With help from Rookie of the Year winner and MVP runner-up Aaron Judge, the New York Yankees finished 2nd in the AL East with a 91-71 record, which was good enough for the first Wild card spot. After beating the Minnesota Twins in that game and the Cleveland Indians in the ALDS, the Yanks fell to the Houston Astros in the ALCS. Needing to add, the Yanks had a productive offseason. Let\’s take a look at it.
Notable additions: OF Giancarlo Stanton, 3B Brandon Drury, 2B Neil Walker, LHP Wade LeBlanc, INF Jace Pederson, OF Shane Robinson.
Notable subtractions: 2B Starlin Castro, DH Matt Holliday, 3B Todd Frazier, LHP Jaime Garcia, 1B Garrett Cooper, RHP Michael Pineda, LHP Caleb Smith, 3B Chase Headley, RHP Bryan Mitchell, OF Mason Williams, 1B Ji-Man Choi.
What they did well: Giancarlo Stanton
What they did bad: Frazier should of been re-signed, but traded for Drury instead, but that\’s okay because Drury is much younger.
Sneaky Sleeper: One of baseball\’s best relievers, Chad Green had his first full season in the bullpen in 2017 (he gets credit for one spot start early in the season, but it was only about 2 innings of work for him). Green struck out 103 batters in 2017 in just 69 innings, allowing just 14 runs in that time (1.83 ERA). They considered moving him to the rotation in 2018, but it won\’t happen for now. Green is really good, and not everyone knows it.
Incoming outbreak: If I told you to name one player who blossomed with the Yankees after an Arizona stint, you\’d name Didi Gregorius. The same thing could happen to Brandon Drury. Featured in a late offseason three team trade, Drury hit 13 homers and had a .267 average in 2017, I\’d say about league average. Maybe a change of scenery to a better team could help him.
Unsuspected slump: This will hurt to say as a Yankee fan, but their fourth best reliever is Dellin Betances. It goes David Robertson, Green, Aroldis Chapman, then Betances. Betancces has had late season troubles in his career, and struggled in the postseason. His stats show a career 2.29 ERA, and a 14.4 K/9. His postseason numbers show a 4.76 ERA, and though he still strikes guys out, his ERA has risen the last two seasons. I think he\’s just slightly overrated.
Blue-chip Bopper: Though Stanton led the league in homers and was the NL MVP, Aaron Judge is still the team\’s best player. Judge hit 52 homers in his rookie season, and still maintained a .422 OBP. Judge is one of the best players out there.
Astounding ace: In his big breakout season, Luis Severino rebounded big in 2017, with a 2.98 ERA and 230 strikeouts, and finished third in CY Young voting. One of baseball\’s youngest aces, Severino still has many years to dominate.
Here\’s the Yankees\’ projected roster, starting with their lineup.
LF Brett Gardner (L)
RF Aaron Judge (R)
DH Giancarlo Stanton (R)
SS Didi Gregorius (L)
C Gary Sanchez (R)
1B Greg Bird (L)
CF Aaron Hicks (S)
2B Neil Walker (S)
3B Brandon Drury (R)
Here\’s their projected rotation.
RHP Luis Severino
RHP Masahiro Tanaka
LHP C.C. Sabathia
RHP Sonny Gray
LHP Jordan Montgomery
Aroldis Chapman (L) is their closer, with Chad Green (R), David Robertson (R), Dellin Betances (R), Tommy Kahnle (R), Adam Warren (R), Chasen Shreve (L) and Domingo German (R) are in the bullpen.
C Austin Romine (R), 2B Tyler Wade (L) and INF Ronald Torreyes (R) are on the bench.
Finally, for my prediction, I think the Yankees, a rising but very good team, will make the playoffs in 2018.