The New York Yankees entered the 2013 Winter Meetings and the second week of December after already having made several huge signings, but they still find themselves with prominent holes at second base, third base and in the starting rotation.
Re-signing Hiroki Kuroda and picking up Brian McCann, Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran—along with insurance options like Brendan Ryan and Kelly Johnson—is just the first step in trying to right the ship of the past four seasons.
After their 27th World Series title in 2009, the Yankees exited from the ALCS as the wild-card team in 2010, were eliminated in the ALDS as the AL East division champions in 2011, were swept in the ALCS as the AL East division champions in 2012, and, for the first time since 2008, the team failed to reach the postseason in 2013.
That pesky $189 million luxury-tax threshold has now transitioned from once being debated as an ideal goal or definitive spending maximum to now seemingly becoming a joke of the past.
It appears the Yanks will exceed the threshold, even if Alex Rodriguez's contract is wiped away. The team also seems much more concerned with replacing the production lost from the respective departures of Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson by bringing in one or two more quality arms and sorting through the array of platoon infielders and outfielders left on the free-agent market.
So with the stress and agitation around the Evil Empire reaching a level nearly as high and large as the 2014 team's age and health issues, let's run through a few predictions for the next three years of Yankees baseball.
Though they will attempt to patch together numerous lineups and short-term solutions, they will repeatedly come up short because of a continued lack of depth where they most need it and a deficiency in role players required to truly contend—that is, unless they somehow make all the right moves between now and 2016.