Let’s talk about the idea of these Yankees, The 2021 season has got off to a terrible startThey become sellers.
Sit. You will not like this discussion.
If you fancy the Yankees pulling out in 2016, injecting life into the organization and its fan base, well, you probably should stop. This list is at a different juncture in its competitive window. Its construction did not include an escape hatch.
No, the best chance of happiness for this club is still in the short term – an offensive comeback and huge success in 2021, perhaps helped by a significant increase in the trade deadline or two, rather than some subtraction. Don’t expect any impending dismissals despite the team’s disappointing 31-29 record and fourth place finish.
Back in 2016. The Yankees were coming off a sudden, albeit brief, post-season debut (a wild card game loss to the Astros), in 2015, fueled by the late career booms of Alex Rodriguez and Marc Teixeira. Greg Bird and Luis Severino made a promising debut in the Major League in 2015. Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez enjoyed a meaningful climb up the minor league ladder, with Sanchez making cameos in the majors.
Having bought at a low price from Aroldis Chapman, and acquired him from the Reds in a deal in December 2015 with the domestic violence suspension looming, the Yankees naturally hoped to do great things. However, they envisioned a scenario in which A-Rod and Teixeira ran out of gas, as their throw proved insufficient, and in which they could sell a pair of elite thinners — Chapman and Andrew Miller — in addition to the October-tested Carlos Beltran. for trade. They were figuring out how to restock their bulls, an area in which they excelled, and they had a Judge ready to succeed Beltran on the right field.
A-Rod and Teixeira had already crashed—and weren’t played again after ’16—so the Yankees switched to sale mode for the first time since switching Rickey Henderson to Sandy Alderson’s A in 1989. Chapman went to Cubs for a package titled Gleyber Torres. Miller went to the Indians for a package titled Clint Frazier. Beltran went to the Rangers for a package under the title Dillon Tate, who two years later took over the head of the Yankees’ package to land Zach Britton of the Orioles. A new era has begun in the Bronx.
It makes for a beautiful planned tale…except that the Yankees didn’t carry that work all the way across the finish line, qualifying for all of the post-season from 2017 to 2020, but they didn’t quite live up to being in the world championships, and their popularity waned with each disappointment. And now they face the prospect of missing out on the playoffs completely for the first time in 16 years.
Their most tradable assets – let’s say Judge, Torres and Gio Urshela – are not easily exchangeable internally, although the upcoming free winter crop of winter will contain interesting options such as Javier Baez, Carlos Correa, Corey Seager, Marcus Semien and Trevor Story (and obviously talent will return in any trade). After numerous graduations and deals over the past five years, the Yankees ranch system has ranked 18th in the industry (18th, according to MLB.com), as in the course.
In contrast, the minor league system in the middle of the pack makes the pursuit of someone like Kettlemart from Arizona more difficult from a talent acquisition point of view before we even discuss the implications for welfare taxes; While Hal Steinbrenner was memorably determined to stay below the bottom line in 2014, the Yankees last winter acted as if they were going to keep their payroll below $210 million, just as they didn’t cross the $197 million threshold in 2018.
These Yankees are stuck, in a sense, between a rock and a hard place. They will continue to try to solve the mystery of their disappeared hitter, to seek outside help when not much is available yet, with the goal of getting a central player, whether it be Marty or someone else, by the July 30 trade deadline. They hope to get reinforcements from the return of Luc Voight (maybe by the end of this month) and Severino (next month) from the injured list.
Questions must be answered, and consequences faced, if the Yankees cannot solve this mess. But as many of you have asked, salvation seems more likely to come from revival, far from guaranteed, than from the ever-popular reboot.