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Predicting Yankees' 2017 record

The addition of Matt Holliday to the Yankees' lineup doesn't exactly scream "youth movement." Photo by Icon Sportswire

Reason for optimism: "Sanchez and Bird" may sound like a buddy cop movie, but they represent the hopes and dreams of Yankees fans.

Reason for pessimism: Matt Holliday is part of the youth movement.

You wouldn't think it would be possible for Holliday, 37 years old, to join a team's lineup and contribute to its youth movement, but he's currently slated to take the more than 600 DH at-bats that in 2016 went to Carlos Beltran (now 39) and in 2015 went to Alex Rodriguez (now 41). Despite the presence of A-Rod and Beltran last season, as well as Mark Teixeira, the Yankees broke a streak I don't believe will be equaled. More on that below.

To my eye, Joe Girardi is, by far, the most underrated manager in the majors. For the third time in the last four years, Girardi led the Yankees to an above-.500 record with a negative run differential. Hell, they were outscored by the San Diego Padres, who not only don't use the designated hitter, but judging from their perpetual futility on offense, sometimes you wonder if they even use bats.