Another great regular season for the Yankees turned into another disappointing finish, being ousted in the post season by the Rays. It is the second straight year their season ended due to home runs off closer Aroldis Chapman.
To put a positive spin on the loss, if that can be made in a post season defeat, the Yankees went punch-for-punch against the top team in the league this season. The outcome could have easier turned to the Yankees favor, coming down to the last inning of the last game, when anything could happen. Unfortunately, the coin landed “heads” when the Yankees called “tails”.
On the flip side, the Yankees have now missed four golden opportunities to win another World Series since putting together arguably the most solid core in the American League, if not all of baseball.
Perhaps we all hold the Yankees to a higher standard given their incredible franchise history of winning World Series titles, but still questions linger as to where the team goes moving forward. There is clearly enough core talent, particularly offensively, to be among the top teams in the league.
Any additions to put them over the top in the playoffs may have to be more of the major variety. The pitching staff could lose James Paxton, JA Happ, and Masahiro Tanaka, who all will become free agents. There is a big question as to whether or not DJ LeMahieu will be back. What about the drastic decline of Gary Sanchez that led to his benching? Will he be back or will the Yankees go after JT Realmuto, who will test the free agent market? The window of dominance is closing. What will the Yankees to about it to keep it open a bit longer?