In one of the busiest offseasons in recent memory, the New York Yankees remained relatively quiet. No matter; the Yankees will claim the division because of these five reasons.
The bounce-back hitters
Carlos Beltran, Brian McCann and Jacoby Ellsbury were all signed to impact the lineup and only one of them did: Ellsbury. Look for Beltran and McCann to find their groove in New York in 2015.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY SportsKim Klement
Sure, Sabathia is coming back from an injury and there are questions about his knee, but after rest and rehab, he’s poised for a huge bounce-back year. Prior to 2014, he hadn’t thrown less than 200 innings in a season since 2003. He wants get back to being the workhorse and he can be just that in 2015.
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A reworked infield
Chase Headley at third, Didi Gregorius at short and Stephen Drew at second might not be the sexiest names on the lineup, but they have the potential to be consistent performers on both offense and defense.
Getty ImagesNorm Hall
A strong back-end bullpen
Even with the loss of David Robertson this offseason, the Yankees will boast an elite bullpen in 2015. The emergence of Dellin Betances and the signing of Andrew Miller give the Yankees two possible closers. Pair them with David Carpenter, Justin Wilson and whomever doesn’t crack the starting five and you’ve got a strong pen that can shorten the game.
Jerry Lai-USA TODAY SportsJerry Lai
In the past few seasons, the Yankees have stayed competitive despite injuries, key losses and a lack of talent. The reason? Joe Girardi. He’s able to get the most out of his players each and every day. Should he continue that trend in 2015, the Yankees can win the A.L. East.