Will Judge, Rizzo, Benintendi say goodbye to Yankees?

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NEW YORK — Jose Trevino was still in his pinstripes trousers and jersey in his locker, staring at the ground, more than 30 minutes after the Yankees’ season ended on Sunday following a 6-5 loss to the Astros.

The All-Star catcher was overwhelmed with gloom. Manager Aaron Boone cried while taking questions after the game in a media room. Many of the other players looked depressed. The Yankees had great expectations from this year. But their dreams that run with the Aaron Judge Era ended in a nightmare.

The Yankees were nothing near the top squad in the American League. The Houston Astros showed that by sweeping them in four straight games in the ALCS. This led the fans to call for revamp of the team. And there can be changes to the roster in the offseason.

The Yankees have a lot of veteran players, at least nine, who are set to depart, and as many as eleven are heading to become free agents. This includes the player who is being called the best in the game both inside and outside of the team’s clubhouse.

Here’s what we know so far about 11 Yankees who might or might not be available after the World Series, along with our predictions:

Andrew Benintendi

The 28-year-old has an $8.5 million salary. Benintendi only played 33 games for the Yankees and hit just .254 with them.

Before the trade deadline this summer, the Yankees exchanged three prospects to land Benintendi, but they didn’t get much in return. With the Royals, he hit .304 and made the All-Star Game. He is a complete player who is still in his 20s, so he will get a long-term contract that pays well. If Aaron Judge leaves, the Yankees will have an open starting spot in the outfield that Benintendi could fill.

Benintendi is a good fit whether he stays or goes because he is a left-handed hitter with speed and Gold Glove left-field play. He also hits for an average and has some power. The Yankees are most likely to retain him.

Zack Britton

The 34-year-old draws $14 million. Zack Britton tried to come back from Tommy John surgery in September 2021 in less than a year, but he was shut down for the season because his shoulder was tired after only eight days and two batters. He’ll probably have to settle for a one-year deal with low guaranteed money but big bonuses if he stays healthy and plays in a lot of games.

He’s getting older, so there’s a chance he could get hurt again. Britton may also choose a team that would give him a chance to close since he was good at doing that when he was with Baltimore from 2014 to 2017. He ranks 10 among current pitchers and has 154 saves, but only 15 of those have come since he was traded to the Yankees in the summer of 2018 and then re-signed with them as a free agent the following winter. The Yankees are more likely to part ways if he demands the current wage.

Matt Carpenter

At 36, Matt Carpenter has a $2 million salary. His comeback this year was fun to watch. But in the playoffs, he had nine strikeouts in six games. There are reports that Carpenter’s foot injury hadn’t healed completely.

Carpenter is a great player, and the Yankees would love to keep him, but he might cost too much. Someone will probably want him as a starter and give him a multi-year deal for a lot more than the $2 million he made this year.

Carpenter could re-sign with the Yankees or leave for St. Louis.

Miguel Castro

The Yankees got this 27-year-old right-handed pitcher in a trade at the end of spring training. At $2.62 million a year, he started pretty well and got a 1.46 ERA in his first 14 games. But in his last 20 games, he had a 5.94 ERA, walked 11 batters in 16 2/3 innings, and spent a long time on the disabled list.

Castro was out of action from July 16 to October 2 because of a shoulder strain. In two ALCS games, he didn’t give up any runs and didn’t walk anyone. Depending on the money and length of time, Castro could come back. He throws in the high 90s, and the Yankees love it when their relievers have fast arms.

Aroldis Chapman

Looks like the career of the 34-year-old with the Yankees is over. Despite getting an $18 million salary, he was thrown out of the ALDS roster for not attending training sessions.

For the ALCS, the Yankees didn’t even consider bringing Chapman back. Before this horrible ending, Chapman’s stats were bad and he didn’t look good. His strikeout rate was the lowest of his career, and the number of walks he took was the second worst of his career. The average number of hits by his opponents was the second-highest since his first season. He was also twice on the DL.

Marwin Gonzalez

At 33 and with a $1.15 million annual wage, Gonzalez played pretty well in all four positions: corner outfield, shortstop, first base, and third base in the first half of the season. But he stopped hitting as the year went on, though. He was picked to be on the Yankees’ ALDS team, which was a surprise. However, Oswald Peraza took his place in the ALCS team. This hints at he is leaving.

Chad Green

With a wage of $4 million and aged 31, Green was having a pretty good season like he usually does until he hurt his elbow in early June. That led to Tommy John surgery, which ended his season, and he lost the chance to claim a better contract. The best option for him is a two-year deal with a team that pays to rehab him for one season and then gets a late-inning bullpen arm for 2024.

It seems possible that the Yankees would do this with Green. They like him a lot, and he’s had a great time playing in New York. But Green has given up some very expensive home runs over the years, including a couple to Jose Altuve, but he’s mostly been a rock-solid reliever who can go for a long time and can’t be worn out. Rumors link him with the Tampa Bay Rays.

Aaron Judge

The home-run record holder turns 31 next year. The Yankees want Judge back on their team. They need him. But they may face stiff competition from other suitors, including the Giants, the Dodgers, the Red Sox, and possibly the Mets.

The crowd at Yankee Stadium boed him during two playoff games and it was very strange. That won’t help the Yankees at all in their quest. The Yankees could have prevented this had they been ready to offer more when they tried to get a contract extension done in spring training. Instead, they only offered $213.5 million, which was turned down. Judge thought he was worth more, and by betting on himself, he’ll get a lot more. He will likely get at least $300 million in the end. He will deserve it. Since he missed a lot of games from 2018 to 2020, he has played in every game in the last two years to shut down his critics. And 2022 was a big year for him. He broke a league record for home runs that had been in place since 1961, and he came close to winning the Triple Crown. There was a time when the Yankees might have been able to get a discount for being from New York. Even if they offer the captaincy, that seems very unlikely right now.

“I haven’t even thought about the next step yet,” Aaron Judge said, “We’ve got time to figure it out.”

Anthony Rizzo

Aged 33 and a $16 million salary with an opt-out clause, Rizzo has until five days after the World Series to get out of his contract and try to sign a new one with a higher average salary, which is probably what he’ll do. Even though Rizzo is a risk because of his back problems, he could get a two-year deal with an option for a third year.

This season, he missed three games because of back problems, but he only went on the disabled list once. Rizzo hit 32 home runs for the fourth time, which tied his career high. He was 17th in the league in OPS, which is an impressive number, and his play at first base has made him a finalist for the Gold Glove.

Luis Severino

The 28-year-old pitcher gets $11 million a year. The Yankees have until five days after the World Series to pick up Severino’s $15 million club option or let him become a free agent. When he’s healthy, he usually pitches like a top-of-the-rotation starter, but that hasn’t happened much lately.

Due to many injuries, including Tommy John surgery, the Yankees only got 120 innings from Severino for the $37.25M they paid him from 2019 to 2022. Also, his career postseason earned run average of 5.15 is a concern.

The Yankees are likely to exercise the club option.

Jameson Taillon

At 30, he earns $5.8 million a year. Taillon had a good season. He led the Yankees in wins, and for the second time in his career, he avoided any injury.

However, a lot of teams need starting pitchers and the Yankees may face competition to retain him. Taillon is likely to get around a bigger contract from the Angels.

What do you think? Is the assessment right? Leave your comment below.

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