The Red Sox may be the reigning AL East Champions, but their President of Baseball Operations, Dave Dombrowski is well aware that no one should take the Yankees lightly.
It’s true, Yankees fans — on paper, the Red Sox should once again win the AL East. Of course, this is contingent upon David Price‘s elbow injury being of the minor variety, as he is currently slated to begin the season on the disabled list.
Yes, the Sox acquired Chris Sale from the Pale Hose this winter for a boatload of blue-chip prospects, but even Sale comes with his own lingering arm and shoulder concerns.
Reigning AL CY Young Award winner Rick Porcello is slated to be the opening day starter against the Orioles, but he’ll be hard-pressed to match 2016s 22-4 record, and 3.15 ERA.
RotoChamp currently has Porcello projected to finish the season at 12-10 with a 3.49 ERA. I’m sorry, but numbers like that won’t be enough for the Sox to repeat as division champs — not if Price is down for an extended period of time. Not to mention, no one really knows what to expect from Eduardo Rodriguez or Steven Wright.
More from Yankees News
- Yankees’ Marwin González replaces Red Sox LF in Japan in logical next step
- Blue Jays overpaying for Yankees trade target shows they’re trying too hard
- Aaron Judge’s influence on Carlos Rodón shows he’s more powerful than Yankees
- Yankees sign 2022 Red Sox reliever, invite him to spring training
- Yankees trade Lucas Luetge for 2 intriguing Braves prospects after DFA
Surely, the Red Sox will hit enough to stay in the bulk of ball games, but as witnessed in last year’s ALDS against the Indians, even the stoutest regular season offense doesn’t necessarily carry over to Postseason play — as the Sox were swept by the eventual AL Champs.
Yes, Dustin Pedroia will pick up the role of mentor, and Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts should continue to shine — but let’s see how Pablo Sandoval rebounds after missing an entire season because of injury — and just how good Andrew Benintendi is before proclaiming him the next great outfielder.
Will Sandy Leon and Jackie Bradley Jr. build on last season’s breakout campaigns, or will they fall back to Earth? For as many questions as the media likes to throw the Yankees’ way, Boston has enough of their own to answer.
Earlier this week, Dave Dombrowski spoke to MLB.com about the very real threat to his ball club, the New York Yankees.
"“I sure do look at them as a legitimate threat — and Brian wants you to think that they’re not a legitimate threat. But they are a legitimate threat and they want to sneak up on you. They wouldn’t make some of the moves that they did unless they felt they had a chance to win, because they’ve added some people, too.“I think they’re in a spot that they have a good club right now, they’re going to get better with some of the young players and I don’t think anybody should take them for granted.”"
Until it all comes out in the wash, the Sox were still 93-69 in ’16 — while the Yankees were 84-78. The new year should bring new results, but we’ll have to wait and see. This pre-congratulatory praise from Dombrowski could be a way of lulling his opponent into sleep. But at the very least, the Yanks are once again on their opponents’ radar.