Brian Cashman wants us to believe the Yankees are an underdog story in 2018

You have to feel for the New York Yankees. Their payroll, at a little more than $150 million, ranks only eighth in Major League Baseball. They’re practically a small-market team at this point.

It’s tough to see how this scrappy group of misfits, who just added NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton because Derek Jeter now runs the Miami Marlins team that was selling Stanton for pennies on the dollar, will even compete with the Boston Red Sox this season. Just ask Yankees general manager Brian Cashman.

“They are the American League East champs so we are not on equal footing,” Cashman said, according to the New York Post. “We were a wild card. They are the American League East champs and we are not. We are not on equal footing until we take it away from them.”

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That led to this ridiculous, though seemingly sarcastic, cover from the New York Daily News …

Oh boy.

Let’s ignore that wasn’t even an original idea (Philadelphia Eagles offensive tackle Lane Johnson surely recognized it), but the Yankees are never underdogs. They have every advantage a team in a sport without a salary cap could ever have. The Boston Red Sox might spend a touch more and just added J.D. Martinez, but nobody should or will buy that they are underdogs. Ever. Nobody will look at the middle of their lineup with Stanton and 2017 American League Rookie of the Year Aaron Judge and think they’re starting from behind in any race.

Cashman is presumably trying to temper expectations and remind everyone — including his own roster — that the Red Sox were the better team last season and made additions of their own. But underdogs? Never.

From left to right, Brian Cashman, Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Boone, and Hal Steinbrenner will be expected to compete for a World Series. (AP)

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Frank Schwab is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!