Every new season begins with a feeling of hope for the New York Yankees. Each season the team sets out with one goal in mind. But along the way, many things happen, and different paths are traversed. In this article, we will make some BOLD claims for the Yankees’ 2023 season.
BOLD PREDICTION #1: WIN WORLD SERIES
We begin our countdown of 23 predictions for the Yankees 2023 season with an obvious one, winning the World Series. This is a claim that gets made every year. Whether or not it is considered a bold prediction or just wishful thinking depends on your perspective. The 2023 Yankees roster still faces some question marks, at least at the time of this writing. But regardless, the Yankees are to be considered a postseason contender. And when it comes to the postseason, as we know, anything can happen.
BOLD PREDICTION #2: AARON JUDGE REPEATS AS AL MVP
Coming off a historic 2022 AL MVP-winning campaign, Aaron Judge resigned with the New York Yankees. The record-setting deal is the largest contract in Yankees’ history. But looking back at his 2022 season, it took a historic season to win the award over the two-way superstar, Shohei Ohtani. The bold prediction is that Judge will find a way to have back-to-back MVP-winning seasons.
BOLD PREDICTION #3: BEST ROTATION IN BASEBALL
Looking at the names in the Yankees’ starting rotation is like looking at a custom roster on MLB The Show. However, the Yankees rotation consists of Gerrit Cole and the newly signed Carlos Rodon, anchoring a dynamic rotation featuring Nestor Cortes, Luis Severino, and Frankie Montas. By season’s end, the Yankees’ starting rotation will be featured at the top of all the starting rotations by WAR.
BOLD PREDICTION #4: JOSH DONALDSON TRADED
When the Yankees acquired Josh Donaldson from the Minnesota Twins last offseason, it was a surprising move. However, as the year played out, the move didn’t work out the way Brian Cashman and the front office hoped. This offseason, the Yankees will pivot courses and trade Donaldson along with $12-15 million to cover part of his salary to a team like the Reds, Rockies, or Nationals.
BOLD PREDICTION #5: ANTHONY VOLPE GETS CALLED UP BY JUNE
The Yankees have avoided the free-agent shortstop market the last two offseasons like it was possessed by a plague of biblical proportions. All of the avoidings were done with the idea that Oswald Peraza and, more so, Anthony Volpe would assume control of the position. At the time of this writing, the Yankees are poised to enter the 2023 season with Peraza at short but waiting on Volpe to prove he is ready. We’ve already heard the story of Volpe already training and working to earn the job in Spring Training. And while that remains unlikely, Volpe is likely to join the big league ball club by June and remain at shortstop the rest of the way.
BOLD PREDICTION #6: ANTHONY RIZZO BREAKS PERSONAL HOME RUN RECORD
Over the course of his twelve-year Major League career, Anthony Rizzo has been an all-star-level performer. During his career, Rizzo has posted an OPS+ of 127. Rizzo has been a productive hitter amassing 283 home runs in his career. However, on four different occasions, Anthony has topped out at 32 home runs. The 2023 season will bring about a new career high in homers for the Yankees’ first baseman.
BOLD PREDICTION #7: AARON JUDGE BREAKS SINGLE-SEASON HOME RUN RECORD WITH 80 HRs
Aaron Judge had a magical season in 2022. A season that many believe could be the greatest hitting season (because there are no PED suspicions around Judge.) However, a 62-home run campaign can be just the teaser for the newly minted AL MVP. In 2023, Aaron Judge will post a more unbelievable season than in 2022. Judge will smash past his boyhood hero, Barry Bonds, record on the way to a Major League-best 80 home runs
BOLD PREDICTION #8: GERRIT COLE & CARLOS RODON COMBINE FOR 550 STRIKEOUTS
Baseball has become an analytically driven monster built in the three true outcomes (home runs, walks, strikeouts.) That said, the Yankees’ starting rotation will be headlined by two of baseball’s best strikeout pitchers. Gerrit Cole and Carlos Rodon will dominate the game in a way teammates haven’t done since Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling in 2002. Cole and Rodon will combine for an unprecedented 550 strikeouts in 2023.
