Yankees and Their Patchwork Roster Are A.L. East Champions

Yankees and Their Patchwork Roster Are A.L. East Champions


Needing an injection of young talent, Brian Cashman, the longtime Yankees general manager, made a series of moves during the 2016 season that paved the way for the current core of players, including infielder Gleyber Torres, Sanchez and Judge.

In a surprisingly fast revival, the 2017 team went to the playoffs as a wild card and fell one victory short of reaching the World Series. Still some substantial adjustments, including the addition of Stanton and the replacement of Manager Joe Girardi, remained to be done.

This season, to overcome a major-league record 30 players on the injured list, the more-disciplined Yankees needed a combination of their financial might (a payroll over $230 million, the third-largest in baseball) and a modern, data-driven approach to rounding out their roster.

In recent years, they used their coffers to sign standout free agents (closer Aroldis Chapman, relievers Zack Britton and Adam Ottavino, and infielder D.J. LeMahieu) or to trade for players with huge contracts (Stanton). But they also leaned heavily on scouting and analytics to unearth players such as Mike Tauchman, infielder Gio Urshela, and Voit, and then to help them improve through coaching.

“Despite everything that we’ve gone through — which, every year is very different in terms of challenges — this particular group has found a way, from all of us involved, to overcome all obstacles to address that first goal, which was win the division,” Cashman said.

The injury setbacks have kept coming throughout the season. Betances is gone again after sustaining a fluky partial tear of his left Achilles’ tendon during his season debut on Sunday. It will keep him out of the entire postseason.

The Yankees will also be without starter Domingo German indefinitely; he was placed on administrative leave Thursday afternoon as M.L.B. proceeded with an investigation under the terms of its domestic violence policy.



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