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How Good Are the Yankees?

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Ed mentioned Dave Cameron's little piece this morning, as did Chad Jennings.

[The Yankees] are so good that adding another high quality player doesn’t help them that much in 2010, and because of the long term contract that is required, they’d be risking future flexibility to add [future] wins that may actually matter for an upgrade that just isn’t necessary.

It’s a rational decision made by smart people who understand just how good their roster currently is.

I really like his analysis, and I agree with it. The AL Wildcard has averaged 96.1 wins over the last 10 years, 95.2 over the last 5. The AL East Champion has averaged 97.3 and 97.2 wins over similar spans. The AL Pennant winner has averaged 98.0 and 97.0 wins.

The Red Sox have upgraded their rotation (which figured to be better if Dice-K stayed healthy) and their already sterling outfield defense.

The Rays have added an elite arm to their bullpen and will return a potent offense.

But the Yankees have had the best offseason in the AL East (Mariners had the best overall). By adding Vazquez, the rotation is as deep as the Red Sox, and those two will fight for best in the league; adding Vazquez also puts an elite arm in the bullpen, whether its Joba or Hughes. The outfield defense is improved by the Granderson addition, and he replaces Damon's blend of power and speed. I believe that Johnson's patience will be as valuable as Matsui's power.

If you think the current Yankee team is a 95 win team, a 97 win team, or (like I do) a 100 win team, then you should agree that the Yanks don't need to add a major player, and that they're really better off by holding on to as much roster flexibility as possible to best address whatever the teams needs will be after 2010.