There has been much speculation as to which direction the New York Yankees’ front office will lean as the trade deadline approaches.Currently, about a month away from true trade talks intensifying, there is a lot of baseball to be played to ultimately evaluate where teams stand. There are still a lot of outcomes to determine whether teams are “contenders” or “pretenders.” However, the New York Yankees are in a distinct position as to their approach entering a time period where each rumor and move is subject to scrutiny.
Ever since their 9-17 start, mixed reaction has been floating around the organization. There are those who claim a complete overhaul of the roster is necessary to eventually reach World Series caliber heights. On the contrary, there are fans who truly believe the team has tremendous potential. Neither are correct.
Regardless of how the Yankees perform in the next 30 days, there should be no thought of selling. A player like Mark Teixeira currently has no value, Carlos Beltran has too much value, and Alex Rodriguez still has a year left on a massive contract. In addition, no one will take on Chase Headley and his miserable four-year deal.
Speaking of Beltran, if the Yankees are even remotely contending, why would you ever consider trading him? He is the lone reason the offense has stayed somewhat afloat all year. The same goes with the key bullpen pieces. Sitting near .500, maximizing your “three-headed monster” is an extremely entertaining and logical thought.
If the Yankees were going to go through a so-called “rebuild,” three years ago was the ideal time to do it. Currently, they have to win with the talent they maintain. A-Rod’s contract expires after 2017, Beltran’s runs out after this year, Teixeira will not be with the team come next season, and CC Sabathia has one final season in pinstripes awaiting.
So many large, taxing contracts are coming off the books. If there was a time to trade them for value, that time has passed. The organization either has to win with them now or stay patient through some mediocrity before they can open up the checkbook once again.
Winning with them now would be the most pacifying answer to the Bronx faithful. With that being said, the front office should be all in if the team is within any sort of striking distance in the month of July.
What is currently possessed is a mix of inconsistent offense, above average starting pitching, and an outstanding bullpen. The club can certainly use another big bat with the uncertainties involving Mark Teixeira. They can also use help in the rotation to significantly improve an already evolving staff.
The answer is simple and evident: prospects.
One of the drawbacks from making a push at title number 28 last year was the stubbornness to part with the cream of the crop in the farm system. The likes of Luis Severino, Aaron Judge, Greg Bird, Jorge Mateo, and Gary Sanchez were considered nearly “untouchable.”
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While only three of those five names possess true value at the moment, none of them should be considered off limits with a stacked 2019 free agent class looming and loads of money to be spent.
Aaron Judge may very well end up being a bust, yet is still thought of very highly throughout baseball. His is currently slugging .390 in Scranton and has struck out 61 times in 54 games. To make matters worse, his seven home runs is not a number that is truly mind blowing.
Gary Sanchez has sniffed the majors this year, but still cannot find a spot with the emergence of Austin Romine and the mainstay in Brian McCann. Finally, Jorge Mateo is one of the more promising prospects in today’s game and continues to live up to the hype. With that said, he should be an integral piece to an “all-in” type trade.
The Yankees have developed a formidable, young middle infield tandem of Didi Gregorius and Starlin Castro. Unless they plan on moving one of them, Mateo is years and years away. A package deal of Mateo, Judge, or Sanchez in some from can draw a serious return.
Major League Baseball’s current construction prevents teams from completely “falling out of it” too early in a season, which makes trade deadline talks all the more interesting. Barring a colossal failure in the month of June, which does not appear to be coming, the Yankees will be right in the thick of things come July.
With the struggles of the early season, heat from fans, and a near disaster of a year, Hal Steinbrenner and Brian Cashman will be quick to jump on any feasible opportunity that helps the team contend. Everyone has been awaiting a 2019 splash that restores relevancy and championship caliber baseball in the Bronx year in and year out.
With that suspected time only three years off, it makes sense to believe Steinbrenner and Cashman want some sort of relevancy rather than a complete downfall in ticket sales, faith, and morale.
Therefore, when evaluating the open question of whether to “buy” or “sell”, there is one definitive restriction. The New York Yankees will not sell. It defies common logic as to the way they think, their fans think, their legacy thinks, and their ultimate pride thinks.
The alternatives are buying or standing pat. They took the latter route last year and it was later regretted. Toronto stormed back and took the AL East while the Yankees deteriorated.
It would be illogical to to expect the same outcome. If they are out of the race, they can and will stand pat. If they are in the race, which is likely nowadays, it is purely their prerogative to seize success.
Tearing it apart? Moving on? No. The New York Yankees cannot and will not destroy their “disguised rebuild” that they have been designing for years on end.