Scouting Report: New York Yankees

April 04, 2010|By Dan Connolly | dan.connolly@baltsun.com

This offseason for the New York Yankees wasn't like the previous one, when they bought CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Mark Teixeira (Mount St. Joseph).

In fact, the bigger names left the Bronx as opposed to coming in.

All the Yankees did was improve themselves for a run at their 28th World Series title. They shored up their outfield defense by adding Detroit Tigers center fielder Curtis Granderson in a trade.

The 29-year-old Granderson's star faded a bit in the Motor City last year, when he batted .249 with a .327 on-base percentage. But he still hit 30 homers and stole 20 bases, and should flourish in the Yankees' lineup.

To bolster an already mind-numbing starting rotation, they brought right-handed starter Javier Vazquez back for a second go-round in the Big Apple. Vazquez, 33, had a 4.91 ERA in 2004 with the Yankees. But last season with the Atlanta Braves, he won 15 games, posted a 2.87 ERA and finished fourth in the National League Cy Young Award voting.

Getting Vazquez - and lefty reliever Boone Logan - from the Braves came with a cost: giving up outfielder Melky Cabrera and two prospects. But these are the Yankees - everything they do comes with a cost.

However, it appears for the second consecutive year that their offseason moves could also come with a big payoff.

New York Yankees

2009 record: 103-59; AL East winner,

World Series champions

2009 record vs. Orioles: 13-5

2010 estimated payroll: $200 million

Key additions: OF Curtis Granderson, RHP Javier Vazquez, DH Nick Johnson, OF Randy Winn, OF Marcus Thames

Key losses: OF Johnny Damon, OF-DH Hideki Matsui, OF Melky Cabrera, LHP Phil Coke, C Jose Molina

Projected lineup: SS Derek Jeter, DH Nick Johnson, 1B Mark Teixeira, 3B Alex Rodriguez, 2B Robinson Cano, C Jorge Posada, CF Curtis Granderson, RF Nick Swisher, LF Brett Gardner

Projected rotation: LHP CC Sabathia, RHP A.J. Burnett, LHP Andy Pettitte, RHP Javier Vazquez, RHP Phil Hughes

Projected closer: RHP Mariano Rivera

2010 schedule vs. Orioles: At Yankee Stadium, May 3-5; June 1-3; Sept. 6-8. At Camden Yards, April 27-29; June 8-10; Sept. 17-19.

Outlook: It's impossible to pick against these guys. They were the best team in baseball last season, and they might have gotten better. Anything less than reaching the World Series would be a disappointment for them.

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