By shipping off some of the heavy hitters in the American League East, many think it only gets easier for the New York Yankees. But does it really?
In the span of a few days, many things have happened to help the New York Yankees in their division.
First, we received word that Jose Bautista, now a free agent, will likely not be back in a Blue Jays uniform. After, we bid adieu to Evan Longoria (thank goodness, says CC Sabathia). Next, Zach Britton, the Baltimore Orioles’ All-Star closer, suffered a freak injury to his Achilles’ heel. Last, the Boston Red Sox ducked out on Eric Hosmer and instead inked a two-year deal with Mitch Moreland.
All signs point to a cakewalk for the Yankees in the AL East division, especially with their signing of powerhouse Giancarlo Stanton, the re-signing of CC Sabathia and their incredible farm system. However, that may not be the case.
Sure, the Yankees arguably have some of the best talent in the division. However, too much talent could be a downfall for them. They have confidence, for good reason, but overlooking these opponents could easily put the Yankees in a bad position.
Last year, it was the Yankees who were the underdogs. Various teams underestimated their lineup because the names that filled out positions one through nine weren’t yet established. Now that they’ve had a season to do so, they are expected to do so much more.
Which leads us to the AL East. While it looks weak from the outside, missing various players who have scorched the Yankees in the past, they are in the same boat as the Yankees of last year. That just means that these teams could have a team at the caliber of the 2017 Yankees that could knock the Yankees off their high horse if they’re caught sleeping.
That means the Yankees can’t settle for just being “okay.” They need to stay out in front and make sure they don’t give any room for these other teams to sneak into the race.
When your team is that hyped up about new additions, it’s easy to get carried away in a cloud of arrogance. Last year, the Yankees weren’t expected to win much at all. This year, it’s a completely different story. And with these other AL East teams hunting for a way in, they’ll take advantage of an overconfident Yankees team.
It just goes to show, you really CAN’T predict baseball, Suzyn. The Orioles without their closer seems like an absolute nightmare of a situation. However, a young stud could come up and mow down the Yankees in Britton’s absence. The Rays may be Longoria-less but they still have Kevin Kiermaier and Logan Morrison ready to wreak havoc. The Blue Jays may not have spitfire Bautista but they’ve got Josh Donaldson…for now.
The Yankees should be more than prepared for this since they were that underdog team last year. They now have heavier expectations weighing on their shoulders because of their performance.
Well, guess what? These other AL East squads aren’t giving up another season, whether or not they are missing their stars. They’re going to come out, guns blazing, with whatever lineup they can throw together. And they’ll be far more dangerous because they have no expectations as to how the season will go.
Get ready, Yankees, because whether you believe it or not, your toughest battle will be in the AL East.