Monday, February 8, 2016


When it comes to off season moves, Brian Cashman went with quality over quantity this year. He made three key moves. Relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman, middle infielder Starlin Castro, and outfielder Aaron Hicks.

Chapman is incredibly talented. Over the last four years as closer, he's had 456 strikeouts, with 145 games saved. He had a 1.63 era. Chapman also has the fastest arm out of the pen, having set the record for a 105.1 mph pitch in 2010. Last year, he threw over 300 pitches, which all clocked in at 100 mph or more.

The addition of Chapman make the Yankees already intimidating bullpen, a serious threat. Dellin Betances, Chapman and Andrew Miller led the league in strikeouts by a relief pitcher in 2015 with 131, 116, and 100 respectively.

Castro came in affordable for the Yankees. Looking for an everyday second baseman, Castro's versatility and track record were a smart option for the Yankees. They take over his contract for the next four years at $37 million, with a $16 million team option at the end. With Ivan Nova returning, and Luis Severino's development, Adam Warren became expendable. What could not be ignored was the need for a bat at middle infield.

While Castro had been struggling, a move to second base seemed to improve his defensive results. Of course, this puts Rob Refsynder a bit on the back burner. The Yankees here were going for experience. Castro is just 25 going into the 2016 season, with 6 years in the majors under his belt. His 991 career hits puts him at 21st most in MLB history, for someone his age. His MLB resume is impressive.

Hicks seems to have come to the Yankees to replace a departing Chris Young. He will likely be platooned against lefties with an opportunity to earn regular playing time. Last season saw Hicks have his best season so far, hitting .256 with 11 home runs,  33 RBIs, and 13 steals. Hicks is still young, with just 3 seasons in the majors under his belt. He has improved every year. Basically, he's a Yankees project. They will have to dig deep to uncap his potential.

Of the three, I'd have to say I am most excited to see Castro play in the Bronx. Again, I understand that he has struggled. But there are a few things working in his favor. He's young and has experience and talent. The move to second base worked in his favor. Our line-up is in need of a boost, especially after how poorly they performed during the post season. Castro is more than capable of helping to boost our line-up.

Overall, Cashman played it smart this off season. He moved as little as possible, making smart, quality acquisitions. These three moves give the Yankees a very different look. One that I am interested in seeing in action. 

--Erica Morales BYB Senior Writer 
Twitter: @e_morales1804


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