Let’s pay attention to the idea of these Yankees, their 2021 season started cheerfully, becoming sellers.
Sit down. You will not like this discussion.
If you can imagine how the Yankees will pull off the 2016 reduction, bringing life to the organization and its fan base, well, you should probably stop. This list rests at a different time in its competition window. Its construction did not include an emergency hatch.
No, the club’s best chance of happiness remains in the short term – an offensive revival and spectacular success in 2021, perhaps aided by the addition of a high-impact trading deadline rather than some withdrawals. Don̵
Lightning to 2016. The Yankees came out with a surprising appearance after the season, albeit a brief one (loss of a wild card game for Astros), in 2015, fueled by the waves at the end of their careers by Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira. Greg Bird and Luis Severino made promising major league debuts in ’15. Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez enjoyed significant climbs up the ladder of the minor leagues, with Sanchez making a cameo championship.
As they bought low for Aroldis Chapman, acquiring it from the Reds in the trade in December 2015, when they were expecting a closer end to domestic violence, the Yankees naturally hoped to do great things. Yet they have envisioned a scenario in which A-Rod and Teixeira run out of fuel, in which their boarding proves insufficient and in which they can disperse a pair of elite facilitators – Chapman and Andrew Miller – as well as tests tested in October by Carlos Beltran for trade. They would figure out how to fill their bull, an area where they excelled, and had prepared a judge to succeed Beltran in the right field.
A-Rod and Teixeira did both crater – neither playing again after ’16 – so the Yankees turned to selling mode for the first time after replacing Rickey Henderson with Sandy Alderson’s A’s in 1989. Chapman went to the Cubs for a package titled Gleyber Torres. Miller went to the Indians for a package called Clint Fraser. Beltran went to Rangers for a package titled by Dylan Tate, who two years later headed the Yankee package to land Zack Britton of the Orioles. A new era begins in the Bronx.
This creates a wonderful tale of stripes … except that the Yankees did not do this work through the finish line, qualifying for each postseason from 2017 to 2020, but still do not reach the appearance of the World Series, their popularity decreases with each disappointment. And now they face the prospect of missing the playoffs altogether for the first time since ’16.
Their most marketable assets – say, Judge, Torres and Gio Urschela – cannot be easily replaced internally, although the upcoming free agent winter will be intriguing options such as Javier Baes, Carlos Correa, Corey Seeger, Marcus Semyon and Trevor ( and obviously the talent will return with each trade). After many diplomas and deals over the past five years, the Yankees farming system ranks in the middle of the industry (18th, for MLB.com) as the cycle continues.
In turn, the mid-level minor league system makes the pursuit of someone like Arizona’s Ketel Marte more difficult in terms of attracting talent before we even discuss the implications of the luxury tax; while Hal Steinbrenner was remembered to remain below the threshold in 2014, the Yankees behaved last winter as if they would keep their salary below $ 210 million, just as in 2018 they did not cross the $ 197 million threshold.
These Yankees are stuck somewhere between a rock and an anvil. They will continue to try to unravel the mystery of their disappearing attackers, to seek outside help when there is not much left, to seek to acquire a central tow, whether it is Marte or someone else, until the trading deadline of 30 July. They will hope to get a boost from the return of Luke Voight (perhaps by the end of this month) and Severino (next month) from the injured list.
Questions have to be answered, consequences, if the Yankees can’t solve this mess. But as many of you have asked, it seems that salvation comes more from revival, far from a guarantee, than from a constant restart, pleasing to the crowd.