Our last edition of our season preview was all about the Mets. This time, we turn to their cross town rivals as we dive into the Bronx Bombers. The boys in pinstripes have been at the top of the American League for the past few years and they look to do it again.
Key Additions: Corey Kluber, Jameson Taillon, Darren O’Day, Robinson Chirinos
Key Subtractions: James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka, Tommy Kahnle
The Yankees will try to make it to the playoffs for the fifth straight season as they look ahead to 2021. The team dealt with similar injury issues last year like they had prior. Rarely did New York find themselves at full strength as someone always seemed to be on the IL. Yankees fans have been dreaming on what this team may look like if everyone is healthy and this might be the year for that. Zack Britton and Luis Severino will both be out till June or July, but everyone else seems to be ready to go. With how much talent there is on this roster, I don’t think Sevy and Britton’s absences will be too big a deal.
This team did lose some pieces, but they replaced them quite well. Paxton was fine in his 171 innings in New York while Masa will be sorely missed by the fan base. Getting Kluber and Taillon to replace them seems like an even trade. Corey will have to bounce back after back-to-back dismal campaigns but all the noise coming out of camp is that he looks healthy. For Taillon, having a chance to pitch for a different team may be exactly what he needs. I know it may seem like there’s a lot being lost from the rotation, but I think the additions will make for an even trade.
In the bullpen, Tommy Kahnle walked while veteran O’Day was brought in. This is a lot like the other two moves made to the pitching staff in that the replacement’s value will be very similar to the player lost. Tommy obviously had issues in 2020 as he pitched only one inning. He could bounce back in a big way and his departure could come back to bite the Yanks. Still, the team was able to go out and get one of the more venerable options in free agency. Darren has been around for a long time and has firmly established himself as a great reliever. Kahnle may be missed, but Darren will help ease the blow quite a bit.
There isn’t too much to talk about because New York didn’t do a whole lot this offseason. They always try to make noise in the winter, but it wasn’t quite as loud this time around. People shouldn’t view the lack of moves as stagnation or the team unwilling to pay for players. The Yankees know they can win it all and won’t be afraid to make the moves necessary. That’s just the thing, though. New York knows they can win it all. They have a roster with plenty of talent and have a chance to be great if everything breaks their way. Hoping everyone will be healthy is a shaky strategy at best given the track record of health this team has, but it’s undeniable the Yankees have the talent.
The Yankees shuffled the deck a bit with the new additions, but it wasn’t a major shakeup that’ll change the complexion of the team. This is still a playoff-bound team with championship aspirations. It all comes down to health for New York. They’re loaded up and down the roster but haven’t been able to put it all together because of key players missing time. If they can stay healthy they can win it all.