Better, worse or about the same? Scouts weigh in on Yankees' offseason moves

So how have the Yankees weathered the winter so far? Nate Shron/Getty Images

NEW YORK -- In the post-Jeter era, the Yankees are in a yet-to-be defined transition stage in their history. Are they retooling? Rebuilding? Or just plain regressing?

They haven't made the playoffs in two years and, if they are going to return to the postseason, it very well could be on the backs of newcomers like Andrew Miller, Nathan Eovaldi and Sir Didi Gregorius.

No one knows what will happen in 2015, with 13 new faces and Alex Rodriguez showing up in Tampa next month, but we asked scouts and executives to give us their take on the Yankees' offseason so far.

For the most part, they like what they've seen.

“I think this is a step in the right direction," one scout said. "Are they at the top of the perch? No, but they are going in the right direction.”

So let's delve a little deeper into the bigger moves of an offseason that has featured mostly small ball.

Didi Gregorius, SS

Didi Gregorius

Didi Gregorius

#0 SS
New York Yankees

2014 STATS

  • GM80
  • HR6

  • RBI27

  • R35

  • OBP.290

  • AVG.226

Scouts' take: Sir Didi is Sir Defense. Everyone raves about his glove. Listening to scouts, it is apparent Gregorius is going to be slick in the field. The question is: Can he hit enough? And can he handle the Bronx?

“I’ve heard people say that Omar Vizquel and Maury Wills couldn’t hit, then they did," one veteran scout said. "So I don’t think he is necessarily just a glove guy. Can he take the pressure to perform in New York? If he can, I think he could do well.”

Gregorius is still developing, which is something fans are unaccustomed to witnessing at short in the Bronx. One aspect to watch is Gregorius' work ethic, because, according to one West Coast source, it hasn't been Jeter-esque.

Nathan Eovaldi, RHP

Nathan Eovaldi

Nathan Eovaldi

#0 SP
New York Yankees

2014 STATS

  • GM33
  • W6

  • L14

  • BB43

  • K142

  • ERA4.37

Scouts' take: Eovaldi is a test case for pitching coach Larry Rothschild. Scouts love Eovaldi's 24-year-old arm, which allows him to bring the octane to the high 90s. The problem is he doesn't throw enough strikes and doesn't have enough (any?) secondary pitches. He sounds a lot like a young Phil Hughes. Hughes had success when he added a secondary pitch, but never could add a third as a Yankee.

One scout said of Eovaldi, “What a great arm. I’ve always liked him. If they can work some magic, get him to throw strikes and a breaking ball, they will have something with him.”

A second scout countered, “I don’t love him. He needs to add another trick to his repertoire. He needs that second pitch to get through lineups a few times as a starter.”

At the end of the day, it will likely come down to Rothschild, and one insider was encouraged. "Eovaldi and Rothschild are a match made in heaven. Larry is a master of psychology with big-arm guys. He gets them to believe in their secondary pitches."

Andrew Miller, LHP

Andrew Miller

Andrew Miller

#0 SP
New York Yankees

2014 STATS

  • GM73
  • W5

  • L5

  • BB17

  • K103

  • ERA2.02

Scouts' take: As one scout said, if Miller and Dellin Betances pitch like they did in 2014, the Yankees will have the best back of the bullpen of any team in baseball. Miller was amazing last season, posting a 2.02 ERA and striking 15.3 batters per nine innings.

Miller has supposedly matured in recent years, even if he has remained a bit quirky.

“He’s a good guy, but he is a lefty -- which I mean in a good way,” one scout said.

Miller is a failed starter, like Betances. Both guys could never find the consistency to pitch six or seven innings.

Miller now has a four-year, $36 million contract to live up to. If his head stays right, Miller (6-foot-7) could combine with Betances (6-8) to be the Yankees' biggest weapons, in more ways than one.

Justin Wilson, LHP

Justin Wilson

Justin Wilson

#0 RP
New York Yankees

2014 STATS

  • GM70
  • W3

  • L4

  • BB30

  • K61

  • ERA4.20

Scouts' take: Scouts really like the 27-year-old Wilson, feeling he can be a high-end setup guy. One did wonder why his ERA doubled from 2.08 in '13 to 4.20 in '14 and wondered if the Pirates maybe know something the Yankees don't.

Still, Francisco Cervelli -- as popular as he seemed to be -- was an extra piece for this Yankees team. Wilson could be a major part of a successful Yankees season.

"He could be a younger version of Matt Thornton," a scout said. "Good, power arm.”

Thornton was an All-Star in 2009.

Chase Headley, 3B

Chase Headley

Chase Headley

#12 3B
New York Yankees

2014 STATS

  • GM135
  • HR13

  • RBI49

  • R55

  • OBP.328

  • AVG.243

Scouts' take: Nearly every scout contacted began his review of Headley by saying he is not a star, but he is a good player.

“He is not a carry-your-team guy, but he is a good complement," said one scout, speaking for the industry's view of Headley.

Baseball people liked the Headley signing for the Yankees. While it is en vogue to downgrade makeup as an attribute, the scouts are still gung ho about it. They think Headley has the right temperament to be a winning ballplayer, though he hasn't been on many winning ballclubs.

Interestingly, one scout wondered how well Headley's defense will hold up. None other than Brian Cashman also noted Headley was only an average defender on Headley's first day as a Yankee. So that is something to watch.

Stephen Drew, SS

Stephen Drew

Stephen Drew

#33 SS
New York Yankees

2014 STATS

  • GM85
  • HR7

  • RBI26

  • R18

  • OBP.237

  • AVG.162

Scouts' take: There are some strong opinions on Drew. The negative ones say he is a dispassionate player whose skills are diminished. Others, though, are willing to give him the "no spring training, no production" excuse.

“I have to believe he is going to be closer to what he was than he what he showed in '14," an NL executive said.

The executive pointed out that the Yankees have adroitly added insurance for Sir Didi without people really focusing on that aspect. Drew, though, must hit if he is going to play at second over Rob Refsnyder and Jose Pirela. If he does not, the Yankees will simply cut him.

Still, most scouts thought signing Drew for $5 million plus incentives was a smart, no-lose move for the 2015 Yankees.