By: Billy Lewis
The wait is finally over, Opening Day is upon us! The New York Yankees are ready to kick off another campaign with their eyes set on October. The Yankees last won the World Series in 2009, and in the Bronx, a decade can feel like an eternity.
Going back to 2009 the Yankees used free-agency to bolster the team with the biggest names available, bringing in C.C Sabathia, AJ Burnett, and Mark Teixeria. This offseason the Yankees used a different approach. They didn’t grab the big flashy names of Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, or Patrick Corbin. Instead, they went for depth and to continue to build up their bullpen.
Brian Cashman brought back Zack Britton. Though David Robertson left for Philadelphia, Cashman filled that void with Adam Ottavino. Instead of grabbing Machado, they decided to bring in DJ LeMahieu and took a flier on Troy Tulowitzki.
2018’s ending left a bad taste in the mouth of Yankee fans. Not only were the Yankees embarrassed and eliminated by the Red Sox, but the Red Sox were able to cap off their magical season with a World Series title. The Yankees had a good 2018, after all, they did win 100 games.
2018 was full of big expectations. The 2017 jumpstart Yankees came within a game of the World Series and then proceeded to add reigning NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton. The 2018 Yankees were good…really good. Just so happened the 2018 Red Sox were better.
Watching the hated Red Sox celebrate a World Series should light a fire under the Yankees. Though they didn’t make the big move, Cashman made shrewd moves. Many point to pitching as the Yankees biggest weakness, and they added James Paxton. The aforementioned Ottavino move should also help make their bullpen that much stronger.
Entering 2019, health concerns are at the forefront. Didi Gregorius may be out until the All-Star break and beyond. Luis Severino may miss the first month, Aaron Hicks, CC Sabathia, Dellin Betances will also start the year on the injured list.
The Yankees are extremely talented and should be able to battle through the early injuries, especially with a weak opening schedule. They’ll need to start strong to keep pace with the Red Sox. Winning the division will help to set up with the ultimate goal of winning the World Series.
Since the Yankees won their first World Series in 1923, they have won at least one championship in every decade excluding the 1980s. We all know their last championship was 09, so the Yanks have one more chance to make the 2010s another decade with a World Series banner.