New York Yankees: Find some offense
Gary Sanchez can’t do it all. The Rookie of the Year runner-up bashed 20 homers in the final two months of the season after his promotion from the minors, but with the Yankees stripping their lineup of its veteran parts at the trade deadline and in the off-season, he’s one of the few players who can be expected to play regularly and produce power typical of the Bronx Bombers. New York will rely heavily on youngsters like first baseman Greg Bird, outfielder Aaron Judge and the versatile Tyler Austin to pick up some slack and back Sanchez and shortstop Didi Gregorious, who had a breakout year at age 26.
Bird (11 homers in games as a rookie in 2015 before missing all of last season with a shoulder injury), Judge (four homers after a mid-August call-up) and Austin (five homers in 31 games) have all shown flashes of power. But if they can’t produce consistently in larger roles and need more time in the minors, then the Yankees will need to lean on their pitching staff to carry them in 2017, a dicey proposition considering the question marks of age (CC Sabathia, 36) and performance (would-be future ace Luis Severino was demoted last year after starting 0-6 with a 7.46 ERA) there behind ace Masahiro Tanaka.