American League East Previews – Yankees
8 February 2011
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Today’s focus: New York Yankees
After finishing in second place last season and not adding another world championship to their collection, the popular thought was that the Yankees would reload over the off season. All signs pointed toward yes during their pursuit of Cliff Lee, but as it turns out, money really ISN’T everything to some people.
The challenge the Yankees will face this year will be their rotation. While C.C. Sabathia is a solid ace, once you get past him there are a lot of question marks. Phil Hughes looks like a solid starter, maybe not a number 2 which is most likely where he will fall in the rotation this year, but solid. AJ Burnett is looking to bounce back from a down year which seemed more related to his mental approach than his stuff. Joba Chamberlain we’re being told won’t be a starter and Andy Pettitte has decided to retire. The recent signing of Freddy Garcia at least moves either Ivan Nova or Sergio Mitre out of the rotation, thankfully for all those Yankee fans. If the Yanks find another capable starter, Burnett gets his groove back and Hughes continues to develop, they would have a very good staff, if all those things don’t happen it will be below average.
Notable Losses Include: Javier Vazquez, Lance Berkman, Marcus Thames, Andy Pettitte
Notable Pick Ups: Freddy Garcia, Rafael Soriano, Andruw Jones, Russell Martin
While overall I still see a 90+ win team here, the concern is not that the Yankees have declined, but how much the Red Sox have improved. On paper I would see the Yanks finishing in second once again, but this year it will be behind the Sox. Of course, that’s just on paper and there’s a reason they still play the games.