That deal works for both sides. With an AAV of $15M, that will help the Yankees' efforts to come in under the $210M luxury tax.
— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) January 15, 2021
O’Day brings a deadly weapon against right-handers, while there are other relievers with considerable upside: Luis Cessa, Nick Nelson, Brooks Kriske, Addison Russ, Kyle Barraclough, Jonathan Loaisiga, Albert Abreu, and others.
A Truly Elite Roster
The offense remains arguably the best and deepest group in the American League, with Gary Sanchez, Luke Voit, LeMahieu, Gleyber Torres, Giovanny Urshela, Clint Frazier, Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, and Giancarlo Stanton.
The Bombers seem like the favorites to win the American League East division, by a significant margin given that the Rays lost aces Blake Snell and Charlie Morton and Toronto still needs the pitching to match up with the Yankees.
Yet, the question remains: do the Yankees have enough to win the World Series?
On paper, they look like the best team in the American League, better than the Rays, Blue Jays, Cleveland Indians, Chicago White Sox, Minnesota Twins, Oakland A’s, and Houston Astros.
Yet, the National League has some very good squads, most notably the New York Mets, the Atlanta Braves, the Los Angeles Dodgers, and the San Diego Padres.
If the Yankees are capable of advancing to the World Series, any of those four clubs would represent a huge threat.
Is The “World Series Or Bust” Label Fair For The Yankees?
With the Yankees, the usual expectation is that they make a deep postseason run every year.
After all, they are among the most resourceful and talent-filled clubs in Major League Baseball.
Yet, the Dodgers may be a cut above of the Yankees in both talent and resources as we speak.
In the recent past, they have become the clear-cut favorites to win it all; they lifted the World Series trophy in 2020 and remain hungry.
Saying that it’s “World Series or bust” for the Yankees this year may not be fair or realistic.
The fact that they are considered the best team in the American League even though they are clearly trying to stay under the 2021 competitive balance tax threshold ($210 million) says a lot about the quality and talent on the roster.
Once they reset the tax this year, they will avoid a higher penalty in 2022, and that’s why they are doing it.
Wrote about the competitive balance tax, the dreaded CBT, which only the Yankees, Astros and Cubs paid in 2020, and which maybe only the Dodgers (or Mets? Angels?) might be willing to pay in 2021. https://t.co/6RIHIIGMk3
— Andy McCullough (@ByMcCullough) January 21, 2021
If anything, the Yankees will have more pressure to win the World Series in 2022 because it will be the last year of team control/contract for several key players, including Judge, Taillon, Chapman, Sanchez, Britton, and Green barring extensions.
The Yankees will want to win with their core this year, but since it’s virtually impossible to retain all those players and it would be their last year in pinstripes, they would feel the need to lift the trophy even more in 2022.
In any case, however, it shouldn’t be considered “World Series or bust” in the current competitive landscape of MLB.