The New York Yankees finally got their man in Randy Johnson. As Peter Gammons stated, the Yanks finally have a pitcher who can beat Curt Schilling. But let’s consider this, Johnson is 41 years old. He does have a back condition. If RJ is healthy, he will anchor a very solid pitching rotation. The Yanks would have RJ, Carl Pavano, Mike Mussina, Kevin Brown and Jaret Wright. Even with Johnson, there are several questions.
1) Can Jaret Wright repeat his breakout season of last year?
2) Can Carl Pavano pitch in the American League?
3) Will Kevin Brown be healthy and will he be a part of the rotation in the 2005 season?
So many questions, so little answers, but one thing may be for sure, the Yankees will have spent so much in the offseason that they may be out of the bidding for Carlos Beltran. According to the New York Times’ Richard Sandomir (registration required), the Yankees may actually not have the money to pay for Beltran. In addition, Sandomir writes their expenses from the luxury tax, the YES Network and the building of a new stadium may preclude any profit this year.
But for any Yankees team to get to the World Series, it all depends on their pitching staff. For the first time in a very long time, the Yankees pitching was not very good in 2004 and it showed during the American League Championship Series against the Red Sox.
But even with the new rotation, the Yankees also have question marks with an aging outfield and at first base where Tino Martinez returns for a possibly banished Jason Giambi.
So with the Yankees improviing their pitching, it may not even matter for the New Yorkers who have not won a World Series since 2000. This is the longest drought for them since they started their run in 1996, but as we all know, it’s best never to count the Yankees out until they’re totally dead for the season.