BOLD PREDICTION #9: AARON JUDGE & GIANCARLO STANTON COMBINE FOR 135 HOME RUNS
The M&M Boys (Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris) had a magical season in 1961, hitting a combined 115 home runs. And no pair of teammates has genuinely come close to challenging that mark, that is, until the 2023 pair of Yankees’ sluggers. Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton will hit a combined 135 home runs. Judge leads the way with a Major League record-shattering 80 homers, and Giancarlo adds another 55 to the tally.
BOLD PREDICTION #10: STARTING ROTATION, EACH WINS 15+ GAMES
The 2023 New York Yankees start rotation looks among the best in baseball. If things go the way that the back of the baseball card should dictate, this starting rotation could be the greatest in MLB history. And while pitcher wins are necessarily indicative of the greatest of an individual pitcher. It is a statistic that can help aid the conversation. The Yankees rotation will each have over 15 wins, making them one of the most outstanding rotations ever.
BOLD PREDICTION #11: IAN HAPP IS ACQUIRED FROM CHICAGO CUBS
The Chicago Cubs have quietly had a very nice offseason and should be competitive in 2023. However, the top of the NL Central isn’t any easier than it was in 2022. Proving that the Cubs weren’t quite ready to compete in 2023. Thus retooling at the deadline will include trading Major League players for newer up-and-coming talent. Ian Happ will get traded to the Yankees. Happ will do the early season woes from left field for the Bronx Bombers. And Ian quickly becomes a fan favorite with a big hit against the Houston Astros.
BOLD PREDICTION #12: HARRISON BADER IS A 25/25 PLAYER
When the New York Yankees acquired Harrison Bader, there was a lot of backlash because Bader was injured. Following the trading deadline, Harrison was wasting away on the IL while Iordan Montgomery was dominating in St. Louis. Serious questions were asked about the competency of Brian Cashman and the front office. However, that all changed when Harrison put on the pinstripes. While not a large sample size, Harrison played extremely well for the New York Yankees and came up clutch in the postseason. In 2023, Bader will have a breakout campaign and hit 25 home runs and steal 25 bases.
BOLD PREDICTION #13: JASSON DOMINGUEZ GETS SEPTEMBER CALL UP
When you have a nickname like The Martian, you are destined for the spotlight of the New York Yankees. The switch-hitting outfielder was a productive minor-league player through three levels. I’m a combined 120 games; Domínguez slashed .273/.376/.461 with 16 homers and 59 RBIs. The Yankees need a left fielder and could look in-house to fill that need. While unlikely to make the Major League during the beginning of the 2023 season, Domínguez could make an appearance in September.
BOLD PREDICTION #14: BREAKS SINGLE-SEASON TEAM HR RECORD WITH 315
The Yankees are nicknamed the Bronx Bombers for a reason, they’ve always been good at hitting home runs. And the 2023 campaign should be no different. On the strength of Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and Anthony Rizzo have monstrous home run campaigns, and the Bronx Bombers break the single-season team record for home runs with 315. (The previous record was 307 by the Minnesota Twins in 2019.)
BOLD PREDICTION #15: BREAKS SINGLE-REGULAR-SEASON WINS RECORD WITH 119
The team of all teams will be the 2023 New York Yankees. While many fans and pundits may overlook the caliber and quality of the ‘23 Yanks, this is a contender. The 2023 Yanks are going into this season with a chip on their shoulders. They were humiliated in the postseason, being swept by the Astros. And this 2023 is the year of sweet revenge. The 2023 Bronx Bombers will dominate the baseball landscape en route to the best single-season winning mark in history, with 119 wins.
BOLD PREDICTION #16: AARON HICKS TRADED
Yankee fans have been clamoring for an Aaron Hicks trade seemingly since he signed his extension. And because of his inability to stay healthy and effective, there are obviously no takers for the switch-hitting outfielder. However, a good start in Spring Training facilitates a move out of the Bronx for Hicks. It won’t be for much in return, but removing Hicks from the Yankees is addition by subtraction.
