Tuesday, January 3, 2017
For the second straight season, the Yankees are hoping to straddle the line between rebuilders and contenders.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said on MLB Network’s “High Heat” recently that he believes the team has a shot at staying tough in 2017.
“I think so,” Cashman said. “What we saw last year in the second half, we were competing. We were able to match up and battle with anybody in any series and fight until—if I recall correctly—until the last week of the season until we were eliminated from postseason contention. That gives us great hope because a lot of the young players we haven’t haven’t even reached their ceiling yet. But at the same time it goes both ways. We’re going to have growing pains but we also have a roster that has enough ceiling that we hope for that’s sooner in the present than in the future that if everything goes right and we stay healthy, yeah, we’re going to be a contending team. That’s our intention. and that’s why we brought the leadership of a Matt Holliday in here to continue to help groom the players the way a (Carlos) Beltran and (Alex Rodriguez) and a (Mark) Teixeira had been doing.”
The Yankees can contend this year, although I wouldn’t bet on them to win the division. The starting rotation is somewhat sketchy, and they will be relying on several young players who will be learning on the job. I’m less concerned about their W/L record this year and more interested in seeing if some of the younger players like Aaron Judge and Tyler Austin and Greg Bird can be productive, where Gary Sanchez’s inevitable regression leaves him, how some of the key minor leaguers perform this year and if the Yankees can find a few pieces for the pitching staff, rotation and bullpen.
It should be a very interesting year to follow the organization, even if the major league team isn’t quite at the level that some of their competition is.
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