Bold New York Yankees Predictions for the Next 3 Years
The New York Yankees are in a bold new phase in their history, so what better way to welcome this new era in pinstripe history than with some bold predictions for the next three years.
In these predictions, there may be some heartache for Yankee fans as things continue to change, but some bright spots will emerge along the way.
Let's take a look at some bold predictions for the Yanks in the coming years.
Alex Rodriguez Will Be Forced to Retire
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A-Rod is no stranger to injuries since joining the Yankees and so much so that he will be spending the first half of the 2013 season in the trainer's room.
Per Bryan Hoch of MLB.com, Rodriguez will miss half of next season due to left hip surgery. The length of time is as a result of his inability to get that surgery until mid-January since A-Rod must prep before he goes under the knife.
This is problematic because now A-Rod has had surgeries on both hips to go along with past knee problems. The more you see A-Rod getting hurt, the more you have to wonder if he's breaking down and how much time he has left in the sport.
These injuries will only continue to pile up as he gets older and at 37 (38 in July), those same injuries will get tougher to recover from. With that being said, A-Rod won't make it into his 40's thanks to a multitude of injuries down the road, and he will retire by the start of the 2015 season.
That might actually be great news for the Bombers who are insured for A-Rod's gigantic deal, according to Wallace Matthews of ESPNNewYork.com. Per the report, Matthews states the Yanks are insured for up to 75-100% of the deal.
Although you never wish bad things on professional athletes, this would be music to Yankees fans ears. A-Rod's retirement would free up a ton of money for the Bombers to spend and it would be greatly beneficial in the long run as the Bombers look to get younger and more talented.
Ichiro Will Notch 3,000 Hits as a Yankee
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After joining the Yankees during the 2012 season, Suzuki had a resurgence and is beginning to once again look like the hit machine that he was in years past.
Per Bryan Hoch of MLB.com, the Yanks and Ichiro are finalizing a two-year deal that will keep the Hall of Famer in pinstripes through the 2014 season. Such a deal could enable Ichiro to reach the milestone of 3,000 hits as a Yankee.
As it stands, Ichiro has 2,606 hits for his career, and in case your math stinks, that's 394 more until he is etched into history. Suzuki will be 40 in October of 2013, so this won't be an easy feat by any means, but it is certainly feasible.
Ichiro has been a 200-hit per year guy for much of his career, but has since slowed down to about 175-180 hits per year the last few seasons. Let's say he matches his total from 2012 of 178 for the next two years, that would leave him just 38 hits shy of 3,000 going into 2015.
If he is physically able to play at that time—which is again feasible thanks to Ichiro's great physical condition—the Bombers would be more than willing to re-sign him for cheap in order to have him break the 3,000-hit mark in pinstripes.
The attention it will garner would make Ichiro more than worth it to bring back and that's why the Bombers would do it. But don't rule out Ichiro reaching 3,000 hits in the next two seasons if his current numbers as a Yankee hold up for 2013 and 2014.
Gary Sanchez Will Be Rookie of the Year in 2015
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Catcher Gary Sanchez is the future of the Yankees behind the plate, but unfortunately for baseball fans, this talented future star won't be ready for the majors for another couple of seasons.
In the minors last year, Sanchez hit 18 homers with 85 RBI and sported a .290 average. Those are very impressive numbers for a catcher offensively and it is a sign of things to come from this top prospect.
Along with his great offensive abilities that appear to be continuing to improve, Sanchez is a solid defender behind the plate and will give the Bombers stability at the dish for years to come.
When he finally arrives for his first full season at catcher in 2015, Sanchez will take the sport by storm and dominate in the batter's box thanks to talent and favorable Yankee Stadium dimensions. On top of that, he will handle the Yanks' pitching staff surprisingly well and that will seal the deal that Sanchez becomes the 2015 Rookie of the Year.
However, you won't have to wait until 2015 to see Sanchez in the majors. Look for this top prospect to make his way to the bigs by late 2014 as rosters expand before the playoffs. That should be the first look into the franchise catcher that is Gary Sanchez.
Projected 2015 Totals: 17 HR, 81 RBI, .285 AVG
The Yankees Will Be Sold
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It's just a matter of time before the new, "corporate" ownership of the Yankees starts putting money before winning and that will lead Hal Steinbrenner to sell this lucrative franchise.
The first example of this ownership choosing money over winning comes in the team's plans to be under the $189 million payroll threshold that will help the Bombers avoid a stiff luxury tax in 2014. For the record, the late George Steinbrenner would have never let that get in the way of signing the very best players he could.
So, who would buy the team? That isn't clear yet, but a possible suitor has emerged in past weeks that could be a viable candidate.
According to Wallace Matthews of ESPNNewYork.com, the Bombers recently sold a 49 percent stake in their YES Network to News Corporation, which is a company owned by medial mogul, Rupert Murdoch.
If anyone has the money to purchase the Bombers at their insane estimated price of around $2 billion (according to Andrew Marchand of ESPNNewYork.com), it is Murdoch and his deep pockets.
That would truly be the changing of the guard from the privately owned Yankees, to a newer, more corporate version. That's right, even more corporate than it is now.
So the important question remains: will this change the way the Yanks are run?
Well, there's no doubt it will. Things have already begun to change under Hal Steinbrenner and they will continue to change as the franchise once again changes hands. The day that George Steinbrenner died was the day this franchise's passion to win above all else died, as well.
Robinson Cano Will Not Be a Yankee in 2014
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No matter how long he's been with the Yankees, Cano will be seeking a major deal when he becomes a free agent after the 2013 season.
According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, Cano doesn't plan on giving the Yanks a hometown discount when looking for a new contract, and could even demand a 10-year deal.
On the other side is a player who hired Scott Boras with an eye on maximizing his worth. I reported last month Cano was telling teammates he is expecting a 10-year contract at the top of the market. Now, a confidant of Cano informs me the second baseman thinks he has taken a discount once to sign long term with the Yankees and will not do so again.
That means Cano will be looking for a contract in the range of Alex Rodriguez's (10 years, $275 million), which is a deal the Yanks regret each and every day, likely meaning they wouldn't do it again.
First of all, we can all agree that kind of money is absurd to pay out to anyone. Furthermore, the 10 years would be far too many as Cano would be 32 in the first year of the deal.
The Bombers won't do this to themselves again, especially the penny-pinching version. No player, Cano included, is worth that much money and there is no way he'll fulfill the length of his contract much like A-Rod likely won't.
Unless the Bombers frontload the contract, they would be paying a 40-year-old around $25-27 million per year to be a shell of his former self.
Sound familiar? Just go back to slide one of this piece. If his potential commands don't come down (and they won't), look for Cano to be in a different uniform after 2013.