BOLD PREDICTION #17: NESTOR CORTES JR THROWS A NO-HITTER
Nestor Cortes Jr has become a fan favorite over the past few seasons. With stellar back-to-back performances over the last two seasons, Nestor has developed into one of the best pitchers in baseball. With that confidence and his guile and moxie, Cortes will pitch a no-hitter for the Yankees in 2023.
BOLD PREDICTION #18: YANKEES HAVE 8 REPRESENTATIVES AT ALL-STAR GAME
We’re projecting great things from the 2023 New York Yankees. And with such greatness comes representation. The Mid-Summer Classic will feature eight members of the 2023 Yankees roster. Aaron Judge will be the leading vote-getter for the entire Majors. Judge will be joined by Carlos Rodon, Nestor Cortes Jr, Gerrit Cole, Gleyber Torres, Clay Holmes, Harrison Bader, and Giancarlo Stanton. Anthony Rizzo will just miss the all-star nod because of already having a ton of Yankees and first base representatives from other teams. But Rizzo’s stats will qualify him as an all-star.
BOLD PREDICTION #19: YANKEES RESIGN BRETT GARDNER
The Yankees will resign Brett Gardner to a one-day contract so that he can retire a New York Yankee. Gardy was beloved by a great portion of Yankee fans, but he also had his detractors. Over the course of his fourteen-year Major League career, Gardy played league-average baseball, finishing with an OPS+ of 100. Gardy produced a bWAR of 44.3, most of which stemmed from his baserunning and defense. Brett may not go down as one of the greatest to ever play the game. But among the Yankees that played with him, he’s one of the greatest teammates ever. And the Yankees will recognize him by signing him to a one-day contract and allowing him to have played his entire career with the greatest franchise in sports, the New York Yankees.
BOLD PREDICTION #20: HARRISON BADER GETS EXTENDED
Harrison Bader’s acquisition turned out to be a blessing for the New York Yankees. Bader would delight Yankee fans with his postseason performance. And with that performance during the elevated pressure time of the postseason, Bader will likely get extended by the Yanks to avoid free agency. Harrison will get an extension with the Bronx Bombers for 4-years at a range of $48-52 million in total.
BOLD PREDICTION #21: GLEYBER TORRES GETS TRADED
Gleyber Torres has become one of the best second basemen in baseball. With that level of production, Gleyber will be a valuable commodity. However, the Yanks have a few key top prospects that also play middle infield. The emergence of Oswald Peraza and Anthony Volpe will facilitate the trading of Gleyber Torres. Torres is a young player by all accounts; however, the Yankees front office will look to shed a little bit of payroll at the trade deadline, and moving Gleyber will help them achieve that goal while upgrading their tea.
BOLD PREDICTION #22: ISIAH KINER-FALEFA REMAINS WITH THE YANKEES ALL SEASON
The Yankees made a trade last season that is still being questioned today when Josh Donaldson and IKF were acquired. IKF didn’t have the best first impression of Yankee fans. However, as the 2023 season unfolds, IKF will be an integral part of the Yankees’ bench. Isiah won’t “win” the starting shortstop role out of Spring Training, as Oswald Peraza and Anthony Volpe will have better Springs. However, IKF’s versatility will help serve as an option off the bench.
BOLD PREDICTION #23: YANKEES ACQUIRE SHOHEI OHTANI
Obviously, the BOLDEST of predictions must be left for last. Shohei Ohtani is set to become a free agent following the 2023 season. And with the Angels’ future in flux with the potential sale of the franchise, Ohtani likely won’t sign an extension with the Angels for reaching free agency. Thus should the Angels fall out of contention by the trading deadline, Ohtani could be on the move. Such a prized talent would come at a great acquisition cost. But as with all pending free agents traded at the deadline, there is always a deal to be had. The Yankees will find that deal and acquire the two-way services of Shohei for the final two months of the season.