It has been two years since the New York Yankees made the postseason, so naturally there were going to be some changes and transactions this winter.

So far we have seen the Yankees take a slow and careful approach.

They have yet to land a big-name free agent, and with Jon Lester, Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez already signing elsewhere, there are few left. They were also absent from trade talks at the winter meetings when players like Matt Kemp, Jimmy Rollins, Howie Kendrick, Mat Latos, Yoenis Cespedes and Jeff Samardzija were dealt.

The Yankees have lost some key players as well. Gone are Brandon McCarthy and David Robertson. McCarthy, who had a downright stellar stint in his half-season with New York in 2014, signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers for four years and $48 million. Robertson, a homegrown closer, decided to take a deal in The Windy City, signing a four-year, $46 million pact with the Chicago White Sox.

However, the Yanks have not been entirely silent this winter. They re-signed Chris Young early on, giving them a fourth outfielder to replace Ichiro Suzuki. They also traded catcher Francisco Cervelli to the Pittsburgh Pirates for lefty reliever Justin Wilson.

Speaking of relievers, the Yankees signed the best one on the market in Andrew Miller, who agreed to a four-year, $36 million deal. With Robertson having departed and Miller now around to shut down the eight inning, the Yankees will promote Dellin Betances to the closer’s role, a job he seems more than capable of handling after his breakout rookie season in 2014.

The Yankees also found Derek Jeter’s successor in Sir Didi Gregorius (he was officially knighted). New York acquired the defensive stud in a three-team deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Detroit Tigers that saw the Yanks send Shane Greene to Detroit.

Perhaps their biggest move came on Monday, when they re-signed Chase Headley to a four-year, $52 million deal.

With Headley back, everywhere-man Martin Prado can stick to second base, where he proved to be most comfortable. That means prospect Rob Refsnyder will have trouble winning a starting spot on this year’s roster.

It also means that Alex Rodriguez, who is coming off a yearlong suspension and two hip surgeries at age 39, could be relegated to nothing more than bench duties. He will not play third base with Headley around, and with aging players and injury risks like Carlos Beltran, Mark Teixeira and Jacoby Ellsbury on hand, the Yanks cannot afford to have one permanent designated hitter.

That, of course, is assuming that Rodriguez is even on the Yankees’ roster come Opening Day.

So it has not been the biggest offseason, especially by the Yankees’ standards, but the Bronx Bombers have certainly gotten better.

With a strong bullpen and a lineup that should be improved both offensively and defensively, what is next for the Yankees?

Well, the rotation could really use another front-line starter, or just a starter in general for that matter.

While Masahiro Tanaka and Michael Pineda were dominant last year, CC Sabathia could presumably return to the pitcher he once was and Ivan Nova has shown flashes of brilliance, all four are injury risks. That is only four starters, too: With Greene and McCarthy gone, the Yankees still need a fifth, and the only on-roster options are David Phelps, Adam Warren and Manny Banuelos.

While the Yankees could do worse, they could most certainly do better.

The big fish still in the pond is Max Scherzer. With him and Tanaka as a one-two punch and Pineda pitching as well as he did in 2014, the Yankees could go far. All it would take is one guy…and seven years…and, give or take, $180 million.

Scherzer will not be cheap, but with him the Yankees would have arguably the best pitching staff in an American League East Division currently dominated by hitting.

Does it have to be Scherzer? Of course not, but another top-of-the-rotation pitcher could do wonders for this team. At the very least, they need to consider someone to fill that fifth spot.

The rotation is the Yankees’ biggest weakness. Sure, they could use another bat if they could move some pieces around, but going forward their focus should be on obtaining one more talented arm.


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