Opening Day is nearly upon us! So it’s time for Kunj and I to dust off the ol’ podcast feed and look ahead to the Yankees’ long-awaited 2022 campaign.
We start off with a rundown of the major moves from the offseason, highlighted by the
Greg Bird signing trade that brought Josh Donaldson and Isiah Kiner-Falefa to the Yankees in exchange for Gary Sánchez and Gio Urshela. There’s also the return of Anthony Rizzo, the late spring swaps to add Miguel Castro to the bullpen and Jose Trevino to the catching corps, and the decisions to bid farewell to Luke Voit, Clint Frazier, Corey Kluber, Joely Rodríguez, and — seemingly — Brett Gardner.
Next up is a review of how the Opening Day roster seems to be lining up, with the Yankees electing to go with a three-man bench in April, thanks to expanded rosters after a shortened spring and a desire to get as many pitching arms in the mix as possible. Marwin Gonzalez made the team as an all-purpose utilityman, and rookies JP Sears, Ron Marinaccio, and Clarke Schmidt will get shots in the bullpen. One looming question remains: Will Aaron Judge be extended before his Opening Day deadline, or is he heading into a contract year and a potential departure next offseason? Ask Freddie Freeman; it could happen.
Finally, we wrap up with a general Yankees season preview, delving into the changes to the hitting staff and their biggest projects for 2022 (Joey Gallo, Gleyber Torres, DJ LeMahieu, Aaron Hicks), whether the team’s defense-first catching approach will work out, and if pitching coach Matt Blake can continue to work his magic with the rotation of Gerrit Cole and His Merry Men. At the very least, the bullpen looks loaded once again.
There is also some brief discussion of the rest of the AL East foes, as the Blue Jays, Rays, and Red Sox are sure to continue being thorns in the Yankees’ side. The podcast ends, as always, with the Yankee and Mitre of the Week/Offseason.