I’m baaack. And I’m talking about something that usually does not come up much on The Aftermath. It’s time to talk some baseball.
The MLB trade deadline has come and gone. There were some major moves in the week leading up to the deadline and one deadline day itself.
One team found themselves in a very unfamiliar position and that was the New York Yankees. After two plus decades of being in the hunt and contending for titles, the 27-time champions decided to be sellers at the deadline.
We all know how Yankee fans feel. They should be in the World Series every year, winning every other. So this was a real shock to the system.
New York moved fireballer Aroldis Chapman and reliever Andrew Miller, gutting the bullpen. It also shipped off its most consistently productive bat in Carlos Beltran. And just went you thought Brian Cashman was done, he dealt Ivan Nova to Pittsburgh.
So the Yankees moved their closer, their 8th inning man, a solid starter and their best hitter. That is 100 percent waving the white flag in surrender for this season. However, this one year of selling could have New York as one of the top teams in the league by 2018.
Cashman converted those veteran pieces into at least 11 prospects all 25 years old and younger. That’s how you replenish your farm system in a short period of time.
For the last few years, the talk has been that the Yankees needed to find a way to reload. Jeter retired. So did Mo. A-Rod was suspended then saw his production slip. Texeria couldn’t shake nagging injuries. Neither can Ellsbury. The one thing all of these guys have in common is that they are or were at the tail end of their careers.
Rodriguez will be gone soon and Texeria will be soon to follow. They need to replace each of them in the lineup and Tex at first base. They have some younger talent to build around in the form of Masahiro Tanaka, Dellin Betances, Starlin Castro and Didi Gregorious.
Then you have some of the really young guys like Luis Severino and Greg Bird, this team starts to have a decent core. Add in the likes of Justus Sheffield, Clint Frazier, Dillon Tate and Gleyber Torres and suddenly the Yankees have one of the top farm systems in the majors. If these highly-touted prospects reach the potentially many expect of them, we could be looking at another long string of pennant-winning, playoff-bound, championship-caliber Yankee teams in the next few years.
For a team that almost never likes to sell, this was absolutely the right move. Baseball is very different from football, basketball or hockey. The draft is not a surefire way to build to success. There are so many prospects that come out every year in baseball and so many rounds to the draft that it is hard to build that way. Gathering up prospects around the league is the best way to do it.
New York likely will miss the playoffs for the third time in four years, an unprecedented run for the boys in pinstripes, but it comes in a year where the Yankees weren’t a lock to make the postseason anyway. At best, they were a wildcard team that likely would not have made it any further than the ALCS.
On top of that, they had no future. They had two guys in Severino and Bird that they expected to come up soon and make an impact. Now they have close to a dozen. The future for this Big Apple squad is bright now.
So no, the Yankees are not changing their ways and becoming a middle of the road team, content to just compete for the playoffs every year. This franchise still wants to win titles. And now they have the means to do so.
Look out for those 2018 Yankees. And then when Matt Harvey and Bryce Harper become free agents in 2019, New York will truly be back to where it used to be.