The New York Yankees go into every new season expecting to win the World Series. That might be a tall task this year at +2500 on the MLB futures market, but at least they’re doing better than the Baltimore Orioles (+4000). They’ll meet in Grapefruit League action this Friday at 6:35 PM ET, with the Yankees playing host in Tampa.
In a rare bout of fiscal responsibility, the Yankees (5-8 preseason) decided to forgo the free-trade market and upgrade their roster by trading for shortstop Starlin Castro and closer Aroldis Chapman. Unfortunately, Chapman has been suspended for the first 30 games of the regular season, but he’s eligible for Friday’s exhibition game.
Baltimore (3-11 preseason) didn’t have any qualms about dipping into the free-agent pool this offseason. The Orioles were supposed to be on the rise after years of futility, but they fell back to 81-81 in 2015 after losing some key personnel. So they signed outfielder Hyun-soo Kim from the Korean League, a three-time “Golden Glove” winner and a former batting champion. The O’s also swung a pair of trades for outfielder/first baseman Mark Trumbo and right-hand pitcher Odrisamer Despaigne. That probably won’t get the job done in the AL East.