What Will the New York Yankee Roster Look Like In One Year?

It's change time in New York. If you ask me, the change is long overdue. The Yankee roster has been remarkably stable since 2009. There's nothing wrong (other than their salary) individually with Jacoby Ellsbury, Brett Gardner, Mark Teixeira, Brian McCann, CC Sabathia, and the rest, but the group is a bit boring. Boring beats losing 90 games like the Red Sox seem to do every once in awhile, but it's time to get exciting again.

Obviously, you can't predict baseball, Susan. That said, I'm going to try and predict baseball. Below is the starting rotation and lineup that I predict the Yankees will field on August 11th, 2017. I have to say: this roster kind of looks like it can hack it. I'm getting excited just speculating about it.

Starting Lineup:

Catcher: Gary Sanchez and Brian McCann platoon - Austin Romine gets traded for a Justin Wilson-type. Sanchez and Kyle Higashioka make his okay work as a backup catcher expendable. No one wants McCann's contract, and the Yankees want a Gary Sanchez mentor. Hope for a Girardi/Posada parallel story. They'll combine for 4+ WAR.

1st Base: Greg Bird - I'm long on the record as a Bird booster since he hit .288/.428/.511 as a 20 year-old in A-ball. I think he's our Brandon Belt. His improved contact rate in 2015 was an under-the-radar story.

2nd Base: Starlin Castro - We're not getting rid of him any time soon. He'll be replacement level.

Shortstop: Didi Gregorius - His performance this season is obscured by the current Renaissance of MLB shortstops. He'll make Torres and Mateo fight for a job.

3rd Base: Chase Headley - Underrated. He's at 2 fWAR this season. If Miguel Andujar forces their hand, I could see the Yankees floating a trade.

Left Field: Clint Frazier. Brett Gardner gets traded at the 2017 deadline. He's still productive (2 fWAR this season) and on a pretty decent contract ($12m/year). Clint Frazier becomes the best Yankee player as early as 2018.

Center Field: Jacob Ellsbury - In May, it looked like Ellsbury might be playing his way toward being tradeable. I'd love to see Mason Williams here, but other than that the Yankees don't have a true center fielder in the minors ready to take his spot. 

Right Field: Aaron Judge - I'm on the record as an Aaron Judge skeptic. That said, I think he's a major league outfielder, even if I doubt the ceiling. He and Betances can stand next to Ellsbury and look cool. 

Designated Hitter: Platoon - I think there are two scenarios for the 2017 DH. First, I think the Yankees could rotate Brett Gardner, Brian McCann, Aaron Judge, Aaron Hicks (or a better right-handed hitting outfielder, maybe Tyler Austin), and whomever is injured into this spot. They could also sign someone. Adam Lind is an interesting option, especially if they are concerned about Bird at first. Ryan Raburn or Brandon Moss would be fun too.

Starting Rotation:

SP1: Masahiro Tanaka - I want him traded, but I wouldn't be shocked if they keep him around. Seriously though, trading him is a no-brainer. 

SP2: CC Sabathia - He's not going anywhere. AL Comeback Player of the Year? 

SP3: Luis Severino - I bet he gets his issues worked out. Tipping pitches is both a perfectly plausible explanation for his struggles and one of the more easily fixed ones.

SP4 + SP5: Two of Dietrich Enns, Chad Green, Brady Lail, Luis Cessa, Jordan Montgomery, Daniel Camarena, Chance Adams - The Yankees quietly have a bunch of low-end starting pitching prospects who have risen through the minors. If I had to pick two, I'd go with Montgomery and Adams being in the starting rotation. Eovaldi gets non-tendered, Pineda gets traded.