Club 9: New York Yankees
Cue the Evil Empire music. They’re BACK. After a couple of seasons of relative dormancy in the American League East, the New York Yankees returned to playoff relevance last season, probably a year ahead of schedule as guys like Gary Sanchez and Aaron Judge developed faster than they expected. The return of Luis Severino to greatness on the mound after a dismal sophomore season elevated them into challenging the Boston Red Sox for AL East supremacy. They did ultimately fall short of the division title, but the Yankees did get near it.
|Baltimore||Chicago AL||Houston||Atlanta||Chicago NL||Arizona|
|New York AL||Detroit||Oakland||New York NL||Milwaukee||Los Angeles|
|Tampa Bay||Kansas City||Seattle||Philadelphia||Pittsburgh||San Diego|
|Toronto||Minnesota||Texas||Washington||St. Louis||San Francisco|
2017 Record: 91-71, lost to Houston in the American League Championship Series 4 games to 3
Acquisitions: OF Giancarlo Stanton (trade – MIA), 1B Adam Lind (minors – ST), 3B Brandon Drury (trade – ARI), 2B Jace Peterson (minors – ST), SS Danny Espinosa (minors – ST)
Departures: 2B Starlin Castro (trade – MIA), 3B Chase Headley (trade – SD), P Bryan Mitchell (trade – SD), SP Jamie Garcia (free agent), DH Matt Holliday (free agent), SP Michael Pineda (free agent), 3B Todd Frazier (free agent)
LF Brett Gardner
RF Aaron Judge
1B Greg Bird
DH Giancarlo Stanton
C Gary Sanchez
SS Didi Gregorius
CF Aaron Hicks
3B Brandon Drury
2B Tyler Wade
SP Luis Severino
SP Masahiro Tanaka
SP Sonny Gray
SP C.C. Sabathia
SP Jordan Montgomery
After the acquisition of 3B Brandon Drury from Arizona, it appeared as though the Yankees lineup and rotation were set. As Lee Corso would say, not so fast my friends, as top prospect Miguel Andujar might be playing his way into a starting job at the position for the Yankees. This is a battle that needs to be kept an eye on. Another top prospect, 2B Gleyber Torres, is coming back from a horrific injury last year and could push Tyler Wade eventually for the starting job, although I think Wade will end up starting the year as their starting second baseman. Pitchers Adam Warren, Luis Cessa and Chad Green look to fill the front end of the bullpen as long men and will be the first in line if Jordan Montgomery struggles to start the season.
I hope the fans at Yankee Stadium are ready to catch a lot of home run balls this year, because the Yankees have power in spades after acquiring the National League MVP in Giancarlo Stanton during the offseason. If Greg Bird can hit to his potential and be back to his 2016 form, the Yankees could have FOUR guys hit 40 or more home runs, with Stanton and Judge real possibilities for over 50 each. The Yankees are a serious threat to break the major league record for home runs in a season, currently owned by the 1997 Seattle Mariners with 264 home runs. The 2 through 5 hitters alone could combine for 180 home runs. But don’t sleep on this pitching staff either, as Luis Severino came into his own in 2017 and could be a sleeper to win the AL Cy Young in 2018. Sonny Gray is in his first full season in pinstripes and could be the beneficiary of this powerful Yankees lineup. Severino, Tanaka and Gray have the potential to all be 20 game winners for this team. On paper, this Yankees team is in my view the clear favorite to win the American League East, and it would not surprise me if they go on and win their 28th World Series title.
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