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New York Yankees: Biggest Winners and Losers for the Month of April

If the standings are all that matter than the New York Yankees couldn’t be happier with their April performance.

The team wrapped up the month with a 15-11 record, and they’re sitting in first place in the American League East.

However, April is just the first of a six-month journey through the regular season and isn’t necessarily an accurate gauge of the season to come.

With that in mind, the first month of the season can still create handfuls of notable stories.

In this slideshow, we will take a look at some of the biggest winners and losers on the Yankees for the month of April.

Being considered a winner or a loser isn’t strictly statistic based—the overall impact on the team and the individual’s expectations weigh into the consideration.

With still five months to go in the season a lot can change. Winners can become losers and vice-versa.

Let’s take a look at how April played out.

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5 Things We’ve Learned About the New York Yankees Through the First 22 Games

The New York Yankees have fought their way to a 13-9 record through their first 22 games of the season.

The Yankees have been playing much better baseball recently, as they have won eight of their last 11 games to move atop the standings in the AL East.

They’ve only lost two series this season and are 5-2 against the Boston Red Sox.

Currently owners of the second-best record in the AL, it is safe to say the Yankees are surpassing most experts’ expectations.

Here are five things we have learned from the Yankees thus far this season.

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Early-Season Grades for New York Yankees’ Offseason Acquisitions

In New York it is never too early to over-analyze a player’s performance, especially if the player is a new acquisition from this offseason.

Just under two weeks into the regular season, the New York Yankees have played average baseball and sit with a record of 5-5.

However, they have won five of their last seven games and are currently tied for first in the AL East.

The Yankees made a lot of noise this offseason and spent a lot of money on adding winning pieces to their team. Some have gotten off to a slower start than expected, while others have been everything the Yankees could have hoped for. It is early in the season, but it is still worth taking a closer look at what these additions have been up to in pinstripes.

We will focus on the seven key acquisitions picked up via free agency. To determine their final grades, we will evaluate the players’ statistics, as well as other contributions to the team’s play.

For example, if a hitter is struggling at the plate but has been great in the field defensively, their grade will reflect that.

Without further ado, the grades are up.

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Grading the Performance of New York Yankees’ Top Prospects at Spring Training

As shown by their massive spending spree this offseason, the New York Yankees retool through free agency and not through their minor league system.

However, it is hard to know if they do that by choice or if they are forced to by a lack of organizational depth.

Entering the season,’s Keith Law (subscription required) ranked the Yankees farm system 20th in MLB. That rank is mainly because they lack any big league-ready players.

That couldn’t have been made any clearer than this spring when only six players currently ranked in the Yankees’ top 20 prospects, according to, saw any time in camp.

Three other top prospects, Slade Heathcott, Tyler Austin and Jose Ramirez were at camp but didn’t see any action due to injuries.

In this slideshow, I’ll focus on those six individuals that saw action and grade them not just on their statistical impact but will look at longevity in camp and other credentials such as teammates and coaching support.

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New York Yankees: 5 Players Turning Heads Early at Spring Training

The New York Yankees entered the 2014 spring training schedule with several important tasks.

First, they needed to introduce several new players to the Yankees culture.

Helping injured players return to form and shake off some rust would also be important.

But what is of the utmost importance is seeing which players can win the remaining position battles and which young players can earn a spot on the Opening Day roster while turning heads.

Through a little over a week into camp, the Yankees are 5-4. Despite the average record, they have had a successful start in player development.

Several players have overachieved early on, and many have played as expected, even if those expectations were extremely high.

With less than a month until the start of the regular season, these are the guys that are turning heads so far.

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New York Yankees’ Spring Training to-Do List

Now that the 2014 spring training is fully underway, The New York Yankees can officially begin their quest to return to the top of the American League East standings and the playoffs.

This camp is certainly going to have a different feel than many of the previous visits to George M. Steinbrenner Field.

This is the first camp since 1995 that Mariano Rivera won’t be an active part of.

This is also the last camp that captain Derek Jeter will ever be a part of.

Camp also begins with an unfamiliar feeling of not making the playoffs the previous season.

Despite all that, and a lot of new faces around the ballpark, the key decisions have already been made heading into the season.

