Yankees fans have a bone to pick with MLB.com over their first power rankings list.
Like so many teams around MLB, the New York Yankees have fallen victim to the slow-moving offseason market. While it isn’t time to press the panic button just yet, their lack of activity and overall links to some of the big-named free agents is starting to unsettle the fan base, and rightfully so.
However, even with the futures of key players still up in the air, the Yankees still undeniably have one of the deepest rosters in the sport. Before you say they fell well short of reaching their goals last season, they ran into a team in Tampa Bay that was literally built to survive the unforgiving playoff schedule, which featured zero off days (!) in the early rounds.
Given the losses Tampa has sustained this offseason, the Yankees probably deserve to be in second (behind the Dodgers) as far as 2021 power rankings are concerned, right? Well, MLB.com doesn’t seem to think so, as their debut list of the league’s top clubs bizarrely had the Padres ranked No. 2 ahead of them.
As if we need another example that the media is hopping on San Diego’s bandwagon in light of their recent blockbuster trades, right? That obviously isn’t to say they won’t be one of the most improved teams next season, but it’s downright laughable that the Yankees continue to be disrespected like this.
Here’s what MLB.com’s Alyson Footer had to say about New York dropping below the Padres in the power rankings.
"“Unlike the Dodgers, the Yankees’ need for a starting pitcher is more pressing. Gerrit Cole sits alone at the top; beyond that, upgrades are warranted,” Footer wrote. “A slow-moving offseason for the Yankees has been mostly about DJ LeMahieu and whether he’s going to re-sign or go elsewhere. What seemed like a foregone conclusion that he would return isn’t so clear as both sides plunge into the new year.”"
Footer makes some salient points, but what exactly has San Diego accomplished, besides putting together an admittedly intimidating roster on paper, that proves they deserve to be ranked ahead of the Yankees? The answer is nothing.
The Yankees have advanced as far as the ALCS in two of the last four seasons, and three of those eliminations came at the hands of teams in Houston and Boston whose elaborate cheating operations were seemingly still at large at the time.
San Diego, meanwhile, just managed their first winning season since 2010 and made the playoffs for the first time in 15 years. A couple of quality acquisitions on the pitching front is apparently all it takes for them, a former perennial loser, to leapfrog a juggernaut whose core is still very much intact.
Good to know.