This offseason, the New York Yankees have spent $471 million dollars on free-agent signings. Next, I will be breaking down all of the Yankees signings from Masahiro Tanaka to Kelly Johnson.
Tanaka signed a seven-year contract worth $155 million with the Yankees on January 22. Last season in Japan, Tanaka posted a 24-0 record with a 1.27. He was top pitcher available this offseason in front of many well established pitchers. At just 25 years old, Tanaka has plenty of baseball left in him. Tanaka will likely be the Yanks number 2 starter behind CC Sabathia.
Ellsbury signed a 7-year $153 million dollar deal with the Bronx Bombers on December 4th, 2013. His contract was the third highest for an outfielder ranking behind Matt Kemp and Manny Ramirez. It’s also the fifth highest contract for a Yankee ever behind A-Rod, Teixeira, CC Sabathia, and Masahiro Tanaka. Last season with Red Sox, Ellsbury hit .298, 9 HR, 53 RBIs, and 52 SB. Ellsbury hit 32 HRs in 2011, and batting left-handed in Yankee Stadium could help him reach those numbers again. Ellsbury played well in the 2013 postseason, batting .500 in the ALDS and .318 in the ALCS. In the World Series, Ellsbury started the series-winning rally in Game 6 with a single and earned his second ring as a member of the Red Sox. Ellsbury will likely bat leadoff and play center field for the Yanks.
On December 6, 2013, Beltran signed three year $45 million deal to join the New York Yankees. Beltran reportedly received a $48 million dollar deal from another team, but elected to join the Yankees instead. Last season with the Cardinals, Beltran hit .296, 24 HR, and 84 RBIs. At 36, Beltran is closing in on the end of his spectacular career. Beltran, a switch hitter, hit .315 batting left-handed last season. Yankee stadium is a lefty’s heaven, so I think Beltran will play very well against RHP. also, 71% of Beltran’s at-bats came from left side of the plate last season. He will likely share time in right field with Alfonso Soriano and will see time at DH as part of a rotation of veteran players with tired legs. Beltran hit .267 with 2 HR and 15 RBIs in the 2013 postseason, helping his then St. Louis Cardinals to their second World Series in three years. Beltran will likely bat in the three spot for the Yanks in 2014.
McCann signed a 5-year $85 million dollar contract with the Yankees on November 23, 2013. Injuries plagued Brian McCann in 2013, as he only played in 102 games. However, McCann still found a way to be productive. He hit .256, 20 HR, and 57 RBIs in just 402 plate appearances. McCann, another lefty, can be very productive hitting in Yankee Stadium if he can find away to stay healthy. McCann will likely bat in the 4 or 5 spot for the Bronx Bombers in 2014.
Roberts signed a 1-year $2 million dollar deal with the Yankees on December 17, 2013. The 36 year old hasn’t played in more than 77 games since 2009, battling concussions and injuries to his neck, back, knee, abdomen, hip and hamstring. Roberts, a two time all-star, will face the tough task of replacing Robinson Cano, who signed a $240 million dollar deal with the Mariners. If Roberts can stay healthy, he will split time with Kelly Johnson at second.
On December 4, 2013, Kelly Johnson signed a one year $3 million dollar contract with the Yankees. Johnson hit .235, 16 HR, and 52 RBIs with the Tampa Bay Rays last season. Johnson will share time with Brian Roberts with at second, if he can stay healthy. If Roberts is on the DL for an extended period of time, I think Johnson can excel as the teams starting second baseman. Batting left-handed will help out Johnson a lot, playing in the ball park which allowed the most homeruns to left-handed hitters in 2013.
After missing the playoffs for just the second time since 1998, the Yankees will look to back on track in 2014. After signing a combined 18 all-star appearances, I think the Yankees will finish second in the AL East behind the Red Sox, and clinch a wild card birth.