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New York Yankees

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Projected WARMarket Value

27.9 251


16.3 147


7.2 65


Projected WAR by grouping is from Fangraphs’ depth charts.
Historically each win is worth ~$9 million on the free agent market

Projected Team

  • Brett Gardner, LF
  • Aaron Judge, RF
  • Giancarlo Stanton, DH
  • Gary Sanchez, C
  • Didi Gregorius, SS
  • Aaron Hicks, CF
  • Greg Bird, 1B
  • Neil Walker, 2B
  • Brandon Drury, 3B
  • Luis Severino, RHP
  • Masahiro Tanaka, RHP
  • CC Sabathia, LHP
  • Sonny Gray, RHP
  • Jordan Montgomery, LHP
  • Aaron Boone

Health Check

“It’s not like there weren’t flops along this seemingly neat road to rebuild, but in even the failed deals, the pattern and process was the same. Whether it was acquiring Nathan Eovaldi, Michael Pineda, or Starlin Castro, for example, all of these moves showed an eye towards analytics, finding players that could be pruned to perfection, and giving the Yankees both the youth and the flexibility to spend later.

All of these paths led to the cherry on top of the rebuild, the trade for Giancarlo Stanton. In the live-ball era, there have only been six seasons where the top two players in Isolated Power wore the same uniform: Albert Pujols and Ryan Ludwick in 2008; Willie Mays and Willie McCovey in 1965; Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle in 1961; and Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in 1931, 1927, and 1926. When assessing the New York Yankees’ long-term outlook, it’s best to look through this lens, because the two best sluggers in Isolated Power in 2017 were none other than Stanton and Aaron Judge.

The day to spend once again has come, and their final goal will be achieved in the 2018 season: getting under the luxury-tax threshold.”

—Pinstripe Alley

Key Player

Last season, Aaron Judge made the transition from prospect to bonafide superstar. The Yankees right fielder took baseball by storm, swatting 52 home runs on his rookie campaign. He authored a .284/.422/.627 batting line with a Ruthian 173 wRC+. Along the way, the 25-year-old won the American League Rookie of the Year and placed second in the MVP voting.

Judge is now, without question, the face of the Yankees. His at-bats are must-see television. His performance unquestionably looms large for the club. When Judge succeeds, the Yankees succeed. There are even reasons to think he could get better in 2018. Last season he played the entire second half with a bad shoulder. Offseason surgery should have him back in top shape. Factor in the addition of Giancarlo Stanton for lineup protection, and one would imagine he will get better pitches to hit.

He’s also the key player off the field. Fans come to games to see him, many in magisterial regalia. They clamor to get selected for the Judge’s Chambers. He possesses a rare combination of talent and levelheadedness, making him an ideal role model both inside and out of the organization. The team even tapped Judge to lead a session during the Captain’s Camp, a masterclass of sorts for Yankees’ prospects first organized by Derek Jeter. He is indispensable to the club.

The Yankees have a variety of players who could also make a case — Gary Sanchez, Luis Severino, and Stanton all come to mind — but they’re a notch below Judge in this category. This is his team now, and figures to be for a long time.

— Tyler Norton, Pinstripe Alley

Best Case

Greg Bird is not only healthy, but also hitting. Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton become the Bash Brothers of a new era, except really, it’s Judge, Stanton, and fellow homer-happy slugger, Gary Sanchez making up the bros. Masahiro Tanaka is more like postseason Tanaka than early 2017 Tanaka, Luis Severino keeps on thriving, and a full season of Sonny Gray helps make the rotation stronger than it ever was last summer. The result? The Red Sox are dethroned as the top team in the AL East, and the Yankees have dingers, dingers, and more dingers to thank.

Worst Case

Aaron Judge looks a lot more like his strikeout-heavy and dinger-light worst stretches than his best ones in his sophomore campaign. Giancarlo Stanton can’t stay healthy and is just great instead of otherwordly. The rotation struggles to replicate last summer’s successes, while seeing its failures exacerbated now that starters like CC Sabathia are a year older. Veterans the Yankees are trying to avoid using all the time, like Jacoby Ellsbury, end up getting more playing time than the Yankees’ chances in the AL East race can handle. Is it likely all of this goes down and the Yankees are a non-factor? It is not! But this is the section for worst-case scenarios, that’s how this works.