The Yankees essentially made one move this offseason and it was one of the biggest. Hading out the richest contract to a free agent pitcher, Gerrit Cole was brought on board to a nine-year, $324 million contract. They did lose some pieces overall but this team is primed to be competitive once again in what could be an easy division to win in the East.
SP Gerrit Cole
RP Dellin Betances
C Austin Romine
SS Didi Gregorius
OF Jacoby Ellsbury
OF Cameron Maybin
DH Edwin Encarnacion
It was always known that Cole was the top target for the Yankees and they would do whatever it took to land him. The Angels were very interested in acquiring his services and were said to do “whatever it takes” to sign the 29-year-old ace. In the end, Cole landed with the Yankees and will likely end his career in the Bronx. The addition of Cole is massive, as he boasted a ridiculous K% of 40 in his final year with the Astros before being snubbed for the Cy Young award. Cole will anchor a rotation that has plenty of potential with Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka and James Paxton when he returns from injury.
The Yankees did lose some bats this offseason. They bought out Edwin Encarnacion, who after being acquired from the Mariners went on to slash .249/.325/.531 with 13 home runs and 37 RBI through 44 games. They saved $15 million in buying him out and opened up more opportunities for Giancarlo Stanton to DH and hopefully keep him healthy. Encarnacion has since gone on to sign a one-year, $12 million contract with the White Sox with a club option for 2021. Didi Gregorius also moved on, signing with the Phillies on a one-year deal. I don’t think Yankees’ fans will weep too long for Gregorius when Gleyber Torres is manning the shortstop position all season long.
Even with an overall quiet offseason, the Yankees made one of the biggest upgrades with their lone signing. Cole at the top of the rotation gives them a reliable ace they so desperately needed last year. As good as their offense was, the pitching was the biggest hole on their impressive roster.
For a team that was muddled with injuries last season, this club still managed a 103-59 record to finish atop the AL East. With the Red Sox downgrading their lineup and the Blue Jays and Orioles likely down in the basement once again, the Yankees should once again feast on a division they went 54-22 against last season. As I’ve mentioned in my article on the Dodgers win total, I’m not a big fan of taking win totals of 100. Everything has to fall into place for a team with that much success. Yet, the Yankees did NOT have that last year and STILL won 103 games. With the addition of Cole, can you really take the under here? If you can, make sure to shake my hand if you see me in public, I’ve never met a hero in real life.
New York Yankees OVER 101.5 wins
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