The New York Yankees are more than just a combination of well-paid, old free agents and a young improving farm system.
The Yankees last year went 94-68 in the regular season. Their stars were Chien Ming-Wang with 19 wins; Mariano Rivera with 30 saves; Robinson Cano with a .306 average, 19 homers and 97 RBIs; and MVP Alex Rodriguez.
Their aging, overpriced stars include Derek Jeter, Johnny Damon, Jorge Posada, Jason Giambi, Andy Pettitte, Mike Mussina, and Bobby Abreu.
The recent graduates of their farm system are relievers Joba Chamberlain, Ian Kennedy, and Phil Hughes. All of the three could start by the end of season for the Yankees.
The New York Yankees have the perfect blend of young and old players. Two problems for the Yankees are their injuries and a lack of experience for the young guns.
Mike Mussina is an injury-prone player who now doesn't play many games. The three young pitchers, all of whom don't have a year under their belt, will have a hard time in the playoffs. Although their starters are good, their bench is not great.
I predict the Yankees will make the playoffs but exit early. Their team is good enough for about 95 wins, but they will have a bad end to the year forced by their inexperienced and injured pitchers. They will get knocked out of the playoffs in the 1st round.
The Yankees' hitting will produce like last year, but the pitching is what will bring them down in the playoffs. Chien Ming-Wang will be their only stable pitcher, as Pettitte and Mussina are frequently injured and Hughes, Kennedy, and Chamberlain are all inexperienced.
Next year they will do better. The three young guns will have more experience in their hands. The contracts of Giambi, Pettitte, Abreu, Pavano, and Farnsworth will all be up. That will free some money for C.C. Sabathia.