It’s time for the mediocre Yankees to sell, sell, sell.
Every so often, I get nervous thinking about the last two weeks of July for my beloved New York Yankees. Unlike last year, oh how nice it would be to have the problems of last year, I’m not dreading a post-All-Star break swoon. Quite the opposite, actually.
Yes, it may sound strange, but I would be fine if the Bronx Bombers suffered a mini-losing streak coming out of the break. In fact, I’d be quite happy to see it. What I’m nervous about is them rattling off a few wins this weekend.
As my former nemesis Joe Buck pointed out last night, the Yankees find themselves in a rather strange situation. They may seem to have some of the important parts of a playoff team, including plenty of veteran leadership and a lights-out bullpen. As Buck rightly pointed out, there’s surely some frustration among Yankee fans and brass, considering that it feels on many nights like the team could be unstoppable if they could only carry a lead into the sixth inning.
But unfortunately, the 2016 Yankees just cannot do that effectively. And adding one more bat to this absolute mess of a line-up, or trying to bolster what I’ve already argued is a very weak starting pitching staff, is not going to change that.
Brian Cashman gave me some hope a few weeks ago, as I talked about on my podcast with Jack Curry, when he said that the team’s play would determine whether they should be buyers or sellers at the trade deadline. There’s no doubt they should be the latter.
This team just doesn’t have what it takes this year, and it should be abundantly clear to just about anyone watching. There is no move, at least not one I can deduce, that makes the Yankees legit contenders at a championship. Perhaps, there is a move that can vault them into the AL wildcard game
Perhaps, there is a move that can vault them into the AL Wildcard Game, you say? Wouldn’t that be better than nothing? you ask.
That would be a perhaps fatal move by the Yankees. There is some real talent on this club, though it hasn’t found a way to rise to the top quite yet. Didi Gregorius seems like a more than capable replacement for Derek Jeter, Starlin Castro has been a quality acquisition, and the two-headed bullpen monster of Betances and Miller is obviously quite appealing. There are also more than a couple of minor league players waiting for their turn in pinstripes, and given the Yankees deep pockets, it may not be too long before they can replace those old, tired superstar contracts they gave to A-Rod and Mark Texiera with shiny new deals with the newest sluggers and studs in the league.
The worst thing that Cashman and his crew could do would be to bury any chances they have at a bright future by stupidly trying to make this year’s team into something it just does not have the capability of being. Cashman’s seat is probably starting to get hot, or at the very least it should be, and he needs to be making more future-centric moves if he wants to set both the Yankees and himself up for future success.
I was shocked when it was announced the Yanks would have a trio of All-Stars in Tuesday night’s exhibition, even though I shouldn’t have been. Beltran, Betances and Miller are all clearly deserving, and it’s a shame that their talents can’t be used most effectively on the Yankees right now, as plenty of teams would sell their farm systems for two arms like that and a steady veteran performer with a track record of success in the playoffs.
So, lets free Carlos to a place where he can be used more effectively. Sorry Delin and Andrew, but you’re stuck closing out meaningless games, at least for the time being, as your relative youth and longer-term deals should mean they stay in pinstripes for the foreseeable future. I cannot, however, say the same for Aroldis Chapman.
This team is just so thoroughly mediocre, that having three representatives in the Summer Classic just didn’t seem fair. Then again, maybe it’s fitting. This team is the perfect description of a three-star ball club. Not bad enough to be truly awful, not good enough to stand out.
I think it’s time to drop away one or two of those stars, and embrace the basement of the AL East. If they follow that plan, the Yankees should soon enough be on top of the baseball world once again.