Are the Yankees Real Contenders?
The most storied franchise in Major League Baseball, the New York Yankees, have fallen on hard times lately. But they are looking to get themselves back into the top of MLB, with the intention of returning to the World Series. Now that they have made some flashy moves, are they a threat to win the World Series once again?
Yankees Sign Chapman, Castro
Pitching and hitting were both issues for the Yankees last season, where their year ended in a one game Wild Card playoff loss against the Houston Astros. That is why the team's top desires in the offseason were to grab a capable bat to help the lineup and a pitcher to help strengthen things defensively. The Yankees were successful at acquiring both.
First, they brought in second baseman Starlin Castro from the Chicago Cubs. Castro, who has had a strong start to his Major League Baseball career, is meant to be the answer to the Yankees losing Robinson Cano a few seasons ago. Since Cano's departure, the Yankees have not had a second baseman with much offensive firepower, a need that has seen the Yankees' offense decline in recent seasons.
The team also acquired relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman from the Cincinnati Reds. Chapman, the hardest throwing pitcher in baseball, will help an already strong bullpen which looks poised to pitch three strong innings on most nights. This also puts less of a burden on the starting pitching staff for the Yankees, which is a valuable piece of this signing.
Are The Yankees A Threat?
The question now becomes whether or not the Yankees are a threat to compete for a championship, and the answer is still unclear. If they stay healthy at all of their key positions, there's no reason to believe that they can't make a run toward a title. But the injury woes of some of their key players leaves no reason to believe that can happen.
Mark Teixeira is hurt seemingly every season. Brett Gardner suffers from the same problem. Alex Rodriguez is very old and could break down at any moment. All of this is to say that despite some great steps forward by the New York Yankees organization this winter, they still probably won't have enough talent healthy and on the field at a given time to remain good enough to compete for Major League Baseball's highest prizes.
With two very strong teams opposing the New York Yankees in the American League East, the Toronto Blue Jays and Boston Red Sox, it's entirely possible that the New York Yankees aren't even able to take advantage of their newly acquired roster talents enough to make the Major League Baseball playoffs. While that would be a catastrophic failure for the team, nothing is impossible when you are in as competitive an environment as the teams in the American League East are.
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