2010: 95-67, 1 GB
Bartolo Colon, Andruw Jones and Freddy Garcia? That is how the Bronx Bombers counter the rival Red Sox acquisitions of Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford?
No, we are not in bizarro world. The Yankees put all of their chips into getting Cliff Lee and it seemed like the entire baseball world expected him to sign with the Yankees.
After all, the Yankees "always" get their man.
But Lee surprised everyone by taking less guaranteed money and less guaranteed years to infuriate Yankees fans and make Phillies fans rejoice.
Are the Yankees now destined to be cellar-dwellars with the Orioles now right? Absolutely not. They still have an offense that scored 859 runs last year, good for best in the AL.
Their lineup is still as loaded as ever with a projected lineup of Jeter, Swisher, Teixiera, Rodriguez, Cano, Martin, Granderson, Gardner and Posada, in no particular order.
They have pop from 1-9 and the ability to win games by outscoring their opponents.
But do they have the starting pitching?
They have their No. 1 guy in Sabathia, but can A.J. Burnett rebound from a miserable 2010 where he lost 15 games and had a 5+ ERA?
Phil Hughes did win 18 games, but his ERA was over 4.0.
Freddy Garcia? Really?
Look for the Yankees to be in it until the end for the AL East crown with their loaded lineup and dominating bullpen.
If the Yankees have the lead in the late innings, they are going to win a lot of the time.
Mariano Rivera, Rafael Soriano, David Robertson, Joba Chamberlain, Boone Logan, and newly-acquired Pedro Feliciano give the Yanks one of the deepest and best pens in the MLB.
Even though it seems like the Yankees always make a significant trade deadline acquisition, they still have the fifth-ranked farm system in baseball, with five players ranked in the Top 100.
They have the talent (and checkbook) to make a splash at the deadline or in the coming offseason.
The Steinbrenner attitude of going "all-in" every season is something that has to be admired about the Yankee franchise, whether you love them or hate them.
The battle for the AL East crown over the next three years is going to be a treat for baseball fans.
Chances of winning a World Series in the next three years—6 to 1.