Opening Day is less than a week away and the Yankees have already trimmed down their roster in spring training.
But tough decisions are lying ahead in the coming days.
Let’s look at the final Yankees 2021 Opening Day roster prediction:
2B DJ LeMahieu
RF Aaron Judge
CF Aaron Hicks
DH Giancarlo Stanton
1B Luke Voit
SS Gleyber Torres
C Gary Sanchez
3B Gio Urshela
LF Clint Frazier
Nothing here has changed and won’t. The Yankees, once again, have a formidable starting nine who will pose problems for teams all season long. Of course, barring any injuries, which this group has been familiar with the last couple of seasons.
RHP Gerrit Cole
RHP Corey Kluber
RHP Jameson Taillon
LHP Jordan Montgomery
RHP Domingo German
This is the same rotation as last time, and Deivi Garcia’s rough outing last time out basically solidified German’s role as the fifth starter. He allowed four runs on seven hits, including two homers in an uncharacteristic outing from him this spring.
Though Garcia will definitely help the Yankees down the road, German has just been lights out and earned the spot.
After that, the Yanks will have their fingers crossed this group remains healthy and they should be getting Luis Severino back down the road. Kluber and Taillon have looked great, and they’ll certainly want to get on the right track in their first real starts as Yankees.
Oh, and if injuries do occur, Aaron Boone has been very confident about the team’s depth with players like Michael King and Clarke Schmidt waiting in the wings.
LHP Aroldis Chapman
RHP Chad Green
LHP Justin Wilson
RHP Darren O’Day
RHP Jonathan Loaisiga
RHP Nick Nelson
LHP Luke Luetge
RHP Luis Cessa
The Yankees received good news on Wilson, who underwent an MRI after feeling shoulder tightness in his last outing. The images showed no other injury, so it’s safe to say he’ll make the roster to start the season and they’ll continue to monitor the situation.
Because of that, though, King will likely head to the alternate site. Nelson has been too good for him not to make the squad, and Luetge has been one of the best hidden gems down in Tampa. Cessa remains the long reliever because of his experience, but King will likely see his time in 2021 down the road.
OF Brett Gardner
OF Mike Tauchman
UTIL Tyler Wade
C Kyle Higashioka
Jay Bruce has made the decision to opt out of his deal with New York, leaving the ball in their court. They have two days to sign him to the team, or he becomes a free agent.
And that’s what happens here.
Simply put, the Yanks like Tauchman a lot and they don’t believe his production in 2020 is what he’s capable of. The 2019 season proved he can play better.
And though Boone has spoken highly of Bruce throughout spring, it just doesn’t make sense to go into the season without a backup infielder like Wade. Bruce does give you a solid backup to Voit at first base and he can play the outfield.
But, because of Tauchman, Bruce walks and finds another team in free agency.