The Yankees made the biggest splash this offseason by signing Japanese ace Masahiro Tanaka. A dozen teams were vying for his services and the Yankees had to pay through the nose to get him. They definitely need him since the rest of their rotation leaves a lot to be desired.
Since Boston won the World Series last season, the “we’re trying to cut payroll’ excuse they’ve been using, well, it went out the window. They opened up their deep pockets and signed Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran. If the Red Sox didn’t win, who knows if they would have spent as much.
The AL East is expected to be great and the race will be competitive until the end. Will the Yankees send Derek Jeter out a winner?
Here is the 2014 MLB season preview for the New York Yankees.
2013 Win/Loss Record: 85-77
Key Additions: C Brian McCann, SP Masahiro Tanaka, OF Carlos Beltran, OF Jacoby Ellsbury, 2B Kelly Johnson, 2B Brian Roberts, RP Matt Thornton, RP Andrew Bailey, RP Chris Leroux & 2B Scott Sizemore
Key Losses: 2B Robinson Cano, OF Curtis Granderson, 3B Alex Rodriguez (suspension), 1B Lyly Overbay, OF Vernon Wells, SP Phil Hughes, RP Joba Chamerlain, RP Boone Logan, C Chris Stewart, SS Jayson Nix & 2B David Adams
Interleague Schedule: NL Central + New York Mets
Projected Starters: Brian McCann, Mark Teixeira, Brian Roberts, Kelly Johnson, Derek Jeter, Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran & Alfonso Soriano
Projected Starting Rotation: CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda, Masahiro Tanaka, Ivan Nova & David Phelps
Closer: David Robertson
Fantasy Sleeper: 2B Brian Roberts – It’s difficult to pick a fantasy sleeper on the Yankees. Everyone on the team has either been a consistent top 20 fantasy player or are on the decline. Injury issues have knocked Mark Teixeira and Derek Jeter down a few spots. Brian Roberts is another player with a past of injuries keeping him off the field. Robinson Cano and David Adams are no longer in the Bronx and the Yankees have signed a hodgepodge of players to fill second base. Brian Roberts, Kelly Johnson and Scott Sizemore will be fighting for playing time. Roberts was once a top fantasy second baseman, but it has been a long time since he has played an entire season. Manager Joe Girardi said Roberts will be the starting second baseman. He will be very available in fantasy drafts and worth taking a flyer on, late in the draft.
Prospect To Keep Your Eye On: C Gary Sanchez – The Yankees haven’t had much homegrown talent since Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada, Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera came into the league together. Sanchez is currently the #1 prospect and most MLB-ready bat in their farm system. Pitchers Manny Banuelos and Dellin Batances used to be highly-ranked prospects, but injuries and lack of production have knocked them down. If the Yankees didn’t sign Brian McCann, Sanchez could be good enough right now to start. They now have the benefit of taking their time. He may only appear in the Majors if there is an injury and he is needed. Another prospects to keep an eye on is OF Slade Heathcott, who is an insurance policy in case one of their ancient outfielders breaks down.
Team Analysis: The Yankees didn’t have a ‘Yankees-like’ season in 2013. Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira struggled with injuries all season and Alex Rodriguez attempted to come back from hip surgery, but was derailed by the Biogenesis scandal. The season seemed to just center around the retirement of Mariano Rivera. This year is Jeter’s farewell tour and they hope to send him out a winner. The Yankees made some nice additions by signing Brian McCann, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Japanese ace Masahrio Tanaka. They aren’t playing to be 3rd in the AL East, but it could happen. The Red Sox and Rays are both stocked with players with upside and have deep benches. The Yankees are battling age. I fear they won’t be able to stay healthy the entire season. They have too many players are on the wrong side of 30.
2014 Wins Over/Under Betting Line: 87 (Prediction: UNDER)
2014 Projected Win/Loss Record: 81-81 (3rd AL East)
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob.