Now that the Yankees’ season is over, it’s time to look ahead to the next one. Here’s a breakdown of the contractual status of key players heading into the offseason:
Sabathia walking off the mound in pain after injuring his shoulder in Thursday’s ALCS Game 4 defeat will be one of the lasting images of the postseason.
Dellin Betances, Brett Gardner, Didi Gregorius, Cameron Maybin, Austin Romine
Betances pitched in one game all season because of injuries. Gardner set a career high in homers and is an important voice in the clubhouse, but will turn 37 in August. Gregorius was so-so after returning mid-season from Tommy John surgery. Lefthanded-hitting shortstops with power are rare, but the Yankees have a lot of returning infielders and can switch Gleyber Torres to shortstop. Maybin provided a spark off the bench. Romine is a stalwart as the backup catcher, but does he want to vie for a starting job somewhere else?
Aroldis Chapman, Edwin Encarnacion
Chapman, the Yankees closer, can opt out of the final two years and $30 million of his contract. The Yankees could prevent him from hitting the open market by tacking more years and dollars onto his deal.
The Yankees hold a $20 million option on Encarnacion with a $5 million buyout. Encarnacion hit well after being acquired from Seattle but faded in the playoffs and was benched for Game 5 of the ALCS.
Returning from injuries?
Miguel Andujar, Greg Bird, Jacoby Ellsbury
Andujar played in 12 games before a shoulder injury ended his season. Bird played in 10 before a foot injury ended his season. The Yankees will be counting on Andujar to return but might have seen enough of Bird considering his lengthy injury history. Ellsbury didn’t play at all for the second straight year. Ellsbury still has one more guaranteed season on his contract at $21.1 million, plus an option for 2021 or a $5 million buyout.
Status in question
German, an 18-game winner, was placed on administrative leave on Sept. 19 as MLB investigated a potential violation of its domestic violence policy. The leave was later extended to cover the end of the regular season and the entire postseason. German could face a suspension at the start of the 2020 season.
Signed for 2020
Starting pitchers: J.A. Happ, Jordan Montgomery, James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka, Luis Severino
Key relievers: Zack Britton, Luis Cessa, Chad Green, Tommy Kahnle, Jonathan Loaisiga, Adam Ottavino
Catchers: Kyle Higashioka, Gary Sanchez
Infielders: Thairo Estrada, Mike Ford, DJ LeMahieu, Gleyber Torres, Gio Urshela, Luke Voit, Tyler Wade
Outfielders: Clint Frazier, Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Mike Tauchman