Despite the New York Yankees signing Carlos Rodón to be Gerrit Cole's running mate and bringing Aaron Judge back and naming him captain, too many fans remain obsessed with the idea that the Bombers are "running it back" in 2023.
Are there some holes remaining in this lineup? Absolutely, and they should've been addressed this offseason instead of waiting until the trade deadline. But even a cursory look at the roster shows clear differences between the Opening Day roster and the group that ended 2022 with a whimper against Houston.
Talented players will receive more reps, and will start in the majors instead of Triple-A. Major acquisitions will be available right away instead of in early September. And, most importantly, those talented players will be added to a core that was on pace to break the MLB wins record for most of the first half. Team doesn't suck.
It's fair to expect more out of a few budding star Yankees -- and, yes, there are a few aging targets of scorn who probably won't get any better next year. All things considered, though, there are plenty of reasons to believe 2023's team will survive the grind better than last year's Yanks.
3 New York Yankees Players Who Will Be Better in 2023
Oswaldo Cabrera, UTIL
A full season of Oswaldo Cabrera could do wonders for the superstar utility man, who may find himself on the bench by design to start the year, but should work his way into very regular playing time quickly.
Cabrera was a fan favorite before his bat found its footing, covering multiple positions spectacularly after his spark plug midsummer promotion despite going just 3-for-22 to start his career.
Still, thanks to the defensive mastery and rock-steady bat, he ended an extremely partial season (just 44 games) with 1.9 WAR. A 6-WAR pace in under 140 games? Absolutely feed it to us.
In that way, he's unlikely to get better on a technicality, considering that would be a best-case scenario if it plays out in Year 2. That said, what Cabrera needs to work on is consistency; his postseason, though it featured a flair for the dramatic, was a bit unsettled (.071 in 28 at-bats, a few funky routes and crashes in left field).
The game didn't look too big for Cabrera very often in the bigs until October arrived. A full season of reps should cement him as more of a factor in September and beyond.