COMMENTARY | Spring training is almost here, so let's look at the New York Yankees after their massive offseason spending spree and see what questions remain.
Here is my list of five questions the Yankees have entering the season:
1. What will they get from Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira? Jeter, 40 in June, played all of 17 games last season due to ankle issues. Teixeira, 34 in April, played 17 games due to wrist issues. Jeter will never be young again and will never move like he once did, you know, back in the days when many thought he had no range to begin with. Teixeira has already admitted he will have to deal with lingering wrist soreness.
Can the Yankees actually get 120 or more games from both of these guys? And how much actual production will they get?
2. This is a big-league infield? Kelly Johnson at third base? Brian Roberts at second base? Brendan Ryan and Eduardo Nunez as your probable fill-ins? Yikes! GM Brian Cashman has to be plotting some type of midseason move to bolster this group.
3. Do they have an ace? They signed Japanese sensation Masahiro Tanaka, but until he proves it no one knows if his dominance in Japan will translate to the big leagues. CC Sabathia isn't what he used to be. Hiroki Kuroda is good, but not a No. 1.
4. Who's behind that door? In other words, what the heck will the bullpen look like? David Robertson will close, and everyone THINKS he can do a good job replacing Mariano Rivera. Robertson has been an adventure in the past in his limited opportunities to close, so we'll see. Who replaces Robertson and the departed Boone Logan as set-up guys, however? Journeymen Shawn Kelley and Matt Thornton will get the first opportunities, but -- as bullpens often are -- this one is likely to be a work in progress much of the year.
5. Is there any real help coming from the farm? Maybe Preston Claiborne can win a bullpen role. Maybe JR Murphy can be the backup catcher. Maybe young lefty starter Manny Banuelos will make it through a season without getting hurt. Maybe the Yankees won't need help from their farm system at all in 2014. If they do, however, it certainly does not look like there is much there for them to lean on.
FINAL THOUGHTS: At different times during the offseason, we have likely discussed each of these. Just though I would put them all in one place. Which of these concerns you the most, Yankees fans?
- Sports & Recreation
- Mark Teixeira
- New York Yankees
- Derek Jeter
- David Robertson