Expectations of the New York Yankees in 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has delayed the start of the 2020 MLB Season, and it may result in the season’s cancelation, which would not be good news for baseball fans, and especially for New York Yankees fans. Currently the Yankees are in the midst of a ten year World Series drought, one of the longest droughts in their storied history. However, there was a sense coming into the 2020 Season that this would be their season.

Two wins away from beating a Houston Astros team that was later found to be stealing signs via a camera positioned over the pitching mound, a World Series appearance against the Washington Nationals was seemingly robbed from the Yankees. Despite this, the Yankees still had one weakness, and it was Starting Pitching. The lowest ERA of the Yankees’ 5 Starting Pitchers was James Paxton’s 3.82, and every other starter’s ERA was in the 4-5 range, which was a problem. 

During Free Agency, the Yankees sought out to fix this problem. They accomplished this by signing Gerrit Cole to a record-setting 9 year, 324 Million Dollar contract. Cole was lights out for the Houston Astros last year, recording a 2.50 ERA in 212.1 innings, good for 3rd among qualified pitchers, as well as a superb 0.89 WHIP. 26 of his 33 starts were Quality Starts, and he led the MLB in Strikeouts. The Yankees main issue in 2020 was their Starting Rotation which did not have a true ace, although lefty James Paxton showed glimpses. 

With the addition of ace Gerrit Cole, the New York Yankees are the best team in the MLB on paper. Their batting lineup consists of several of the MLB’s best hitters, such as the 2017 ROTY Aaron Judge, 2017 MVP Giancarlo Stanton, young superstar Gleyber Torres, and hitting machine D.J LeMahieu. Their rotation boasts arguably the best pitcher in the MLB, Gerrit Cole, with southpaw James Paxton, and Masahiro Tanaka as their 2nd and 3rd Starters respectively. Finally, the Yankees have the best bullpen in the game, headlined by closer Aroldis Chapman, who had the second most saves in the AL, with relievers Adam Ottavino and Zack Britton who each had a sub 2.00 ERA in 2020. If the 2020 MLB season actually does happen, anything short of a World Series appearance would be a disappointment for this Yankees club.

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