As the Yankees get ready to embark on the quest for number 28 I find myself saying what I say at the start of most seasons about the Yankees– it’s World Series or bust. That’s not just because of the money spent this offseason, it’s something Derek Jeter instilled in Yankees fans over the last 20 years and with that mindset the Yankees went out this offseason and retooled. The Yankees know by now, in order to make money you have to spend money, hence why they are number 1 on Forbes list of most valuable MLB franchises 17 years running. The money the Yankees spent this offseason will not only help put fans in the stands but will produce on the field as well, which is why I’m predicting the Yankees above the Vegas’s line of 85.5 at 92 wins and winning the AL East.

Brian McCann will be a welcomed site behind the plate and brings a much needed bat to the catcher position, something the Yankees have been lacking since “Core 4” member Jorge Posada retired. McCann is tough as nails and will fit nicely, bringing some pop back to this lineup. Jacoby Ellsbury’s signing was a little more money and years than the Yankees should have spent on him, but his speed is something this team desperately needed plus taking him away from the Red Sox is always a plus. It worked out pretty well the last time the Yankees made a similar move, bringing in Johnny Damon and Ellsbury is a better player than Damon. Ellsbury is one of the best lead off hitters in the league, and with Brett Gardner batting 9th could be a lethal pair on the base paths. The Yankees brought in another solid veteran in Carlos Beltran to solidify the middle of the order. Beltran should do well in the Bronx and should DH enough to stay healthy.

This team does have some big questions though:
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-Will Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira return to form? Can they put together one last run for the Captain? Teixeira needs to play that gold glove first base that Yankee fans have come to expect from him.

-Can Brian Roberts stay healthy? He’s no Robinson Cano you could never replace the best second baseman in the game and Yankee fans shouldn’t expect that kind of production from Roberts.

-How will Kelly Johnson fair at the hot corner? So far he’s looked good but will that continue into the season?

-Can CC Sabathia bounce back from his worst season as a Yankee and return to being the ace of this staff? Sabathia has looked really good this preseason and could return to form.

-How will the Yankees other major offseason acquisition 25 year old Masahiro Tanaka fair in his first season in the big leagues? Tanaka has impressed so far there’s no reason to think he won’t pitch well.

-Can David Robertson be the closer? As long as he doesn’t try to fill Mariano Rivera’s shoes and trusts his stuff Robertson should do well.

The rest of the bullpen is probably the biggest question mark the Yankees have this season. If the Yankees can find a way to get production out of the bullpen this is going to be a very dangerous team. The starting pitching could be one of the deepest rotation the Yankees have had in a few years. Kuroda is a solid number 2 and should help Tanaka adjust, and along with Ivan Nova and Michael Pineda, the Yankees finally have some youthful arms. With the improved lineup and pitching staff it’s an exciting time of year and there is optimism in the air with the ARod nonsense behind them (at least for this season) and Jeter announcing his retirement. Can the Yankees put together one more magical season and send the Captain (and the greatest Yankee of this generation) out the same way he came in as World Series Champion? The quest for number 28 begins.

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1 Comment

  1. Jon says:

    92 is a tough prediction. Like everything else it takes health and luck. The team is structured a lot different from the barn storming veteran regular season teams of the past but if they show a little more ’78 grit they could get it done.

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