Yankees: Proposed division realignment would give Yankees an advantage
By Derek McAdam
Major League Baseball continues to discuss ways to get the regular season underway and their latest proposal has teams playing games in Spring Training ballparks in Florida and Arizona. This latest idea, according to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, would also call for the divisions to change, giving the New York Yankees a whole new set of rivals.
Although nothing is official, the American and National leagues will cease to exist during the season.
There would be some entertaining divisions to keep an eye on throughout the entirety of the season, like the proposed division with the Dodgers, Indians, Angels, Reds, and White Sox. All five teams are expected to be very solid teams and two or three of those teams would not even make the playoffs.
Then there is the Yankees’ division, which consists of the Phillies, Blue Jays, Pirates, and Tigers. At first glance, it may seem that this division may actually be somewhat tough, especially with the first two teams listed.
One of the biggest advantages for the Yankees is that they will not be placed in a division with just one rebuilding team but two (the Blue Jays were actually the Yankees toughest AL East opponent last season, so I will not consider them to be “rebuilding”).
The Phillies will most likely emerge as the second-best team in this division but they were only picked to go 81-81, according to RotoChamp. Although it is very possible that they exceed a .500 record playing in this division, the Yankees have a team that has already won over 100 games in each of their last two seasons. Who says they can’t run away with it again?
The Blue Jays may be a much better team than last year. They have many young stars that have already tested waters of the major leagues and added an ace in Hyun-jin Ryu. They beat the Yankees in eight of 19 contests last season, which was the most losses the Yankees had against any AL East squad.
Both Detroit and Pittsburgh are both going to be rebuilding teams, but neither team should be underestimated in the talent that both teams can put on the field.
Detroit signed many veteran players to their team, including former Yankees Austin Romine, Ivan Nova, and Cameron Maybin, C.J. Cron and Jonathan Schoop. Although none of these players will single-handedly turn the struggling franchise around, they can all be contributing factors to help the Tigers win more games.
Pittsburgh traded their center-fielder Starling Marte this off-season, but still have solid players in Josh Bell and Bryan Reynolds. Their biggest struggle is their pitching staff, but they still have many young players that could end up making an impact this season. They have a good chance of finishing at the bottom of this division.
If this proposal becomes a reality, the Yankees may have an even better shot of getting a spot in the playoffs.