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Apr 3, 2022; Dunedin, Florida, USA; New York Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson (28) rounds the bases during the first inning against the Toronto Blue Jays during spring training at TD Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

  • The New York Yankees are back for the 2022 season with largely the same roster that they fielded at the end of 2021, with a few notable changes. After announcing their 2022 opening day roster, we have a clearer picture of what to expect when they take the field against the Red Sox.

    Additions

    Apr 2, 2022; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson (28) hits a RBI single during the second inning against the Atlanta Braves during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

    Apr 2, 2022; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson (28) hits a RBI single during the second inning against the Atlanta Braves during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

    The biggest move the Yankees made in the off-season was actually a trade, and a good-old-fashioned Baseball Trade™ at that. They acquired third baseman Josh Donaldson from the Minnesota Twins in exchange for catcher Gary Sanchez and infielder Gio Urshela. They also received infielder Isiah Kiner-Falefa as part of the trade (more on Sanchez below).

    Kyle Higashioka takes over as the Yankees’ No. 1 catcher after the trade. Replacing Sanchez on the depth chart is Jose Trevino, whom the Yanks recently acquired from the Rangers.

    Most of the Yankees’ pitching staff returns from 2021, but there are a few new names to know in the bullpen. The Yanks enter the season with a deep group of pitchers to help combat a crowded April schedule. They acquired righty Miguel Castro from the Mets, and a pair of young relievers are making their major league debuts this season, Ron Marinaccio and J.P. Sears.

  • Departures

    Mar 27, 2022; Fort Myers, Florida, USA; Minnesota Twins designated hitter Gary Sanchez (24) signals from first base in the fourth inning of the game against the Minnesota Twins during spring training at CenturyLink Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

    Mar 27, 2022; Fort Myers, Florida, USA; Minnesota Twins designated hitter Gary Sanchez (24) signals from first base in the fourth inning of the game against the Minnesota Twins during spring training at CenturyLink Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

    The aforementioned Sanchez was the biggest name to end up with a new team in the off-season, going to Minnesota in the Donaldson trade. The other notable departure is pitcher Corey Kluber, who signed a one-year deal with the Rays a year after signing a one-year deal in New York. Kluber went 5-3 with a 3.83 ERA in 16 starts with the Yankees in 2021.

    Urshela played 96 games at third base and 35 games at shortstop, so he leaves an appreciable void. Donaldson is the obvious replacement at third, while Gleyber Torres and Kiner-Falefa are expected to lead shortstop duties.

  • Pitching

    Yankee's Gerrit Cole in pitching against the Red Sox during opening day action at Yankee Stadium April 8, 2022. (Syndication: The Record)

    Yankee’s Gerrit Cole in pitching against the Red Sox during opening day action at Yankee Stadium April 8, 2022. (Syndication: The Record)

    The Yankees bring back their five most-used pitchers from 2021. The rotation is once again headlined by perennial Cy Young candidate Gerrit Cole, who posted a 3.23 ERA while leading the AL with 16 wins and striking out 243 batters in only 181.1 innings a year ago (he has yet to win a Cy Young, despite multiple years in the top-5 of voting). Backing him up is Jordan Montgomery, who had a 3.83 ERA and set a new career-high in strikeouts with 162. Montgomery is a very important piece of the rotation as the clear No. 1 lefty.

    Here’s their projected starting rotation to begin the season:

    RHP Gerrit Cole
    LHP Jordan Montgomery
    RHP Jameson Taillon
    RHP Luis Severino
    LHP Nestor Cortes Jr.

    Luis Severino is finally expected back in a full-time role for the Yankees after Tommy John surgery ended his 2020 season before it began, then robbed him of most of 2021. New York still has Domingo German, but he’s on the 60-day injured list to start the season, so Cortes is expected to fill in while he’s out.

  • Offense

    Mar 27, 2022; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) hits a two run home run in the fifth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

    Mar 27, 2022; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) hits a two run home run in the fifth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

    The Yankees offense continues to be filled with some true “Bronx Bombers.” Swapping in Donaldson for Sanchez gives them a needed boost in left-handed power, while the returning Anthony Rizzo can provide more of the same with the short porch in right field at Yankee Stadium.

    Most of the usual suspects are back, including the team’s formidable outfield. Here’s the Yankees’ lineup for Opening Day against the Red Sox:

    3B Josh Donaldson
    RF Aaron Judge
    1B Anthony Rizzo
    DH Giancarlo Stanton
    2B D.J. LeMahieu
    LF Joey Gallo
    CF Aaron Hicks
    C Kyle Higashioka
    SS Isiah Kiner-Falefa

    Second base and shortstop is an interesting one. LeMahieu should get the bulk of the work at second, but Torres figures to find his way into the lineup in place of Kiner-Falefa as the season goes along. We’ll see how the workload shakes out.

  • Manager

    Aaron Boone speaks to the media after being introduced as manager of the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on December 6, 2017 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

    Aaron Boone speaks to the media after being introduced as manager of the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on December 6, 2017 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

    Aaron Boone is back for his fifth season as the Yankees’ manager. Since taking the helm in 2018, Boone has a 328-218 record (.601). He recently signed a three-year extension with the Yanks, which includes a club option for 2025.