A yr in the past, the Yankees had been in a a lot completely different place than they’re now.
The Crimson Sox had been thought of the heavy favorites to win the AL East after including Chris Sale, and the Child Bombers had been an unknown commodity, stuffed with potential however going through a number of query marks. Nonetheless, Joe Girardi wasn’t about to concede in late December, telling reporters on the 2016 Pinstripe Bowl: “I feel we’re going to be a membership that’s preventing for our division.”
Because it turned out, Girardi was proper. Aaron Decide, Gary Sanchez, Luis Severino and Greg Hen shaped a homegrown basis, main the Yankees to an unlikely AL wild-card berth, and, finally, inside a win of the World Sequence.
Since then, nonetheless, Girardi has been changed by the way more affable Aaron Boone, and the younger and likeable Yankees have changed into the Evil Empire as soon as once more with their acquisition of reigning NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton from Derek Jeter and the destitute Marlins, the wealthy changing into even richer.
The Bombers, although, aren’t completed but, which ought to ship a chill via the American League.
“I do know he’s upstairs working,” Randy Levine stated Wednesday, referring to GM Brian Cashman earlier than the 2017 Pinstripe Bowl. “He’s not completed. And we’re hopeful that there’s extra to be completed earlier than spring coaching and Opening Day. … We’re the Yankees. We all the time need to get higher. … What that’s? I’ll go away that to the (entrance workplace).”
On this case, which means making an attempt to accumulate a younger, controllable starter so as to add to the rotation, together with doubtlessly bringing in a veteran infielder as nicely. And, in the event that they’re fortunate, shedding Jacoby Ellsbury’s contract.
And all of it led Levine to reference a well-known line from Mike Royko: “Hating the Yankees is as American as pizza pie, (unwed moms) and dishonest in your revenue taxes.”
“So long as we’re related and individuals are occupied with us,” the group president added. “That’s the very best half.”
Earlier Wednesday, Boone informed John Sterling on WFAN that he had simply been hitting the hyperlinks with beginning centerfielder/avid golfer Aaron Hicks. Boone faces the stress of being a first-year supervisor in New York, however he additionally has the luxurious of a strong and productive lineup. He’s nonetheless evaluating simply tips on how to place the likes of Decide, Stanton — whom Levine stated, “I feel he’s an enormous addition. He’s the MVP of the Nationwide League, he’s an excellent participant, and our fanbase is happy. We’re doing very nicely, promoting a whole lot of tickets — Sanchez, Hen and Didi Gregorius within the batting order.
“I’ve been flirting round and having a whole lot of enjoyable with that,” Boone stated. “ … When an opposing pitcher seems at our lineup and thinks about having to work via it, it’s a group that you simply higher make pitches in opposition to. In any other case, it is a group that not solely will make you pay with a base hit, however it should additionally make you pay with some injury.”
As for including a starter like Gerrit Cole or the prefer to a rotation that already contains Masahiro Tanaka, Severino, CC Sabathia, Sonny Grey and Jordan Montgomery, Boone informed Sterling: “Properly, I feel it simply will depend on getting the appropriate matchup, and if it’s one thing that may finally make sense for us as a company not solely within the short-term but in addition the long-term. I do know it’s one thing Brian is actively wanting into, pursuing, kicking the tires, having conversations with different groups. We don’t really feel like we’re in a scenario the place we’re determined to exit and should get one thing, however it’s undoubtedly one thing we wish to add.”
The Yankees are seemingly in a powerful place. Their major-league group is ripe with expertise, as is the farm system, with Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar maybe in line to start out at second and third. They’ve signed 5 of the highest 20 worldwide gamers, just lately including 16-year-old Venezuelan outfielder Raimfer Salinas and 17-year-old Venezuelan catcher Antonio Cabello to the combo. They usually have loads of cash to play with for the Machado-Harper-Kershaw (who has an opt-out) free-agent class in 2019.
There are nonetheless questions on how Boone will fare, how Stanton will carry out in an even bigger market and the way the group will reply because the hunted, relatively than the hunter. However the Yankees are definitely in a significantly better place than they had been at this precise time a yr in the past.
“I feel this group has a whole lot of character, has a whole lot of nice, younger gamers,” Levine stated. “We actually got here collectively, we bought an excellent supervisor and I feel Giancarlo Stanton will slot in rather well with everyone.”