The Baby Bombers could improve in 2018 by doing little more than standing pat. A full season of health for slugging first baseman Greg Bird, combined with the pending arrival of top prospects Clint Frazier and Gleyber Torres, could supercharge an already dangerous lineup. The bullpen is so loaded after the deadline deal for strike-throwing machines David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle, GM Brian Cashman could trade away erratic flamethrower Dellin Betances for more prospects and the Yanks would still look formidable from the sixth inning forward.
Of course, just because New York could hold firm doesn’t mean they will. Ohtani will surely be at the top of the shopping list; if the Yankees don’t land him, they’ll pursue someone else to replace CC Sabathia and fortify a rotation that also should also benefit from a full season of Sonny Gray. It’s a poorly kept secret that the Yanks will open their wallets in earnest after the 2018 season, with Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Josh Donaldson, and maybe even Clayton Kershaw available. Just don’t count on them waiting that long to make a splash.