Yankees: Thoughts on pitchers and catchers reporting today

TAMPA, FL- MARCH 05: The Boston Red Sox take batting practice before the game against the New York Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field on March 5, 2016 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
TAMPA, FL- MARCH 05: The Boston Red Sox take batting practice before the game against the New York Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field on March 5, 2016 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /
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Pitchers and catchers report today for Spring Training and fans across the Yankees universe are cheering louder than last year for two reasons.

For one, this Yankees offseason was marked by the early trade of Giancarlo Stanton which sent ripples across baseball and two, the team was within one game of the World Series, and is projected to be even better in 2018.

And second, Aaron Boone begins his first training camp as manager, his first step toward putting his stamp on this Yankee team. Fans expect Boone to win. He’s a Yankee; he knows what the expectations are for this club.

The offseason was like watching amateur curling with the hot stove ice cold and with free agents like Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas and Jake Arrieta remaining in limbo.

The Yankees acquired LHP Wade LeBlanc, RHP David Hale, INF Jace Peterson and INF Danny Espinosa as minor league free agents with an invitation to camp. Not household names, but all expected to vie for positions on the Opening Day roster.

No, they’re not household names, but all expect to vie for positions on the Opening Day roster.

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The Yanks also acquired outfielder Jabari Blash in the Chase Headley trade to the San Diego Padres.

The starting rotation returns intact, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Sonny Gray, CC Sabathia and Jordan Montgomery.

The relief corp looks much like it did in 2017: Aroldis Chapman, Dellin Betances, Chad Green Tommy Kahnle, Adam Warren and Chasen Shreve.

Yankee fans can expect some battles for positioning; as Green will be competing for the fifth rotation spot with Montgomery.  We can expect LeBlanc to vie with Shreve for the lefty specialist role.

Even the catching corp returns the same personnel from last year; Gary Sanchez, Austin Romine and Kyle Higashioka. Sanchez, who has slimmed down over the offseason, profiles to have an even better season, both behind the plate and at the dish.

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Goose Gossage is out, Boone is in. Let a new season of Yankees baseball begin!