Another dismal performance by a New York Yankees veteran should remind the organization that there is still plenty of work to do in “rebuild” mode.
Empty seats, subpar performances, and contenders coming into Yankee Stadium and leaving with a checkmark in the win column.
We can expect a lot of this from the proclaimed “rebuilding” New York Yankees for the remainder of the 2016 season. After all, they still own a ton of dead weight that provides little to no value to the organization’s future.
CC Sabathia, who is making $25-million this year and has a vesting option for the same amount in 2017, surrendered five runs including two home runs and four walks to the AL Central-leading Cleveland Indians (62-46) en route to his fourth loss in his last five decisions.
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After starting the season with a 2.20 ERA through June 16, the big lefty owns a 6.85 ERA along with a .293 batting average against entering Saturday’s contest since June 22.
No, his numbers aren’t terrible especially when you consider the fact that he dealt with a derailing alcohol problem just a year ago, but his presence on the Yankees for the remainder of this season and next are completely counterproductive for a rebuilding team – which is exactly what this New York team is.
Shaving guys who offer little to no future value while giving the prospects and rising stars – such as Gary Sanchez, Aaron Judge, Domingo Acevedo, etc – experience is beyond demanding in the current state of the Bronx Bombers.
General manager Brian Cashman knows this and the ensuing step is to realize that the fire sale we all saw at Major League Baseball’s non-waiver trade deadline could just be the beginning of the newest era of the franchise.
Cashman’s team, despite owning seven of baseball’s top-100 prospects in their farm system, have a surplus of veterans clogging up Major League Roster spots for the “kids” despite making has made it a top priority to get them experience at the highest level of baseball. Yet, through August 6, they are handcuffed in watching underperforming vets.
It’s not just Sabathia, though.
Alex Rodriguez, 41, is making $21-million to sit on the bench, eat some sunflower seeds, and offer guidance to the youth coming up – while taking up a spot for another to join the roster.
If the Bombers were to buy A-Rod out and show him the door, it would end the mimicry and embarrassment of watching Rodriguez ride the pine, and – as mentioned before – would clear up a roster spot for a future superstar.
While starting catcher Brian McCann can offer some legitimate mentorship to Sanchez, we all know the 23-year old backstop is the catcher of tomorrow and could be taking over as the starter as soon as next season.
McCann has generated some interest from the Atlanta Braves and has an excellent opportunity to be one of the waiver trades on or before August 31.
The Braves, however, wanted Cashman to eat a portion of McCann’s total of $34 million over the next two seasons. If the Yankees wanted to cut A-Rod, they’ll have to eat a horrifying amount of money but the organization cannot deny that the re-build process requires them to do this.
Releasing A-Rod, dealing McCann, cutting Sabathia at season’s end (only a $5-million buyout) seems to make comprehensive sense considering what they bring to the field at this moment in time and the fact that every at-bat or outing they have one taken away from younger players – which, again, is their main priority.
You also have team-friendly contracts like 32-year old Brett Gardner’s which could be swung for a decent return this offseason while potentially making room for Clint Frazier to earn a roster spot in 2017.
What Sabathia’s performance today demonstrated that even though there are some impactful youngsters that could make their way through the system, they will offer nothing to the organization that needs them in order to make it to the next level if decrepit veterans keep their spots at “no vacancy.”