TMS Team Preview: The 2016 New York Yankees

Over the coming weeks, Thunder Matt's Saloon will have previews of all 30 MLB teams. We're starting at the bottom and working our way up based on the current Vegas odds for winning the 2016 World Series.

Today we head to the Bronx and talk about the Yankees


2015 Finish: 87-75 (2nd Place in AL East)

So Long: Stephen Drew, Chris Young the Outfielder, Andrew Bailey, John Ryan Murphy, Adam Warren, Justin Wilson

Welcome: Aaron Hicks, Starlin Castro, Aroldis Chapman

Projected Lineup (via Rotochamp.com)
1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
2. Brett Gardner, LF
3. Carlos Beltran, RF
4. Mark Teixeira, 1B
5. Alex Rodriguez, DH
6. Brian McCann, C
7. Chase Headley, 3B
8. Starlin Castro, 2B
9. Didi Gregorius, SS

Starting Rotation: Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda, Luis Severino, Nathan Eovaldi, CC Sabathia, Ivan Nova
Setup: Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller
Closer: Chokey McBangbang

Rap Lyric Describing Their 2015 Season:
"Plus you're getting old... Stop it, everybody knows that you've lost it"

   -Atmosphere, "Little Man"

The Yankees haven't been bad per se, but they're not all that great either. The past three seasons have been right around 85 wins and just missing the playoffs. The team is full of aging vets locked into massive contracts, so bringing in talent to help has slowed to a trickle. Starlin Castro was their big offseason acquisition. Not terrible by any means, but not exactly the the splashy move the franchise is known for.

So we're back for more of the same in 2016, with everyone a little older and little more broken down. Everyone but Didi and Starlin are over 30. It'll be a miracle if all these guys can reach 120 games let alone more. The pitching staff has some bright spots with Michael Pineda and Luis Severino but also full of question marks with Masahiro Tanaka (elbow?), Nathan Eovaldi (talent?), and CC Sabathia (sobriety?).

Can they win 85 games and make a run at the playoffs again? Sure. But they could also completely fall apart and finish with 75 wins near the bottom of the division. The AL East isn't exactly a cakewalk. You know it's bad when my brother who's been a die-hard Yankee fan since he was a kid in the early 80s even admits, "They're gonna fucking suck." Yankee fans are rarely this pessimistic. Any fan that's insisting they're gonna win the East are just fooling themselves. Like the high school football star that flunked out of college freshman year and shows back up at homecoming to relive the "glory days." Dude, just admit things are over and go work construction already.

Reason To Watch: Luis Severino. Seeing this young of a star on the Yankees these days is a real treat. He looked great in 11 starts last season and is looking to make his mark this year in his first full season. Also the team has let him loose with no restrictions so he could throw 200 innings. Should be fun, at least until he blows his elbow out.

Reason To Drink: CC Sabathia. We have to drink for him because he can't.

The Fans: These people. Look at them. I mean, fucking look at them!

Yeah, no one wants to hang out with these fuckwads.

Their Worst Contract: Most of them. So many guys making well over $20 million a year that no longer actually warrant those prices. The good news is these bloated contracts are over soon. Teixeira and Beltran are off the books after this year. Sabathia has a vesting option in 2017. A-Rod is done after 2017. The Yankees are looking at a much more nimble payroll soon which will allow them to hopefully acquire some younger talent once more and get back to being the most obnoxious franchise in baseball.

Fantasy Standout: No one. A lot of guys are decent, but I'm not going out of my way to draft any of them.

Fantasy Bust: Chase Headley. Fuck this guy. His first full season with the Yankees was garbage and he's not projected to do any better. Sadly the guy they traded to get him in 2014, Yangervis Solarte is a better fantasy option at 3B this year. Not that anyone is drafting Chase Headley anyway.

The Pop Culture Equivalent To This Team Is: The Transformers sequels. Each year a new one is released it's the same old shit with a monstrous budget. It's old and tired and no one really cares any more.

Aw fuck. Guys, A-Rod's totally juicing again.

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