The Yankees will have issues this season with age, but they do have some young players to help keep them competitive. It will be interesting how GM Brian Cashman deals with the older players going forward. They are on the hook for a lot of money. I doubt they will get much in return for some of their high-priced veterans.
The AL East is expected to be very competitive. Toronto and Boston were very active this offseason with trades and free agent signings. Can the Yankees keep up with them?
Here is the 2015 MLB season preview for the New York Yankees.
2014 Win/Loss Record: 84-78
Key Additions: 3B Alex Rodriguez (he’s back from suspension), SP Nathan Eovaldi, RP Andrew Miller, RP David Carpenter, RP Justin Wilson, SS Didi Gregorius, 1B Garrett Jones, RP Chris Martin, RP Andrew Bailey, RP Scott Baker & RP Jared Burton
Key Losses: SS Derek Jeter, SP Hiroki Kuroda, RP David Robertson, RP Shawn Kelley, SP Shane Greene, SP Brandon McCarthy, SP David Phelps, OF Ichiro Suzuki, 2B Brian Roberts, OF Alfonso Soriano, RP David Huff, RP Preston Claiborne, C Francisco Cervelli, 3B Martin Prado & OF Zoilo Almonte
Interleague Schedule: NL East
Projected Starters: Brian McCann, Mark Teixeira, Stephen Drew, Chase Headley, Didi Gregorius, Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran & Alex Rodriguez
Projected Starting Rotation: Masahiro Tanaka, CC Sabathia, Michael Pineda, Chris Capuano & Nathan Eovaldi
Closer: Dellin Betances
Fantasy Sleeper: 1B Garrett Jones – Jones has been in a platoon for most of his career. He’s very good against righties, but he’s a disaster against left-handed pitching. He’s only had a handful of at bats against lefties since 2010. The Yankees won’t put him in any kind of platoon with Mark Teixeira, so his best bet at consistent at-bats would be if Tex went on the disabled list. Jones still has undeniable power. The short porch in right field at Yankee Stadium is ideal for his hitting stroke. He’s an interesting sleeper this season.
Prospect To Keep Your Eye On: C Gary Sanchez – It seems like Sanchez has been a ‘prospect to watch’ for the last five seasons. Well, that’s because it’s true. He came onto the scene in 2010 when he hit .353 in Rookie ball. The Yankees have been slow to progress him through the minors. He’s only 23, but he has spent two years in a row in Double-A. I feel like this is being too careful. The Yankees have Brian McCann and Austin Romine on the Major League roster, so there’s no need for Sanchez at the moment. Sanchez has double-digit power and should hit for a decent average (.260-ish) in the Majors.
Team Analysis: The Yankees will miss Derek Jeter’s leadership in the clubhouse, but they are better off without him in the field. His defense declined in recent years and it was well below replacement level.
The AL East has improved across the board (well, minus Tampa Bay). The Yankees are getting long in the tooth and this season will say a lot about their future. Alex Rodriguez, Mark Texieira and C.C. Sabathia could all have their last productive year in the Majors. They all have injury issues and they are all getting paid more than their production is worth. At some point, New York could start selling their stars for 10 cents on the dollar.
The Yankees aren’t ‘the Yankees’ at the moment. They still aren’t bad and should end the season around .500, but that’s not good enough for Yankee fans. Brian Cashman could end up panicking if they get off to a slow start.
2015 Wins Over/Under Betting Line: 82 (Prediction: UNDER)
2015 Projected Win/Loss Record: 81-81 (4th in 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.