There are plenty of holes for the New York Yankees to fill to make this season watchable but looking at filling first base now is not smart.
The New York Yankees are broken, battered and yet … still fighting for each and every game. Talk over the last week has picked up in regards to the looming trade deadline.
The Yankees need a first baseman that can produce, they need middle relievers, they need a reliable starting pitcher. The Yankees have a boatload of needs if they are going to compete for a title right now.
While I agree that the Yankees could use some outside help if they want to jump back into the playoff race, we can strike out the first base position.
Because they don’t need the help? No. Because this is a rebuilding season.
I figured we were all under the impression that 2017 was the year of the rebuild for the Yankees. They are building their team around their young studs in Gary Sanchez and Aaron Judge. They are saying goodbye to aging veterans and straying from the long-term contracts to help prepare for the future.
By going after a first base option like Justin Bour or Lucas Duda, they would likely be investing in some long-term deals. With Greg Bird and Tyler Austin still recovering from injury, what would happen next season?
The likelihood of them investing in a short-term rental just for this season is just ridiculous. They have their first basemen of the future, as Bird and Austin have worked their tails off only to be sidelined by injuries.
In addition, going for either of these two options would prove to be costly for the farm system that the Yankees have worked tirelessly to stack up in the past few seasons. Brian Cashman already said he wouldn’t let go of those top prospects in a trade, but what if the desire to win now overcomes their excitement for the team of the future?
The Yankees entered this season with the expectation that it was a rebuilding season on their part: letting their prospects develop with the hopes that they will turn into the team of the future, much like they did in the early 1990s.
In a typical rebuild, the Yankees would allow the chips to fall where they may, not worrying about being the big name on the trade market. In a typical rebuild, they wouldn’t sacrifice their future to for a long shot at making it to the Wild Card game.
While the Yankees started out incredibly hot, they are now barely hovering over .500. Once contenders, they are now at the point where they barely look like a playoff team.
And for a team rebuilding, that is okay!
Right now, the Yankees have dropped Chris Carter from their carousel and worked on a platoon with 26-year-old Ji-Man Choi and newly-acquired Garrett Cooper that has yielded some positive results. With Bird and Austin lurking in the shadows, adding another first baseman to the mix during a rebuilding year would just be ridiculous.
They have a future at first base. In fact, they have a few options for a future at first base. Spending massive amounts of money or getting rid of key prospects for a short-term rental should not be in the cards.
As much as fans find it hard to believe, the Yankees might have to lose some games this year in order to be prepared for next year. That’s how they’ve done it before and they should be doing it again.
First base is a position that has struggled this year but they have the options internally to make it work until their future is ready.
Sure, it’s a problem. But it’s an immediate problem that likely will not impact their season to the degree that fans assume it will. Next year? It won’t be a problem if the Yankees stay put.
Going after a starting pitcher and a middle reliever? At the right price, that’s fine. But going after a first baseman would be straying away from their “future” mentality and would just be silly during a rebuilding year.