What remains is a to-do list that features filling a couple of positions and just getting ready physically and mentally for the 162-game marathon that is right around the corner.


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Playing Sign or Walk with the New York Yankees’ Free Agents

Expect the New York Yankees to be at the epicenter of everything free agency this offseason.

Not only are they the franchise with the most money to spend. They also have extremely large holes to fill.

The Yankees will be a possible landing spot for what seems like just about every top free agent available on the market.

Plucking the right guys in free agency from other teams will be crucial to the success of the Yankees’ turnaround.

Just as important as signing the right free agents from other teams is making the right decisions on which of their own free agents to re-sign.

The Yankees have a slew of free agents and money coming off the books. Some will go, some will stay.

We know Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte are gone because they both are retiring.

The rest of the list is up for grabs, with the very good possibility that none of the following 10 names return to the roster next season.

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Yankees: 5 Free Agents New York Needs to Avoid at All Costs

The New York Yankees are about to embark on their most important offseason in years.

They just sat back and watched their biggest rivals, the Boston Red Sox, complete a worst-to-first turnaround and win the 2013 World Series.

With several major contracts coming off the books and more than $80 million to spend on free agents, the Yankees have the opportunity to right the ship quickly.

The key will be avoiding the bad contracts that have plagued them in free agency past.

I have a strong feeling that general manager Brian Cashman has learned from his mistakes and will approach this offseason very carefully.

The Yankees have plenty of holes to fill and they need to sign players to fill them.

However in the cases that follow, no contract is the best their money can buy.

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New York Yankees: The Event That Dramatically Changed Their Season

The New York Yankees have had a complete roller coaster of a 2013 season. It started with low expectations entering the season due to several injuries to key players.

Then the Yankees got off to a fast start in April thanks to a pair of players performing above their current abilities.

Vernon Wells batted .300 with six homers and Travis Hafner carried the Yankees with six home runs, 17 RBI and batted .316 in April.

That should have been exactly what the Yankees needed as they prepared for the return of several stars like Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira and Curtis Granderson.

All three ended up having some sort of a setback with Jeter and Teixeira’s seasons finally coming to an end early.

The Yankees finished April six games over .500. Now, on September 17, and with only two weeks left in the regular season, the Yanks find themselves with only a two-win improvement to their record and two-and-a-half games out of the final wild-card spot.

The four months in between were a wild mix of winning and losing streaks. The Yankees have been crushed with injuries all season.

They have managed to withstand most of them to keep their playoff hopes alive.

Their longest winning streak of the season is six games back at the start of July. That winning streak followed their longest losing streak of five games to end June.

There was a low point during this season that most would agree was the event that dramatically changed the Yankees’ season.

On August 7, the Yankees had just finished getting swept by the last-place Chicago White Sox with an extra-inning defeat.

Following the loss, the Yankees were only one game over .500 on the season heading into a three-game series versus the Detroit Tigers.

The Yankees won two of three, and that is when Alfonso Soriano welcomed the LA Angels to Yankee Stadium.

He treated them with back-to-back two-homer games, driving in at least six runs in each game.

A few days later A-Rod would get beaned in Boston, sparking another Yankees winning streak.

The Yanks went 11-3 over that two-week stretch in mid-August and have stabilized over the following month.

Now the Yankees enter the home stretch of the season and once again find themselves on a losing streak following a sweep.

One big final push could catapult the Yankees into the playoffs, but they would need a similar two-week stretch like the one in mid-August. 9-3 over the final two weeks should do it.

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Predicting What the New York Yankees’ Starting Lineup Will Look Like Next Year

The New York Yankees will enter the offseason with 12 players eligible for free agency.

Many of those players will not be returning to the team.

The Yankees will look to plug holes with available free agents while staying true to their goal of staying under the luxury tax, as David Waldstein of the New York Times reported in March.

What will help the Yankees is that many of the big-ticket free agents available are outfielders.

That is a position where the Yankees have so much depth, they will more than likely have to part with Curtis Granderson.

The Yanks witnessed firsthand this season what their offense looks like when their aging starters end up on the DL.

They will keep position versatility in mind when they look to fill the spots on their roster that are empty because of departing free agents.

The Yanks are never shy when it comes to getting a player they truly want. This offseason may be a little different, as the most attractive free agent is one of their own.

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