The New York Yankees missed the playoffs last year for just the 2nd time in the last 19 games and they are hoping that a busy offseason and a 500 million dollar spending spree will get them back to playing post season ball this year. Vegas Odds have the Yankees at +225 to win the AL East, +600 to win the AL Pennant and +1100 to win the World Series.
Last year the Yanks had many offensive injuries and they finished the year ranked 16th in runs scored (650), 22nd in home runs (144) and 24th in batting average (.242). Very un-Yankee like numbers. This year the offense will have a new look as gone are Granderson, Cano and A-Rod, who has been suspended, and in steps Brian McCann, Carlos Beltran and Jacoby Ellsbury. Those 3 will surely help this offense. The Yanks will also get back Derek Jeter and Mark Texiera, who both went through injury filled seasons a year ago. The Yanks will also have Alfonso Soriano for full year and Brett Gardner returns to give the Yanks a good bat at the bottom of the lineup. This offense looks to be very good again and they have sole solid depth on the bench in Ichiro should easily top last year’s numbers.
The pitching also will look different this year as Andy Pettite and Mariano Rivera both retired, Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlin have both departed as well. The Yanks still have CC Sabathia, but they need him to be more consistent than last year, in which he went just 14-13 with a 4.78 ERA. Also back is Kuroda, who has been steady for the Yanks the last two years, posting ERA’s of 3.32 and 3.31 over that stretch. The biggest signing in the league comes in the form of Masahiro Tanaka, who went 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA for Japan last year. He will definitely help the rotation, but some questions still abound, like Is Sabathia getting too old, will Ivan Nova bounce back and will a 5th starter develop for this team. Overall on paper this looks to be a solid starting rotation. The bullpen loses Mariano Rivera, who may be the best closer of all time. David Robertson (5-1, 2.04 ERA last year) looks to take over the closers roll and he certainly has the stuff for it. Shawn Kelley and Matt Thornton should assume the setup men role and both are more than capable. The rest of the pen is a little week and has little depth.
Outlook: The Yanks again went out and spent a ton of money and only time will tell if it will pay off, but on paper this looks like a very good team that is capable of taking the AL East, but still the games are played on the field and not on paper. Just home much does Sabathia have left? Can Tanaka be effective in the U.S? Will the new offensive personnel produce at a solid clip and will they stay healthy? I say that most of those questions are positively in the Yanks favor and they should make a return to the playoffs, but I feel it will be in the form off a wildcard spot as they just will not be able to overtake the Rays in the East.
Info gathered from FoxSports.com and CBSSports.com
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