The New York Yankees are always out there ready to compete for the World Series title. 2021 will be no exception, as the Yankees continue to head out on the market with deep pockets and title aspirations.
They were active during the MLB free agency period by signing a few high-value free agents while resigning one of their current top players to a long-term deal.
But even as the team continues to be a favorite, there still remain a few questions surrounding some departures and what the team will be doing with part of its rotation.
The Yankees signed starting pitcher Corey Kluber to a one-year deal. Kluber did not see much action with the Texas Rangers last season, but moving on to the Yankees will likely help him well. Kluber has a potential to get at least 150 strikeouts this season.
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) February 12, 2021
He will likely be second on the rotation behind Gerrit Cole to start the season. He could move down to third if Luis Severino manages to come back soon after missing last season from Tommy John surgery.
The Yankees also resigned D.J. LeMahieu to a six-year deal. The second baseman remains one of the most critical parts of the team’s lineup.
He has hopes of getting a .300 or greater average this season. His return also gives the Yankees a few MVP candidates in their daily lineup, with Luke Voit and Aaron Judge continuing to make their presences felt.
Veteran reliever Darren O’Day enters the team from the Atlanta Braves. At 38 years of age, he is one of the more experienced relief pitchers in today’s game. He will have many opportunities to give closer Aroldis Chapman the setup help he needs.
The team also brought in starting pitcher Jameson Taillon through a trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He has a potential to be a high-value starter with the Yankees, although much of that depends on how he can recover from his second Tommy John surgery.
Questions of Note
There are a few questions to ask surrounding the team’s free agency efforts. The first involves whether starting pitcher James Paxton will return. He has yet to resign with the Yankees, but his 6.64 ERA from last season doesn’t help him much.
There’s also the question about how the team is going to replace starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka. He had a 3.56 ERA and had been a reliable figure in the middle of the team’s rotation. But Tanaka chose to head back to Japan, where he will play for the Rakuten Golden Eagles in the NPB.
There’s also a possibility that starting pitcher Deivi Garcia will pitch at least a hundred innings. Garcia is one of the team’s top prospects, but whether he is ready for a regular position in the rotation remains uncertain.
A General Look
The best way to look at the New York Yankees for 2021 is that the team already has an outstanding lineup and an above-average rotation. But the team has also been doing well when compared with the others in the AL East.
The Baltimore Orioles and Boston Red Sox are still trying to rebuild, and there remains uncertainty about how well the Tampa Bay Rays can remain competitive. The Toronto Blue Jays may be the greatest threat to the Yankees this season, with the team being more active on the free agency market than they have as of late.
But the New York Yankees will still be a firm contender for the World Series and a favorite to win the American League pennant. The team has many great stars worth watching and will be an exciting club to explore.
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