The late great George Steinbrenner must be rolling in his grave. What happened to the championship or bust lifestyle? The Yankees are so far removed from the Steinbrenner glory days that they were the only team that didn’t sign a major league free agent during the entire offseason. The Yankees enter the midway point of the season with a record of 40-42. It has become apparent that the Yankees no longer run New York, its a Mets town now. If the mediocre Yankees plan on getting back into their championship ways they must get younger. Sitting at 7 games back in the division race it is time to take a good hard look in the mirror Yankee fans, your team isn’t very good.
The Payroll Is About To Become More Flexible:
While waiting for the 2018 free agent period that fields super star caliber players such as Manny Machado, Josh Donaldson, Bryce Harper, and many other sounds like a great plan this is the New York Yankees we are talking about. The Yankees can’t wait that long to become competitive again, this needs to become a quick rebuild. Following this upcoming season the Yankees are set to clear a sizeable amount of payroll including Mark Teixera ($22.5 M), Carlos Beltran ($15 M), and Arolidis Chapman ($11.3 M). C.C. Sabathia’s $25 million option will likely vest due to innings but that could potentially be another $25 million off the books. The Yankees 2016 payroll of over $230 million could potentially be reduced but will Hal Steinbrenner be willing to spend in free agency. In the past he has been adamant about dropping under the $189 million luxury tax threshold. If that is the case it may be unlikely that the Yankees get themselves another superstar with their current cap holds. While worrying about the future offseason is important but it is something that is hard to predict until the season ends. The best thing for the Yankees to do at this point is rebuilding their anemic farm system.
The New York Yankees Farm System Looks Bleak:
The Yankees own 3 of the top 100 prospects in baseball. The problem with those three prospects (Jorge Mateo, Aaron Judge, & Gary Sanchez) is they are sort of one trick ponies. What I mean by that can easily be explained. Mateo, considered a top tier shortstop, is batting a mere .262 in single A. So you’re telling me he can field? Yes but how much value is that worth? Aaron Judge, 24, is stuck in AAA hitting a pedestrian .267. So you’re telling me he can field? Well no he lacks speed, but he does have 16 home runs. Gary Sanchez, 23, is a catcher who has not had a major league hit yet and often times finds himself on the DL. The fact is the prospects the Yankees do have simply are not what the rest of the media tends to think they are. What New York needs to do is trade some of their aging players for some younger assets. Realistically the team’s best asset is manager Joe Giradi who somehow keeps this team relevant.
Who Could The New York Yankees Deal?:
A trio of relievers appear to have the most value (Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller, and Aroldis Chapman). Chapman is set to become a free agent following the season so dealing him is imperative. The Yankees could also find some value in dealing Carlos Beltran who is having an extraordinary season, .298, .339, .574. Realistically the Yankees should field offers on every single player they have. Is anyone on the roster untradable? Absolutely not, New York needs to get younger. Below I will suggest some trades the Yankees could pull off.
Yankees Trade Andrew Miller to Cubs in exchange for Kyle Schwarber and Jeimer Candelario
Yankees Trade Carlos Beltran and Aroldis Chapman to Indians in exchange for Justus Sheffield, Clint Frazier, Rob Kaminsky, Yandy Diaz
Yankees Trade Dellin Betances to Giants for Christian Arroyo, Luscious Fox, Chris Shaw
Now those deals above are just suggestions. Those prospects are ones I believe that have a promising future in the big leagues. Now the Yankees could really go all out and deal players like Masahiro Tanaka and Starlin Castro but that appears unlikely. The Indians and Cubs in particular are packed with prospects who could help New York. (The Indians are likely to win the division, a premise that surprised many people except for myself of course).
At the end of the day the worst thing to be in professional sports is mediocre. This concept should be unacceptable to Yankee fans who have surprising been okay with the recent play. Baseball is unpredictable and always will be. We have seen how young talent can reinvigorate a franchise whether that is with Xander Bogaerts and the rest of the young Red Sox core or Noah Syndergaard and the Mets who was acquired in the awkward R.A. Dickey deal. Getting younger while making smarter splashes in free agency could prompt New York to become the kings of the baseball world once again.