New York Yankees president Randy Levine doesn’t think his team is playing catch-up with the Boston Red Sox.

The Red Sox made relatively quick work of the Yankees back in October, dispatching their longtime rivals in just four games in the American League Division Series. A couple of weeks later, the Red Sox won the World Series, putting an emphatic exclamation point on a season in which they set a franchise record with 108 wins.

Now, it’s on the Yankees to respond, and they’ve been pretty busy this offseason. The Yankees acquired James Paxton from the Seattle Mariners, and it doesn’t sound like they’re done yet. New York is considered one of the favorites to sign free agent starter Patrick Corbin, and the Bombers always are lingering when it comes to big-money free agents like Manny Machado and Bryce Harper.

But this isn’t the result of the Yankees chasing the Red Sox, at least not according to Levine, who thinks his team is on even footing with the Sox.

Honestly, what else did you expect him to say?

But we’re going to go ahead and disagree with Levine on this one. The Yankees were a very good, perhaps great team in 2018. They still finished eight games behind the Red Sox in the American League East, and their final run differential (plus-182) was 47 runs worse than Boston’s absurd +229 mark.

Things admittedly were closer when it came to head-to-head matchups; Boston won the season series 10-9 before the four-game ALDS win. As for the games themselves in that series, Boston’s 16-1 Game 3 win sticks out like a sore thumb in an otherwise close series.

But it’s hard to argue the better team didn’t win that series, and if that wasn’t the case, the Yankees wouldn’t be setting their sights on all these elite offseason pickups.

Thumbnail photo via Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports Images