Despite Free Agent Signings, New York Yankees Not Front-Runner To Win AL East

By Thomas Butto
Jacoby Ellsbury
Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

In baseball, this happens every year. A team has a huge offseason signing a couple of the top free agents available on the market or makes a blockbuster trade and gets touted as the favorites to win their respective division; several experts may even pick that team to win the World Series. They are the popular pick, the flavor of the month, and this year that trendy pick, as crazy as it sounds, might be the New York Yankees.

In 2011 and 2012 it was the Los Angeles Angels signing Josh Hamilton, Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson — among other players acquired — that got them two consecutive years missing the playoffs. Last year, the Toronto Blue Jays were the trendy pick when they acquired Jose Reyes, R.A. Dickey, Mark Buehrle and Josh Johnson among other players. All of those moves got the Blue Jays a disappointing 74-win season and missing the playoffs. These teams made flashy moves and grabbed offseason headlines, but in the end they did not have team chemistry. They either underperformed, had injury issues or did not mesh together.

There is a good chance the Yankees can follow the footsteps of the Angels and the Blue Jays and miss the playoffs after having a big offseason. Despite signing Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann, Carlos Beltran, Brian Roberts and Kelly Johnson the Yankees still have holes on the team. The Yankees are still shallow at pitcher, only having three legitimate starting pitchers, and even if they sign Masahiro Tanaka, which would be huge, there are still question marks at pitcher. Also, the team is old and at risk to be riddled with injuries for another season. Mark Teixeira, Derek Jeter and McCann are coming off injury-shortened seasons, Roberts has not had a healthy season in years and Ellsbury has as well as Beltran have had their history of injuries. The Yankees are also not a very deep team. If one or multiple players get injured, the Yankees will have another season with less than 90 wins. The Yankees are the next team on deck that have won the offseason; let’s see if they can win during the regular season unlike other teams in the past couple of years.

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