Before last season, I proclaimed, “The Yankees championship window is closing shut.” Well, thanks to the Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller trades, they jammed a crowbar in that window and swung it wide open. They made out like bandits in both trades.
There are rumors that the Yankees are stockpiling prospects to make a move on Angels outfielder Mike Trout, but I doubt any team will have enough talent to swap for the perennial MVP candidate.
I like the Yankees this season, but think they could run into some issues with their starting rotation. Will they try to make some moves early in the year to improve it?
Here is the 2017 MLB season preview for the New York Yankees.
2016 Win/Loss Record: 84-78
Key Additions: RP Aroldis Chapman, OF Matt Holliday, 1B Chris Carter, SS Ruben Tejada, 1B Ji-Man Choi & Jon Niese
Key Losses: 1B Mark Teixeira, RP Kirby Yates, SP Nathan Eovaldi, RP Nick Goody, RP Anthony Swarzak, DH Billy Butler, RP Richard Bleier & RP Blake Parker
Interleague Schedule: NL Central
Projected Starters: Gary Sanchez, Greg Bird, Starlin Castro, Chase Headley, Didi Gregorius, Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury, Aaron Judge & Matt Holliday
Projected Starting Rotation: Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda, CC Sabathia, Luis Severino & Chad Green
Closer: Aroldis Chapman
Fantasy Sleeper: 1B Chris Carter – Carter is listed as the 24th-best fantasy first baseman, but he could end the season so much higher. He’s currently slated to share time with Greg Bird, but could also get some DH at-bats if he’s hot. He has a huge swing with a lot of power. He could hit 35+ homers if he gets 450 at-bats. He could hurt your team’s batting average, but if you’re getting that kind of power, you can deal with the hit.
Prospect To Keep Your Eye On: OF Clint Frazier – The Yankees scored some really nice prospects last season when they unloaded Aroldis Chapman to the Cubs and Andrew Miller to the Indians. Frazier was included in the Miller deal and could pay dividends this season. He has some power and sports a solid glove. I’m sure you’ll hear more hype about Gleyber Torres than Frazier this season, but he’s only going to be in Double-A to start the season. Frazier could turn into a really good player for the Yankees.
Team Analysis: The Yankees made the absolute best trades last season. They decided that they weren’t going to make the postseason last year and decided to unload some guys to contenders at a huge premium. The guys they received in return will be a huge part of the Yankees future.
The AL East race is going to be extremely tight again this year. I believe the Yankees and Red Sox to be the two that will end up in the postseason, but the Blue Jays and Orioles could easily win the division if an injury hinders Boston or New York.
The one area that I worry about with the Yankees is their starting rotation. This is the weakest starting-five they’ve had in a long, long time. Is Sabathia going to bounce back after yet another poor season? Can Severino turn into a Major League starter or is he destined to be in the bullpen? Can Green turn into a consistent starter in the Majors? The rotation just has a lot of question marks. Their bullpen is very good, so they might be able to bail the starters out a few times this season.
I believe the Yankees young bats could turn the Yankees offense into one of the best in the Majors. Gary Sanchez, Greg Bird and Aaron Judge all had success last season. Sanchez was one of the best hitters in the Majors the last two months of the season. Bird and Judge both have some room to grow, but this group of young hitters could be the start of something special in New York.
2017 Wins Over/Under Betting Line: 83 (Prediction: OVER)
2017 Projected Win/Loss Record: 85-77 (2nd 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.