The Yankees are back to being the Bronx Bombers. They spent over half a billion dollars this off-season trying to add to the team. The big signings were pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, outfielders Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran, and backstop Brian McCann. You can no doubt say they have improved the ball club from a year ago. The key losses were sluggers Robinson Cano, and Curtis Granderson, and pitchers Andy Pettitte, and Mariano Rivera.
The starting rotation seems okay with four out of the five spots. The fifth starter will most likely be Michael Pineda who hasn’t thrown a pitch in pinstripes. Plan B would be David Phelps who spent time in the rotation, and the bullpen in 2013.
First base should not be a problem in 2014 with Mark Teixera penciled in. If he is healthy he can hit 40 long balls, and drive in 100. For the past nine years the Yankees had All-Star Robinson Cano at second base. After he signed the massive deal with the Mariners, the Yankees signed Kelly Johnson, Brian Roberts, and Scott Sizemore to play second. Roberts hasn’t been healthy for a few years, as well as Sizemore. Kelly Johnson will see his time at third base, where he only played in about 15 games there in his career. Derek Jeter is retiring after the season. As long as he is healthy he can have 200 hits and a .300 BA. Catcher Brian McCann will hit 30+ HR with the short porch in Yankee Stadium.
The outfield consists of five players. Brett Gardner in left field, Ellsbury in center, and Beltran in right. Beltran and 38 year old Alfonso Soriano will split time between right field and designated hitter. It looks like the odd man out is Ichiro Suzuki. Maybe not. I know he is 40 years old, but he said that he has drastically improved from last year. In reality he is on the bench, but don’t count him out if someone is struggling, or injured.
The great Mariano Rivera retired following the 2013 season. Former set up man David Robertson will take the ball in the ninth inning. Guys like Shawn Kelley, Preston Clairborne, Mark Montgomery, and Delin Betances will compete for the ball in the eighth inning. Matt Thornton is now the left handed specialist after Boone Logan left for Denver. The long relievers will be Adam Warren, David Phelps, and maybe Vidal Nuno.
If the Yankees had to make one more move, they should sign Stephen Drew. He would fit perfectly in the Yankees left side of the infield. He could be the short term option to fill Jeter’s shoes. Drew could spend time at third base this season, and that would move Johnson back over to second base, his normal position.
Another option for the Yankees should be a pitcher. If they sign someone, it would be a starter. If they want a reliever they would have to make a trade. Ervin Santana is a name. He would be an okay option for the fifth spot in the rotation, but he gives up to many HR and that is not good at Yankee Stadium. Right now they would take any reliever with major league experience.