Though he's been quiet for most of the offseason, Yankees president Randy Levine made an appearance Thursday in which he basically just reiterated what GM Brian Cashman has been saying for the past few weeks.
Max Scherzer and offseason spending
On the topic of Max Scherzer, Levine said that Yankee fans shouldn't get their hopes up that they will be signing him or any of the other top free agents on the market. Apparently signing Scherzer is not "realistic" because the payroll is already around $200 million. This is interesting, especially because the Yankees usually react to the moves of the other teams in the AL East by spending more. No one remind him of the $400+ million they spent last offseason.
2015 AL East competition
Levine went on to say that he expects the Yankees to be "very competitive" in the AL East next season. Obviously there is still plenty of time in the offseason for the team to sign other players or make a trade, but right now it doesn't feel that way, especially with the improvements that the Red Sox and Blue Jays have made. The rotation is both incomplete and a disaster waiting to happen. The worst case scenario would involve Masahiro Tanaka having Tommy John surgery, CC Sabathia's knees giving out (or CC just pitching horrendously) and Michael Pineda's shoulder getting messed up again. Ivan Nova should return in May or June, but Nova tends to pitch either very well, or very poorly. If everything goes awry, and the Yankees don't sign another pitcher, it's not outside the realm of possibility that we see this rotation at some point: AL East newcomer Nathan Eovaldi, Chris Capuano, Adam Warren, Chase Whitley and Bryan Mitchell. That's scary to think about. There's also the fact that the offense has been terrible for two seasons, and there haven't been that many upgrades to it.
Finally, Levine pointed out that the team was "decimated" by injuries last season, and that the team will be better if last year's injured people are all healthy. So the plan for next season is just to cross our fingers and hope everyone stays healthy? Maybe it's just me, but it feels like the Yankees have been chronically injured since 2012. Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira saw very little of the 2013 season. Curtis Granderson and Francisco Cervelli both broke a couple of bones. Alex Rodriguez missed most of the season due to hip surgery. Kevin Youkilis played in a whole 28 games. When the 2013 season ended, it ended with a sigh of relief and the thought that surely the team would be healthier in 2014. Then the entire rotation went down (minus Hiroki Kuroda somehow). Tex couldn't stay healthy, neither could Carlos Beltran. If anything, 2014's injuries were worse than the year before. Haven't the past few years been enough to show that we need to be over-prepared for injuries? Not to mention the fact that last year's old players will only be older and potentially more fragile this season. But if everyone stays healthy then things could be great, right?
How do you think the Yankees stack up to the rest of the AL East at this point?