2010 Yanks Better Than 2009?

Here we are in the middle of Janurary and Spring Training is about a month away. Most of the big moves have already been made this offseason but there is still one big name out there, Johnny Damon. As good as he would fit in the Yankees lineup this year, I still don't see him returning to the Bronx. As for the 2010 Yankees, I think improved from their 2009 World Championship team. Let's see how..

Curtis Grandersen will the Yankees CF in 2010 and he is a defensive and offensive upgrade over Melky Cabrera and Brett Gardner. Curtis can give you 30 HRs, 90 RBI (100 depending on what spot in the lineup he's hitting) and 20-30 steals. He also is a solid defender and while he doesn't quite have the arm Melky has, he does a good one. Melky was traded to Atlanta in the offseason but he's best suited to be a fourth outfielder. It'll be interesting to see how he does with the Braves.

Javier Vazquez was acquired in the afermentioned Melky Cabrera trade with Atlanta. Javy had a nice first half with the Yanks in 2004 but it ultimately ended in disaster in Game 7 of the 2004 ALCS when he came out of the bullpen and Damon hit the first pitch Vazquez threw for a grand slam, thus cementing the historic Yankee collapse that season. He is a strong option for a fourth starter replacing Andy Pettitte's spot in the rotation. Pettitte will take the number three spot in the rotation replacing Chien-Ming Wang's spot. The pressure will still be there for Vazquez to perform but with CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett and Pettitte ahead of him in the rotation, the lights might not be so bright for him this time around. He essentially is replacing Wang on the roster and if the Yanks won without Wang, they can certainly win with Javy being a solid pitcher and winnning around 12 games.

The losses of Damon and Hideki Matsui will hurt the Yankees as they are losing a lot of offensive production but Grandersen and Nick Johnson can help fill most, if not all that void. Vazquez as the projected fourth starter gives the Yankees one of the best rotations in baseball.

So are the 2010 Yankees better than the 2009 Yankees that won the title on November 4th? It's debatable, but I think so. Of course, the season will have to be played to get the answer to that. Until then, the Yankees are STILL the World Champs of baseball!
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