After three years of early playoff exits and an active 2020-2021 offseason, it’s World Series or bust for the Yankees.
Ahhh, February: the month where pitchers and catchers report, spring baseball begins, and the starting point for the MLB season. Many contenders have taken advantage of the free-agent and trade markets in an attempt to bolster their roster for a championship run, and the New York Yankees are no different. However, after multiple playoff exits the past few years, this New York Yankee team is World Series or Bust.
Yankees Making Moves
The Yankees brought back their top free agent of the offseason when they inked DJ LeMahieu to a six-year, $90 million deal a few weeks ago. Most Yankee fans were in agreement that LeMahieu was the one free agent the Bombers couldn’t afford to let walk, and after back-to-back stellar seasons, the Yanks will be keeping LeMahieu in Pinstripes for the foreseeable future.
The Bombers also brought in Corey Kluber, Jameson Taillon, and Darren O’Day to fortify the rotation and the bullpen, despite losing Masahiro Tanaka and James Paxton. This is one of the more active stretches of an offseason we’ve seen from the Yankees over the past few years, in terms of volume, and it proves that they’re plenty motivated to bring home the gold in 2021.
If nothing else, it’s beyond crucial for the Yankees to secure a title before winter of 2022, leaving their window open for two years. Obviously, the Bombers can still win a title after that, but with a plethora of free agents set to hit the open market after the 2022 season, retaining these big names will surely be difficult. Among these names are Gary Sanchez, Luis Severino, and Aaron Judge, among others, as a large portion of the core of the team will have a chance to find a new home elsewhere.
Early Postseason Exits
Lastly, it’s fair to say the Yankees’ postseason track record over the past three years has been disappointing. They lost in four games to the Red Sox in the ALDS in 2018, lost in six to the Astros in the ALCS a year later, and this past season lost in five to the Tampa Bay Rays in the Division Series again. All three of these years, the Yankees entered the season as a World Series favorite, and not only have the Bombers not won one, but they have yet to make it to the Fall Classic since 2009. Anything short of at least a World Series appearance would be a disappointment.
Thankfully, it seems like the Yankees and their front office know this and have taken the necessary steps to put themselves in the best position to win this year. Now, it’s up to the team, and whether or not a championship gets brought back to the Bronx remains to be seen.