The Bronx Bombers are going for a 28th World Series title, and while they don’t enter October as the favorites, the Yanks could prove to be one of the MLB Postseason’s most intriguing teams.
New York Yankees fans went through it all this season. After a 64-28 start that drew comparisons to the legendary 1998 team, the Bronx Bombers stumbled into the second half, then laid flat on their face for all of August. The once-unstoppable force had their worst single month in 30 years before finally righting the ship in September to ultimately win the American League East and finish with 99 wins.
Now, the fan-favorite has a chance to accomplish something he has yet to do in his career: win a ring.
To do so, the Yankees will have to navigate an expanded playoff bracket. That includes their regular October killers, the Houston Astros, potentially waiting in the ALCS, and the 111-win Los Angeles Dodgers standing tall as National League favorites.
But for now, the Bronx boys need only worry about the ALDS, which will start next week. Here’s where the Yankees postseason prognosis stands and what’s on the line as their Chase for 28 heats up in the MLB Playoffs.
2022 New York Yankees Overview
Current Payroll: $211,076,255 (No. 3 in MLB)
Luxury Tax Allocation: $276,505,154 ($230,000,000 threshold)
Yankees’ Highest-paid Players by Average Annual Salary:
All salary figures via Spotrac.
- Gerrit Cole: $36,000,000
- Giancarlo Stanton: $25,000,000
- Josh Donaldson: $23,000,000
- Aaron Judge: $19,000,000
- Aroldis Chapman: $16,000,000
- Anthony Rizzo: $16,000,000
Stop me if you’ve heard this before: The New York Yankees are built to win right now. They’ve committed so much money to Gerrit Cole that, despite being their third-best starter right now, he is a virtual lock to start Game 1 of the ALDS.
(We should note he did break the Yankees’ single-season strikeout record this year so he’s not exactly a scrub.)
Additionally, you may have heard that Judge is in a contract year. The Yankees couldn’t come to an agreement with their slugger on an extension in the preseason, so there’s no guarantee No. 99 is back in the Bronx in 2023. It’d be a monumental failure on the organization’s part if they let Judge walk without winning at least one ring.
This is especially true considering Cole and Giancarlo Stanton are both locked up until 2029. Both are productive players, but Stanton struggled with injuries and consistency this year and Cole showed a sudden propensity for ceding the long ball. They may both still be All-Stars in the near future, but it’s only a matter of time before all expectations of them living up to their salaries are gone.
That’s all to say management will have to answer some questions if the Yankees fall short again; their offseason may turn out to be even more turbulent than their regular season.
Yankees Postseason Odds
- To win American League: +210
- To win World Series: +550
The team has its flaws, yes. Every starter is a question mark — Nestor Cortes has been great but has never pitched in the playoffs. Luis Severino has looked like an ace since returning from injury, but indeed, he is coming off an injury. Cole has had his struggles. Further injuries have ravaged the bullpen. And the lineup, though loaded with talent, sometimes goes quiet for days on end.
Still, the World Series is a realistic possibility. The Yankees will be favorites to win the Division Series regardless of the opponent. They handled the Rays reasonably well this season, and though the Guardians have a better rotation by comparison, it won’t be set up to succeed in the second round given their Wild Card obligations.
The Astros and Dodgers — who still need to do their parts and advance — have been better this year, but not so much that the Yankees winning four out of seven against them would be outlandish. Judge is still the best hitter in the game, Stanton is heating up and has been known for hitting big home runs in the playoffs, and if healthy, DJ LeMahieu, Andrew Benintendi, and Matt Carpenter can all be X-factors.
No, the Yankees aren’t favorites to win it all. But there’s enough here for them to get it done.
2022-23 Yankees Free Agents
- Aaron Judge: $19,000,000 salary in 2022
- Aroldis Chapman: $18,000,000
- Anthony Rizzo: $16,000,000 (player option)
- Luis Severino: $15,000,000 (team option)
- Zack Britton: $14,000,000
Upcoming Arbitration-eligible Yankees
- Gleyber Torres: $6,250,000 salary in 2022
- Frankie Montas: $5,025,000
- Isiah Kiner-Falefa: $4,700,000
- Lou Trivino: $3,000,000
- Wandy Peralta: $2,150,000
There’s a lot on the line this month for individual Yankees. We all know about Judge, but take a look at who else is an upcoming free agent. Chapman has had a miserable year — both on the mound and health-wise. Wherever he goes next year, he’s not going to command the salary he has this year. That said, if he can find some consistency in the postseason, then maybe his career as an effective back-end piece isn’t quite done yet.
On the arbitration side, Spotrac estimates that Gleyber Torres only has a $5.7 million market value, but anyone who has watched him knows his potential is far higher. He’s also a career .325 postseason batter with an OPS of .988. This is the month where he shines, and a strong few weeks coming up could erase a turbulent 2022 (one in which, we might add, he still accumulated a 4.1 bWAR).
The Yankees are off until the ALDS begins next week, so everyone can get some rest, get healthier, and the rotation can line up properly. When they do finally take the field in the Bronx in front of a classic Yankees postseason crowd in Game 1, know this: Just about everyone has something to play for.
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