The farm system is the pride and joy of the New York Yankees organization. However, it might have started to become a detriment.
The New York Yankees farm system has introduced the game of baseball to several incredible talents over the years. Do names like Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera and, most recently, Aaron Judge ring a bell?
Of course they do! Not only were they Yankees royalty, the are now baseball royalty. And they all were drafted by the Bombers and worked their way through the ranks in the Yankees farm system.
This year, the system may have lost Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar but their prospects are still as strong as ever. In fact, the Bombers have already started to give their young studs a chance to shine, even though they could easily purchase whatever they need to fill the few holes in their lineup.
Jonathan Loaisiga has made three impressive starts for the Bombers since being called up directly from Double-A. Domingo German has been a fixture in the Yankees rotation since Jordan Montgomery exited with shoulder surgery. They’ve been getting the job done almost better than some of their other starters.
With a stacked farm, the Yankees are set for the future. But they also want to focus on the now. With that being said, the spoils they have in their farm system may seem great on the surface, but it could be potentially dangerous for the Yankees.
Let me explain.
While not all prospects will pan out, it seems that all the ones the Yankees have been hand-picking to make their debuts have showed incredible potential. Because they have so many prospects waiting in the wings, the Yankees might be more apt to make some less desirable trades to get a short-term player and give up way too much in the process.
The Yankees need a starting pitcher. They also could use some assistance with middle relief in the bullpen. The players available to fill these roles aren’t necessarily top-tier but with the farm being as full as it is, teams will be asking for a high return if the Yankees really want them.
That’s just how business works. The Yankees need something now and the teams want something even better in return. Other teams might just pressure Brian Cashman enough to pursue a stupid trade that could ultimately backfire down the line. With so much temptation, he could easily crack over the first sign of interest from a team boasting a coveted player.
“But who cares,” some people say. If the goal is to win now, giving up top pieces in the farm might help them get that established veteran player that can push them to a World Series victory. However, that isn’t necessarily guaranteed and they could give up a player that very well could have played a key role in doing the same thing.
Let’s take the trade for Sonny Gray last year. It was no secret that the Yankees were clambering over the prospect of adding Gray to their rotation, regardless of the cost. In the deal to snag Gray, they didn’t seem to lose much in the injured Dustin Fowler and James Kaprielian and top prospect Jorge Mateo.
However, what they got in return wasn’t quite what was advertised.
Gray has gone 9-12 in his time with New York with a 4.39 ERA, a far cry from his impressive days out in Oakland. While he still has time to improve, the addition of Sonny Gray was supposed to be a “win-now” move and turned out to just be a lackluster move that ultimately did nothing.
Could that happen again? With other teams salivating over the idea of even a mid-tier prospect from the Yankees being included in a trade and the Yankees looking for a veteran boost, they are toeing a dangerous line.
Giving up a few top prospects for a quality starter doesn’t sound like a terrible idea. However, giving up a few top prospects for a starter like Chris Archer? Or what about Michael Fulmer? Not the best. And right now, that looks like what the Yankees might be aiming for to try and bolster their starting rotation.
We have all the faith in the world with Brian Cashman, arguably one of the best general managers in the game of baseball. That doesn’t mean he hasn’t made mistakes before. Let’s just hope that this year the mistake won’t be made at the expense of the one of the best farm systems in baseball.
Having a farm full of prospects waiting in the shadows seems like a dream come true. This season, it could easily turn into a nightmare for the New York Yankees.