9 Dec 2016
Brian Cashman said that “the heavy lifting was done” after signing Chapman. He held out the possibility of a minor free agent move, or a trade of Brett Gardner, but he said Chase Headley will be at third when the season starts.
That means a couple of things. First and foremost, there are two open spots in the rotation and a bunch of young arms with an opportunity to grab them. I expect the Yankees want Severino to take one of them, but I think it will really be based on how he and everyone else does in camp.
Second, it means the offense is a bit of a mystery. The Yankees were weighed down last year by Teixeira and A-Rod, who are both gone, but plenty of questions remain. Can Bird and Sanchez replicate their debut seasons? Can Judge adjust to the majors? Is Hicks a useful player? Will Didi and Castro continue to progress. When you think about the possibilities for the season, the questions on offense are probably the greatest variables.
Finally, we can see the outlines of the bullpen. Put Clippard, Betances, and Chapman at the end of it. Add Warren, if he isn’t a starter. Throw in a long guy from the young group of rotation candidates. That leaves 2 spots. I would expect one to go to a lefty and the other to be the one to be a transitory spot that the Yankees use to keep a fresh arm around.
One last note. In bad news that you can also take as good news, the Yankees lost four players in the Rule five draft. It’s a lot of talent leaving the organization, but another indication of how deep the farm system is as only one other club even had two players selected