however, is a dreadful offense.
Bronx (No so) Bombers
Judge can mash baseballs, but beyond him the 2023 Yankees offense has been disgusting. Judge and Gleyber Torres are the only two regulars on the team with an above league average OPS right now.
New York's 4.29 runs per game would be the franchises lowest since 2016 and just the fourth time since 1991 that the offense dropped below 4.3 runs per contest.
Sure, they still hit homers, but the Yankees rank bottom-third in just about every other major statistical category:
|Stat||2023 Yankees||League Rank|
Will Heads Roll If Yankees Miss Playoffs?
Despite the Yankees' underperformance and fans' unhappiness with the job of team leadership, manager Aaron Boone sits way down in ninth for next manager to be fired odds (+1200).
While Boone has had his fair share of hate this season, fan vitriol has been more directed at GM Brian Cashman. Fans (rightfully) point to the failed acquisitions of Josh Donaldson, Isiah Kiner-Falefa, Harrison Bader, and the unfilled hole left field as reasons the offense has been so bad.
There's a very reasonable argument to be made that roster construction is the reason these Yankees have flopped. It sounds like Cashman isn't going anywhere, so if the Yankees want 2024 to be any different it'll have to be Cashman finally undertaking a roster overhaul.
Yankees Team Offense Ranks:— ZT🗽 (@NY_EvilEmpire) August 2, 2023
Hits - 29th
BA - 29th
OBP - 27th
wRC+ - 22nd
wOBA - 24th
Runs - 22nd
Yankees Team Reliever Ranks:
ERA - 1st
HR/9 - 2nd
BABIP - 2nd
WHIP - 4th
LOB % - 1st
GB % - 1st
Try to guess where Cashman decided to add depth to at the deadline… pic.twitter.com/1i30Zj3IJo
How The Yankees Can Return To Contention
The Yankees' bullpen is always great and the core of a solid rotation is there (Cole, Rodon, Cortes). Where Cashman and company need to go shopping this winter is on the offensive side.
With Luis Severino, Frankie Montas, IKF, and a few other guys coming off the books next season, the Yankees should have at least 40 million in open money to spend in MLB free agency. The easiest solution to the Yankees' lineup problems would be to throw all that cash at Shohei Ohtani in free agency. But, the Yanks have plenty of other position struggles and the lack of lineup depth has killed them this year.
The Yankees have received less than 1.0 WAR from left field, third base, catcher, first, and DH this year. Giancarlo Stanton isn't going anywhere at DH and Anthony Rizzo and Jose Trevino should return from injury at 1B and C next season. But, here are some potential free agent options to fill New Yorks' other needs and deepen the lineup in a big way:
Adding solid middle-of-the-lineup bats like Bellinger and Chapman would fill obvious roster holes and give Stanton, Judge, and Rizzo some much needed help across the offense. The solutions seem simple enough, now Cashman and the Yankees just have to execute. Another year like this, and the Yankee fan anger will only grow.