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New York Yankees 2016 Season Preview & Predictions: ‘The Chase For 28’

Key Additions

Aroldis Chapman: 

The Yankees created their “three headed monster” after Cashman traded starting pitcher Rookie Davis, third baseman Eric Jagielo, second baseman Tony Renda, and right-handed reliever Caleb Cotham for flame-throwing closer, Aroldis Chapman. Talk about a bargain.

The Yankees snagged him out of the clearance aisle due to his involvement in a domestic violence incident last October.

Although the charge did not hold up in the court of law, Major League Baseball and its new domestic violence policy suspended the lefty for the first 30 games of 2016. He’ll be able to return on May 9 against the Kansas City Royals.

Despite the suspension, Chapman, Miller and Betances are expected to dominate in the back-end of the bullpen for the majority of the year.

The trio combined for a 1.70 ERA with 347 strikeouts in 212 2/3 innings in 2015. No team in Major League Baseball history has ever had three relief pitchers with 100 strikeouts in the same season, and there’s a great chance these Yankees could reach that mark. This trio has posted 100 Ks apiece in each of the past two years.

Starlin Castro:

The three time all-star has experienced a decline since his 2011 season, when he led the National League in hits (207), but after the move from shortstop to second base in 2015, he climbed to a whole new level.

In September and October as a second baseman, Castro hit .369/.400/.655 and he started all nine games for the Cubs in the postseason. There’s no doubt he’ll carry that over to the Bronx and thrive with the change of scenery.

In 16 Spring Training games, Castro slashed .390/.395/.634 and cranked two home-runs while driving in 11 runs. The defense could use some improvement, but it seems as if the Yankees have found their first superstar at the position since Robinson Cano.

Aaron Hicks:

A fourth outfielder doesn’t necessarily jump off the page as being a “key,” but with the Yankees outfield, Aaron Hicks was such an imperative addition.

The Yankees sent 24-year-old back-up catcher John Ryan Murphy to the Minnesota Twins for someone who can provide elite play and reinforcements for an injury prone outfield.

Hicks is only 26-years old but has plenty of upside to provide off the bench. He is also a switch-hitter who saw an increase in his OPS from .615 (2014) to .721 last season.

The guy also has a cannon of an arm. If you don’t recall, in 2013 he threw out Vernon Wells at third base from the warning track in right center at Yankee Stadium – on a fly.

At the very least, it seems as if Hicks is ready to replace Chris Young as the Yankees’ platoon outfielder. If he continues to develop, he could play his way into something greater.