Offensive Question Marks
The overall offensive tenacity gained by the 2016 trade deadline fire sale was tremendous. Gary Sanchez simply played on another level, Starlin Castro and Didi Gregorius — two youthful double pay partners — continued to thrive at the dish, Aaron Judge showcased some eye-popping power, and, as a collective unit, the lineup ultimately became more circular.
Fans must face reality. Aside from the established brand of a guy like Castro, raw young talent can and will go through growing pains.
A 37-year-old Matt Holliday may not be enough when Sanchez goes tumbling into his first prolonged big league slump. The one stabilizing factor, Brian McCann, was shipped off to Houston in an attempt to clear payroll.
Jacoby Ellsbury has not proven himself as the catalyst the Yankees inked to a seven-year, $153 million contract prior to the 2014 season. And while Chase Headley is another veteran presence, his .716 OPS can only mean so much.
In short, the Yankees are relying on a 162-game tear from Gary Sanchez, an immediate MLB adaptation from Aaron Judge, and the reemergence of Greg Bird, whose health and readiness pose a serious question mark.
Sure, fans will be refreshed knowing they won’t have to watch Carlos Beltran limp after a ball in right, Alex Rodriguez get beat by an above average heater, or Mark Teixeira underperform his way to the finish line, but they don’t necessarily have Murderers’ Row taking the field either — let’s slow down with the Gary Sanchez-Babe Ruth comparisons.