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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

2-26-24 PDF
February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

Are The Yankees a Lock?

In classic New York Yankee fashion, the Bronx Bombers made the biggest splash of anyone in the early days of the off season.
As I was struggling through early morning study sessions at the beginning of finals week this past fall, the Yankees quickly acquired coveted slugger, Giancarlo Stanton, from the Miami Marlins. There wasn’t enough coffee in the world to make that morning better for any Red Sox fan. In Stanton, the Yankees added the man who lead the National League, and all of baseball, in home runs, to a roster that already had Aaron Judge, who lead the American League in home runs, and finished right behind Stanton in the home run category. It was a move that felt as if George Steinbrenner himself rose from the grave and personally orchestrated it. This kind of box office blockbuster move is what got New York their 27 championships. One would think that they are a lock for the World Series, but is it that cut and dry?
The Yankees took the Houston Astros to 7 games in last year’s American League Championship Series, and that was without Stanton. Adding Stanton to the Yankees lineup puts them on par with Houston’s lineup, which is the best in the American League. Right off the bat, the Yankees are merely on par with the Astros, who also added a top tier pitcher in Gerrit Cole. So, at the very least, the American League looks like a two-horse race for the 2018 season.
What also can’t be forgotten is the fact that the Cleveland Indians won 100 games last season, and there’s little reason to believe that they can’t still win the American League Central with 90+ wins. Cleveland still has an above average pitching staff, and bullpen. Cleveland lost Carlos Santana in free agency, but still have Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Ramirez, Francisco Lindor, and a healthy Jason Kipnis. The Indians will still be able to contend with the Yankees and Astros next year, especially in a sport that is so much about momentum.
In addition to the Yankees having to deal with the Astros and Indians, there are still other teams that could jump right back into the mix in the American League. One team would be Boston. It would be unlike the Red Sox to take this aggressive move from the Yankees sitting down. Boston could still jump back into the American League arms race with free agent signings and trades. The Red Sox have been heavily linked to free agent outfielder J.D. Martinez and infielder Eric Hosmer, but there are even bats available on the trade market in Manny Machado and Josh Donaldson. So, while we know the Yankees must already deal with the Indians and Astros, they still have to await the Red Sox’ next move.
On paper, the Yankees look like an unstoppable force in the American League. However, the Astros haven’t gone anywhere, the Indians haven’t gone anywhere, and with a new manager, the Red Sox are one or two moves away from being right back in the mix—and the smart money is on them making those moves. The Yankees are undoubtedly the favorites in the American League, but a lock? Not by a long shot.