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Girardi lauds moves, believes Yanks are deeper

MLB.com Reporter @BryanHoch

TAMPA, Fla. -- They'll still need to prove it on the field, but as Joe Girardi welcomes his revamped roster back to camp, the Yankees' manager said that it seems deeper than the one that produced 87 victories and a second-place finish in the American League East last year.

Speaking while pitchers and catchers reported to George M. Steinbrenner Field on Thursday, Girardi spoke highly of the offseason moves to acquire Starlin Castro, Aroldis Chapman and Aaron Hicks, believing that they will boost a club still smarting from its quick exit in the American League Wild Card Game.

TAMPA, Fla. -- They'll still need to prove it on the field, but as Joe Girardi welcomes his revamped roster back to camp, the Yankees' manager said that it seems deeper than the one that produced 87 victories and a second-place finish in the American League East last year.

Speaking while pitchers and catchers reported to George M. Steinbrenner Field on Thursday, Girardi spoke highly of the offseason moves to acquire Starlin Castro, Aroldis Chapman and Aaron Hicks, believing that they will boost a club still smarting from its quick exit in the American League Wild Card Game.

"Our goal is to win the World Series, bottom line," Girardi said. "I appreciate how hard our guys played all year, how they never gave up, but we didn't get to where we wanted. Our goal is to win the World Series. That's why we come to Spring Training."

Spring Training: Schedule | Tickets | More info

Though most of the roster spots seem locked, Girardi said that he sees competition ahead in this camp because the Yankees need to iron out some bullpen and bench jobs. That will begin with Friday's first official workout for pitchers and catchers, while position players report on Wednesday.

"I always have a concern about players trying to do too much," Girardi said. "I will let them know tomorrow that you're not going to impress me on your sides, you're not going to impress me in the first week of games. Give yourself a chance to get physically caught up in where you should be before you start competing."

Masahiro Tanaka will be slightly behind the other starters as he recovers from surgery to remove a bone spur from his right elbow, but he could answer one of the Yankees' biggest questions if he is able to follow through on a personal mission that he outlined Thursday for the 2016 campaign.

Video: Tanaka aiming for Opening Day after offseason surgery

"The goal is to go 200 innings, and I think that the important part is to be healthy enough to pitch throughout the season," said Tanaka, who returned to camp after flying to New York this week for the birth of his first child, a boy.

Michael Pineda and Luis Severino have also mentioned 200 innings as their goal, and Girardi said Thursday that Severino should have no limitations preventing him from reaching that. With Nathan Eovaldi also expected to be in the rotation, the fifth starter battle projects to be between CC Sabathia and Ivan Nova.

"I think you have to let things work their way out in Spring Training," Girardi said. "We'll take the five best starters."

Video: Miller excited to be part of bullpen with Chapman

As expected, Chapman's arrival was an event. Acquired from the Reds on Dec. 28, Chapman spoke publicly about the transaction for the first time and said that he is excited to be part of a super-bullpen with Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller.

"I think it's great, the fact that we have the caliber of the three arms that we have in the bullpen," Chapman said through an interpreter. "It's awesome. We've just got to work together and win some games."

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

New York Yankees, Dellin Betances, Aroldis Chapman, Nathan Eovaldi, Andrew Miller, Michael Pineda, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka