A 12 months in the past, the Yankees had been in a a lot completely different place than they’re now.
The Purple Sox had been thought of the heavy favorites to win the AL East after including Chris Sale, and the Child Bombers had been very a lot an unknown commodity, stuffed with potential however dealing with a number of query marks. Nonetheless, Joe Girardi wasn’t about to concede in late December, telling reporters on the 2016 Pinstripe Bowl: “I believe we’ll be a membership that’s preventing for our division.”
Because it turned out, Girardi was proper. Aaron Choose, 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 Collection.
Since then, nevertheless, Girardi has been changed by the rather more affable Aaron Boone, and the younger and likeable Yankees have was 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 turning into even richer.
All of it led Randy Levine to reference a well-known line from Mike Royko on Wednesday on the 2017 Pinstripe Bowl: “Hating the Yankees is as American as pizza pie, (unwed moms) and dishonest in your earnings taxes.
“So long as we’re related and persons are serious about us,” the crew president added. “That is the very best half.”
Of Stanton particularly, Levine mentioned, “I believe he is an enormous addition. He is the MVP of the Nationwide League, he is an amazing participant, and our fanbase is worked up. We’re doing very nicely, promoting a whole lot of tickets.”
The Bombers, although, aren’t completed but.
“I do know he is upstairs working,” Levine mentioned, referring to GM Brian Cashman. “He isn’t completed. And we’re hopeful that there is extra to be completed earlier than spring coaching and Opening Day. … We are the Yankees. We all the time need to get higher. … What that’s? I will depart that to the (entrance workplace).”
On this case, meaning trying to accumulate a younger, controllable starter so as to add to the rotation, together with probably bringing in a veteran infielder as nicely. And, in the event that they’re fortunate, shedding Jacoby Ellsbury.
Earlier Wednesday, Boone informed John Sterling on WFAN that he had simply been hitting the hyperlinks with beginning heart fielder/avid golfer Aaron Hicks. Boone faces the stress of being a first-year supervisor in New York, however he additionally has the posh of a robust and productive lineup. He’s nonetheless evaluating simply the way to place the likes of Choose, Stanton, Sanchez, Hen and Didi Gregorius within the batting order.
“I have been flirting round and having a whole lot of enjoyable with that,” Boone mentioned. “When an opposing pitcher appears to be like at our lineup and thinks about having to work by it, it is a crew that you just higher make pitches towards. In any other case, it is a crew that not solely will make you pay with a base hit, however it can additionally make you pay with some injury.”
As for including a starter like Gerrit Cole or the prefer to a rotation that already consists of Masahiro Tanaka, Severino, CC Sabathia, Sonny Grey and Jordan Montgomery, Boone mentioned making such an addition must be the proper match.
“Properly, I believe it simply relies on getting the proper matchup, and if it is one thing that can finally make sense for us as a corporation not solely within the short-term but additionally the long-term,” he mentioned. “I do know it is one thing Brian is actively trying into, pursuing, kicking the tires, having conversations with different groups. We do not really feel like we’re in a state of affairs the place we’re determined to exit and should get one thing, but it surely’s positively one thing we want to add.”
The Yankees are seemingly in a robust place. Their major-league crew is ripe with expertise, as is their farm system, with Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar maybe in line to begin at second and third. They’ve signed 5 of the highest 20 worldwide gamers, lately including 16-year-old Venezuelan outfielder Raimfer Salinas and 17-year-old Venezuelan catcher Antonio Cabello to the combination. And so they have loads of cash to play with for the Machado-Harper-Kershaw 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 crew will reply because the hunted, moderately than the hunter. However the Yankees are actually in a significantly better place than they had been at this actual time a 12 months in the past.
“I believe this crew has a whole lot of persona, has a whole lot of nice, younger gamers,” Levine mentioned. “We actually got here collectively, we received an amazing supervisor and I believe Giancarlo Stanton will slot in rather well with everyone.”