If I Were the GM - Looking Ahead to 2019: The Rest of the Roster

Throughout the course of the off-season, I’ll share my vision for the 2019 Yankees. This article is the eighth (and final) installment in this series. You can see the other articles here:

If I Were the GM: Looking Ahead to 2019 - The Manager

If I Were the GM: Looking Ahead to 2019 - Left Field

If I Were the GM: Looking Ahead to 2019 - Third Base

If I Were the GM: Looking Ahead to 2019 - Shortstop & Second Base

If I Were the GM: Looking Ahead to 2019 - Starting Pitching

If I Were the GM: Looking Ahead to 2019 - The Catcher

If I Were the GM: Looking Ahead to 2019 - The Bullpen

Today we’ll look at the rest of the roster…

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My 2019 Yankees as reported in this series thus far:

MGR - Aaron Boone

SP - James Paxton, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Patrick Corbin, C.C. Sabathia

RP - Aroldis Chapman, Dellin Betances, Chad Green, Jonathan Holder, Yusei Kikuchi, Jonathan Loaisiga, a free-agent left hander to be determined, and a host of pitchers on the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Shuttle

C - Gary Sanchez/Brian McCann

1B -

2B - Scooter Gennett

SS - Gleyber Torres

3B - Miguel Andujar

LF - Bryce Harper

CF -

RF -

DH -

BENCH -

Let’s round out the rest of the squad here today. This will be a pretty simple exercise.

1B - The most “controversial” position left is first base. I go with the easy decision here. (Again, because I spent big on Harper and Corbin and also bid competitively to get McCann and Kikuchi, I have to be cost conscious at first base.) Based on his performance in 2018, I begin the season with Luke Voit as my starting first baseman. I don’t know if what he did was an indication of his big league skills, but I’m giving him the chance to show that he’s for real. I honestly think that Voit over performed, but I also think he earned the chance to begin the season as the starter. If I were the General Manager, Greg Bird would begin the season at AAA and prove, over a sustained period (at least a few months) that he deserves to come back to the Major Leagues. I need to see much better numbers and I also have to see more grit from Greg Bird.

My back-up first baseman will be Brian McCann. I’d also, on occasion, see what Bryce Harper can actually do there, so I’d give him a few starts at first base as well over the course of the season.

If Voit’s brilliance from 2018 proves to be a mirage, I’d have to consider bringing Greg Bird back, or if Bird isn’t performing I would have to trade for a solid defensive first baseman to be a place holder until a longer term solution is found after the season.

The Yankees team I am building in 2019 will be hoping a bit for some good fortune at first base. If Voit can’t mange it, we hope Bird can. If neither can, option three is to put someone there who can at least field the position well. (I’ll have to hope the rest of the offense is able to compensate for this - and it should.) Time will determine who the player I can acquire actually is, but in June or July, when teams start falling out of the race, I have to assume that a defensively skilled first baseman is available. If not, I would just have to ride out Voit and/or Bird for 2019.

CF - This is easy… Aaron Hicks.

RF - This is even easier… Aaron Judge

DH - Just as easy… Giancarlo Stanton

The Bench - With 13 pitchers and nine starting position players, my team has room for a three-man bench. This bench has been pretty well determined already. I have only one choise to make:

  1. My back-up catcher/first baseman is Brian McCann

  2. My back-up outfielder is Brett Gardner

  3. The only choice left is determining my back-up infielder. For that position, I would begin the year with Tyler Wade. Defensively, Wade, will probably be a superior player to Ronald Torreyes. Wade might not hit as well as Torreyes, but he can play both the infield and the outfield. I greatly value that flexibility. With the line-up the Yankees will have, if all goes according to plan, Wade’s main role will be as a defensive replacement and as a (very) occasional pinch runner. I’m hoping that season three for Wade is the charm and that he is comfortable enough to play solid defense, steal some bases, score some runs, and get the occasional base hit. Like Voit, if Wade is failing by late May, I send him to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and swap him out for Ronald Torreyes.

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This concludes the series. In sum, the following is my 25-Man 2019 New York Yankees Roster: (To me, this looks like a team that has “Champion” written all over it.)

MGR - Aaron Boone

SP - James Paxton, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Patrick Corbin, C.C. Sabathia

RP - Aroldis Chapman, Dellin Betances, Chad Green, Jonathan Holder, Yusei Kikuchi, Jonathan Loaisiga, a free-agent left hander to be determined, and a host of pitchers on the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Shuttle

C - Gary Sanchez

1B - Luke Voit

2B - Scooter Gennett

SS - Gleyber Torres

3B - Miguel Andujar

LF - Bryce Harper

CF - Aaron Hicks

RF - Aaron Judge

DH - Giancarlo Stanton

BENCH - Brett Gardner, Brian McCann, Tyler Wade