While the action may not be as thirst quenching as in the past, Brian Cashman and the New York Yankees have been making all the right moves this offseason.
By Robby Sabo
Whether or not Brian Cashman’s wanted to go down this path for quite some time is now irrelevant.
What’s important is that he finally is traveling down the correct road.
It’s been widely speculated that Cashman has been pining to start the youth movement for quite some time in the Bronx, but has continually battled for the ultimate power to do so. Look no further than the Alex Rodriguez situation following his opt-out after the 2007 season.
While there’s no mistaking Cashman is the New York Yankees boss when it comes to personnel matters, the evidence by way of overpriced veterans on the field immediately sends mixed signals.
The Bronx Bombers are simply old.
Everywhere you turn there’s another leftover from another team who’s over 30-years of age and clogging up an everyday position on the diamond. It’s led to recent times of incredible injuries and frustration. And as witnessed during the second half of 2015, this old and tired bunch just ran out of gas.
- C: Brian McCann, 31
- 1B: Mark Teixeira, 35
- 3B: Chase Headley, 31
- DH: Alex Rodriguez, 40
- OF: Brett Gardner, 32
- OF: Jacoby Ellsbury, 32
- OF: Carlos Beltran, 38
Not until this past trade deadline – in which we saw the organization stand pat – do fans finally feel the philosophy has changed for the better. The future, guys like Luis Severino, Greg Bird, Aaron Judge, Jorge Mateo, and Gary Sanchez didn’t go anywhere for another veteran piece who wouldn’t impact the Yanks enough to make a difference in 2015.
Fortunately this new-found mindset has carried over into the Hot Stove season.
The Yanks have not allowed themselves to get smitten with any of the big names. Zack Greinke, Jason Heyward, Ben Zobrist – none of them were even a glimmer in the eyes of the team who boasts 27 World Series Championships.
This is extraordinary news if you’re a Yankees fan.
Think about the landscape of baseball for a moment and ask yourself when the last World Series Championship went to a team who truly “bought” the title. The answer is easy. It was the 2009 Yankees.
Since then, Major League Baseball’s personnel advantages of gone to the teams who develop from within. The harder luxury tax; six service years before free agency; compensatory picks; everything new to MLB has provided a bigger challenge to the big market clubs while helping the financially strapped ones.
What Cashman did in acquiring Starlin Castro was brilliant in more ways than one.
First off, he pulled off a heist. The Chicago Cubs didn’t receive nearly enough as they should have for the young three-time All-Star. With a career batting average of .281, the 25-year old Castro now represents one-half (Didi Gregorius) of a youthful and exciting middle infield.
The keyword when describing the Castro heist is age. The new Yankees second-baseman is just 25-years old. And it only cost them Adam Warren and Brendan Ryan due to Cashman striking at just the right “Ben Zobrist-type” time.
Although fans of the Pinstripes were starting to fall for John Ryan Murphy a bit, acquiring Aaron Hicks is a risk worth taking. Once a highly-touted first round pick of the Minnesota Twins in 2008, the 26-year old kid simply hasn’t put it all together in the bigs.
2015 was certainly is only solid campaign as he batted .255 with 11 home runs, 33 runs batted in, and 13 stolen bases (352 at bats). Adding more youth and an element of speed in the outfield and along the base-paths could only be a positive.
While Murphy could turn out to enjoy a nice career as a starting back stop, with McCann plugged in and Gary Sanchez coming there was no room.
Simply put, the inactivity from the Yankees is a stroke of brilliance in itself. There is literally nothing the front office can do other than wait for these ridiculous and bloated contracts to run out.
Patience, development and most importantly “time” will be the only areas of concern for the the Yankees over the next couple seasons.
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