Have you ever met a hoarder? I have struggled with this sometimes. I’ll keep tickets to sporting events as memories or old collectibles that I really have no use for. In sports, being overly sentimental can be detrimental to a franchise. The Boston Celtics were never sentimental with Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett dealing them for young assets. It’s why they are loaded and have the brightest future in the NBA. The Los Angeles Lakers were sentimental with a decrepit Kobe Bryant and paid dearly for it. The Lakers flat out stunk for the last five years.
Shifting to baseball, the Yankees have really overturned the roster for young players in recent years. Something I advised them to do a few years ago. Aaron Judge and Luis Severino came through the system and may have been guys the Yankees traded years ago to win now. Then there are guys like Gleyber Torres and Didi Gregorious who were traded for when the Cubs and Diamondbacks didn’t properly evaluate their own young players. Now New York is in a place where they have so much young talent they actually have too much if that’s even possible.
New York is deadlocked in a dogfight with Boston for the AL East crown. With the current rules in place, the last thing any team wants is to play in a one-game playoff after a 100 plus win season. In a sport like baseball, any team is vulnerable in a one-game setting. The Red Sox currently have a one-game lead over the Yankees and three up in the win column. The Yanks are in danger of letting their bitter rival win the division for a third consecutive year. The pressure is on in New York and it’s time to push their chips in the center of the table.
The roster is pretty much set in New York. There really isn’t an open roster spot. Sanchez, Bird, Torres, Didi, Andujar, Hicks, Gardner, Stanton, and Judge are a set lineup. Even a guy like Brandon Drury is chilling on the bench. Then you have a group of position players stuck in the minors who could start and a good handful of teams like Clint Frazier, Tyler Austin, Ronald Torreyes, and Billy McKinney. It’s getting to the point where the Yankees are going to run out of spots on the 40 man roster for crying out loud. Why not package 4-5 of them for a superstar like Manny Machado who has expressed interest in playing for the Yankees a year from now anyway?
The biggest need for the Yankees is an ace. Luis Severino is a bonified stud. Outside of that, CC Sabathia is really the only guy they can count on to start a playoff game. Masahiro Tanaka has always been hit or miss. Sonny Gray has been flat out terrible. Can you really count on young guys like Domingo German who may be good in a few years but not so much now? Landing an ace is what can put the Yankees over the top. New York has been rumored to be in the market for Cole Hamels and or J.A. Happ. Brian Cashman has been reticent to pay a high price and is looking for a rental starter but my I’m not sure why. MLB.com ranked the Yankees farm system 6th in baseball prior to the start of the season. That was before Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar graduated from the minor league level. New York still has 4 players in the MLB top 100 prospects and still has plenty of moveable pieces.
This brings me to my point. Why aren’t the Yankees packing 6 or 7 guys to land a top starter? If New York is smart, they will take a page out of Red Sox general manager Dave Dombrowski’s book. Dombrowski hasn’t been perfect but he’s been known to be the most aggressive GM in baseball. Dombrowski hasn’t been scared to give up prospects for top closer Craig Kimbrell or ace Chris Sale. He gave up the number one prospect in baseball (who wound up largely being a bust, Yoan Moncada) among other to land Sale. Boston’s farm system is close to tapped out but they are set up to win now. New York isn’t just set up to win now, they also have a farm system drenched with players to move in deals.
The ideal fit for the Yankees would be to land one of the Mets super starters in the form of Jacob deGrom or Noah Syndergaard. deGrom is already a 5 WAR player who has been flat out close to unhittable tossing a 1.84 ERA in 17 starts. Syndergaard is a flamethrower who often throws over 100 MPH, something the Yankees covet internally having an organizational tactic to acquire those types of pitchers (Severino, Aroldis Chapman, Dellin Betances). Syndergaard hasn’t been quite as good (3.01 ERA in 11 starts) but is 5 years younger and is just 25. The Mets are one of the most dysfunctional franchises in all of sports and sit in last place in the NL East. When you’re 3 games behind the pathetic Marlins, it’s time to shake things up.
Tyler Wade, Chance Adams, Clint Frazier, Albert Abreu, Domingo Acevedo, and three other lower level prospects would be a haul. Even if that’s not enough, why not throw in Justus Sheffield and or Estevan Florial. There are next to no spots available on the Yankees roster. I have a hard time believing the Mets would turn down a deal that overwhelms them with 6 or 7 quality prospects. The Yankees adding an ace should terrify the rest of the league. The problem is knowing Brian Cashman, he will continue to be stingy and hoard meaningless players. That greed may be the sole reason the Yankees don’t win the World Series in 2018. Just look at his decision not to part with fringe prospects for Gerrit Cole and the Astros jumped in to steal him instead. It’s going to be a fun trade deadline. If one thing is certain, New York doesn’t have a shortage of pieces to get things done.