With the 2020 season still in question when it will get underway, it makes one wonder how much longer the Yankees contention window will last?
This was supposed to be the year of the New York Yankees. 2020 was going to be a season with very high expectations to win the World Series. The Yankees have made the playoffs the last three seasons. The “baby bombers” brought them back to the ALCS in 2017 but the Astros were the team to beat that season. In 2018, the Yankees won 100 games for the first time since 2009 under new manager Aaron Boone. They would lose to the Red Sox in the ALDS as the Red Sox went on to win the World Series that season.
Last season, the Bronx Bombers would win the division for the first time since 2012, but lost to the Astros in the ALCS. Making the playoffs for some teams is enough for a successful season but the Yankees are known for winning championships and haven’t won since 2009. Now is their opportunity to win in the upcoming seasons but how long is their window of contention?
2020 is their best chance to win with the team they have. Signing Gerrit Cole will not only give you 15 or so wins during the season but he will be a dominant presence in the postseason. Masahiro Tanaka and James Paxton will be right behind him and they have postseason success on their resumes also. If you keep everyone healthy in the Yankees lineup, they will be very hard to beat even under the new proposed divisions and expanded playoffs.
If you look past 2020, the team’s core is still there such as Aaron Judge, Gleyber Torres, and Gary Sánchez but there will be decisions this team will have to make. Tanaka, James Paxton, DJ LeMahieu will all be free agents at the end of the season. Who knows what kind of money they are going to ask for but the Yankees rotation will take a hit if they lose both Tanaka and Paxton. LeMahieu is a clutch player on this team also so many teams would be after him for what he can do at the plate and in the field.
Juge, Torres, and Sanchez’s contracts are all after 2022 and all three of them will be asking for some big money. It will be hard for Brain Cashman to sign all of them long term. Many things can happen between now and the next three years but the window for the Yankees to win championships would be now and the next three seasons. Cole is here for at least the next four seasons with an opt-out option after his fourth season. You can have a stud on the mound but you need other pitchers behind him. That is a long way from now but the Yankees have a realistic chance of being in the World Series the next three seasons.