The New York Yankees have had a very successful offseason, and today they took another step to be considered as title contenders during 2014.
The front office first secured the renewal of manager Joe Girardi, and knowing that the team was taking a few steps back on offense, they addressed that with the signings of Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran. Pitching, however, was an area that also needed attention, and they took a giant step towards solving that issue after signing Masahiro Tanaka to a seven-year, $155 million deal.
Tanaka will automatically improve the quality of the Yankees’ rotation, and he will probably be the second pitcher in the order behind C.C. Sabathia. This gives the franchise another killer arm, and between the two they could form a deadly one-two punch. Guys like Ivan Nova and Hiroki Kuroda will provide stability, and it’s not a long shot to consider the Yankees as contenders now before the season starts.
The team clearly addressed all their needs, and now they add one of the best pitchers in the game to some of the best offensive players that were available to improve an offense that already had players like Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira – two that are coming back from injury — Alfonso Soriano and Brett Gardner just to name a few.
It remains to be seen how Tanaka will adjust to life in the U.S. and how he will fare against the teams in the AL East, arguably one of the toughest divisions in MLB. The only thing that is clear right now is that the Yankees managed to land another impact talent, and they are quickly becoming the title threat they seem to be year after year.