The rich just get richer, right? I mean, the Yankees were a 103-win team in 2019 and made it to the ALCS.
And then they sign the best pitcher on the open market to a gazillion-dollar contract that ties him up for the rest of his career and part of his children’s lives. Okay, so I made that last part up. Still, Gerrit Cole will give the Yankees an ace that they’ve been lacking over the last couple of seasons.
But wait. Luis Severino just had Tommy John surgery; he’ll miss the whole season. Giancarlo Stanton has another one of his now-traditional injuries. And now there’s a minor injury to Aaron Judge that worries Yankees management.
Both could miss Opening Day, per this update.
The thing is, you know none of this is going to matter. The Yankees had multiple injuries last year and every single player they dragged off the waiver wire or promoted from Triple-A suddenly turned into a superstar. The Rockies thought so little of Mike Tauchman that they traded him to the Yankees for some guy you’ve never heard of. Tauchman put up 3.6 bWAR in only 87 games. Luke Voit? Cardinals couldn’t use him, but he hit 21 home runs with a .378 OBP for the Yankees. DJ LeMahieu disproved the notion that he was only a Coors Field hitter by having the best year of his career in Yankee pinstripes and finishing fourth in MVP voting. Giovanny Urshela was tossed away by TWO teams in 2019 (Indians, Blue Jays) and then posted an .889 OPS with 3.4 bWAR.
I could go on, but you get the idea. Maybe the Yankees stole the Cardinals’ pixie dust, I dunno.
The Yankees won’t even miss Dellin Betances, who signed with the Mets. He only appeared in one game in 2019 after being a dominant setup man previously. I repeat, the Yankees won 103 games in 2019 without all these guys.
Their rotation is a bit iffy after Cole and Masahiro Tanaka, but Jordan Montgomery has been a promising young pitcher and J.A. Happ seems ageless. Aroldis Chapman leads a deep bullpen. The Yankees will be tested by the Rays this year, and everyone outside of New York will be rooting for the low-payroll guys from Tampa Bay to defeat baseball’s Evil Empire.
I wish they’d share a bit of that pixie dust with the Cubs.
KEY ADDITIONS: Gerrit Cole, Chris Iannetta, Chad Bettis
KEY SUBTRACTIONS: CC Sabathia, Dellin Betances, Didi Gregorius, Edwin Encarnacion, Cory Gearrin, Greg Bird
The Cubs will face the Yankees June 26-27-28 at Yankee Stadium. It will be the first visit by the North Siders to Yankee Stadium since 2014. The Cubs’ 4-12 all-time regular-season record against the Yankees is by far their worst against any A.L. opponent (next worst: Tigers, 8-17), and the Cubs have never — ever — won a regular-season or postseason game at Yankee Stadium, either the old version or the new. The Cubs are 4-7 against the Yankees at Wrigley Field in the regular season, and 0-5 against them in New York. And the two times the Cubs faced the Yankees in the World Series, 1932 and 1938? Got swept. Both times.
I think it’s time the Cubs changed all that.