It’s not like Yankee fans really thought we’d make the playoffs this year. The early unexpected good start raised expectations, but when more and more players got hurt you had to wonder how Girardi was keeping them in contention.
So it was a rough year, with watching Rivera’s last year being the only highlight. But if you are a Yankee fan can you really think, “hey, we’ll be healthy next year so we’ll be back”? Only with a series of wildly optimistic assumptions.
Let’s go around the diamond:
1B: Teixeira. Has to come back healthy and productive (wildly optimistic)
2B: Cano. The Yankees one young star. But he’s a free agent. He will command boatloads of money/years. And he can see that this team is in decline. Him signing is still likely, but no guarantee.
SS: Jeter. His contract has an option year and it’s his option. Unless a tank runs over him in the off season he will take the option year. So we have to hope he gets healthy and returns to form. Did I mention he’ll be a 40 year old shortstop next year? (wildly optimistic).
3B: A-Rod? We would have to assume that he gets healthy and avoids being suspended (wildly optimistic).
C: Cervelli. Needs to be healthy. Not a star but a solid catcher.
Outfield: Probably Granderson, Gartner and Soriano. Granderson’s injuries were two freak broken hands (both hit by pitches) so it reasonable to assume he’ll be healthy. A decent outfield.
CC Sabathia: Yankess fans simply have to hope he returns to form. We have no compelling reason to believe he will, but seriously, without him pitching like an top tier pitcher the Yankees aren’t going anywhere. (wildly optimistic)
Ivan Nova: Good young pitcher. Rare bright spot for the Yankee’s future. Still hasn’t pitched a full season though (optimistic).
Hiroki Kuroda: Was the ace most of the season but totally ran out of gas at the end of the year. Free agent, getting old, might not be back.
Dellin Betances: Who? Pitched great in AAA last year. 6’ 8” and throws serious heat. Supposedly. Honestly, I’ve never seen the kid. But we have huge holes in the rotation so we need a new face (wildly optimistic).
Free Agent Ace: This is what Yankee fans are hoping for. (wildly optimistic).
David Robertson: Won’t make us forget Mariano, but is a great reliever.
Other than that, the bullpen is pretty bare.
Yankee fans are pretty much hoping that everyone miraculously gets healthy and young, and they go on a free agent buying spree. But with all the huge contracts still on the payroll it’s hard to see enough of a reload to really contend.
Yankee fans have been spoiled for a long time. I think it’s going to be bad for a while…