Showalter: We're trying to stay up with the best teams
The New York Yankees finished in a tie for third place with the Orioles last season. The winter has been a time for a Yankee makeover.
Gone are Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte, who retired. Robinson Cano left for an absurd 10-year contract with Seattle and Curtis Granderson moved over to the Mets.
In their place, the Yankees signed a number of familiar names. Jacoby Ellsbury gets a large contract to play center field. Brian McCann got a big deal to catch, and in one of the best signings of the winter, Carlos Beltran is back in New York, this time in the Bronx.
There were some smaller signings, too. Brian Roberts goes from Baltimore to New York. Utility man Kelly Johnson signed as did left-hander Matt Thornton, who presumably replaces Boone Logan.
The Yankees’ pitching doesn’t look especially formidable. CC Sabathia, who slumped badly is back. So is Hiroki Kuroda, who re-signed. Ivan Nova, who baffled the Orioles is there, too.
Beyond that, who knows?
Mark Teixeira had an injury-plagued year, appearing in just 15 games, and Derek Jeter, who played in only 17, hope for better health.
Things should be happier in the Bronx without the suspended A-Rod, and if they’re able to sign Japanese free agent Masahiro Tanaka, the pitching staff could look more formidable.
David Robertson will presumably try to replace Rivera, and without Cano and A-Rod, things will look different. If Teixeira and Jeter fail to respond from their injuries, the once formidable infield could look weak.
While the Beltan and McCann signings look like good ones, and Ellsbury may help, at least for a few years, Yankee haters may be happy.
This team has more question marks than the Orioles, and as presently constituted, don’t look like a threat to the Red Sox.
NOTE: The Orioles have added Chris Correnti to their training staff. Correnti, who has worked in Sarasota, Fla. for the team for the past two years, will join trainers Richie Bancells and Brian Ebel.
Correnti has also worked for Houston, Boston and the New York Mets.