The New York Yankees went from having an adequate minor league system to a superb one in the matter of a week.
Remember when the only course of action for the New York Yankees was merely taking things in stride? Well, those days are over.
In seven days, general manager Brian Cashman was able to fortify the future of the franchise in a fashion the organization has never seen. In doing so, he did not sacrifice the on-field product that will be witnessed for the remainder of 2016.
Sure, dealing Aroldis Chapman, Andrew Miller, and Carlos Beltran — three pivotal pieces to the puzzle — signified a rebuild. For each of those exceptional commodities, the Yanks were able to receive a highly-touted youngster on major league baseball’s radar. The return on each of the moves represented a path towards greater pastures in 2017 and beyond; the cornerstones of a potential dynasty.
However, the most significant aspect of the entire set of maneuvers was the team the Yankees were able to field in the series opener against the Mets last night.
First, let’s take a look at who came as opposed to who went in the exchanges:
It’s about freaking time ownership allowed Cashman to do his thing….
Next, we take an honest and uncensored look at the lineup Joe Girardi was able to put out last night:
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) August 1, 2016
The sacrifices are the opposite of evident. Carlos Beltran, the team’s most consistent and productive hitter, now resides in Texas. What else?
For a team handily obtaining two of baseball’s top 40 prospects, coupled with the promising youth already possessed, a minor league caliber lineup could feasibly be expected. Incredibly enough, nowhere do you see an individual without impactful big league experience.
All that remains apparent is a team that can compete if certain integral pieces are clicking at the appropriate times.
Take last night as a direct example of that claim. Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury each played a pivotal role at the top of the order, catalyzing each of the first three Yankee runs. Later on, it was Didi Gregorius coming up with the huge base knock which tied the game at five.
— Elite Sports NY (@EliteSportsNY) August 2, 2016
Once the game hit extra innings, Starlin Castro displayed a textbook case of situational hitting to regain the lead.
Four out of the nine spots in the lineup had an impact, and that was enough to take a meaningful game on a big New York City stage.
How about a bullpen which lost two excellent left-handed arms? After patching together the one desired out following the departure of CC Sabathia, newly acquired veteran right-hander Tyler Clippard struck out two in the seventh to prevent the deficit from growing any further.
Following his promising frame, Girardi called upon a familiar face in a familiar role. Adam Warren worked the eighth and the ninth to help the Yanks keep pace and preserve order.
After Castro’s sacrifice fly gave them the lead, who better than Dellin Betances to slam the door. Sounds like a decently formidable formula, right?
Brian Cashman was effectively able to bring Clint Frazier, a 21-year-old stud minor league outfielder, Gleyber Torres, a promising 19-year-old middle infielder, and Justus Sheffield, a potentially dominant 20-year-old southpaw, to the organization while maintaining the aforementioned bullpen.
According to MLB Pipeline, the Yankee farm now has control over five of the top 40 prospects in the league, and seven of the top 100. All of this comes while fielding a somewhat relevant big league club as a stopgap towards the future.
Sure, the club is most likely incapable of winning 90 games. In fact, 85 wins may be a reach as far as 2016 is concerned.
With that being said, not much was lost and a surplus of talent was gained. The Yankees will still fill quite a decent amount of seats, win their fair share of games, and perhaps squeak into contention. Fans may not have to feel the wrenching pain of a rebuild during its process.
These are the appeals Cashman considered when making these moves, and the areas he eventually excelled in when the deals were struck.
Trading Beltran allows for avenues and paths to groom the talent. Aaron Judge will almost certainly see big league at-bats this year with the much-needed vacancy, and has the ability to gain substantial at-bats upon production.
Giving the youngsters opportunities to thrive in the bigs prior to thrusting them in everyday roles in 2017 is extremely vital. Furthermore, all of these reps can be had without the ongoing pressure of “winning now,” a playoff chase, or the looming nature of an aging star.
So, in short, Brian Cashman came through with deadline transactions which outstandingly shaped a franchise in a crafty form baseball has yet to witness. Without severely sacrificing the current win column, he tremendously improved the win column two or three years from now.
An aroma of dominance is in the air, and it is hovering over a location not too far from the Bronx.
Ownership, at last, handed the ball to the Yankee GM, and he put on a nifty move, drove the lane, and slammed it home while preserving energy for the upcoming games and forthcoming years.
Job well done.