Sunday, July 13, 2014
BUYING, SELLING & THE NEW YORK YANKEES
If you don't read Pete Caldera of the Bergen Record, do it. He puts a lot of stuff into perspective when it comes to the Yankees. He's a smart baseball mind... and he's underrated.
While many of us are freaking out, saying "What are the Yankees going to do to fix the problems of the starting rotation and the big bats?", and "Why don't we just sell off our team, it's over!" Pete breaks it to you softly and lets you know the truth... according to him.
"Sellers by the non-waiver trade deadline? Not the Yankees. Not in 2014, the final season for Derek Jeter, who has played exactly one game in 20 seasons in which the Yankees were eliminated from postseason contention.
Not this year, with 40 home games still to be played at Yankee Stadium in the second half. Not with seats to fill, sponsors to satisfy and YES Network ratings to maintain. Not as long as they’re in shouting distance in an unremarkable AL East, with 39 games remaining against teams within the division.
Even if Masahiro Tanaka were to undergo Tommy John surgery tomorrow instead of the rehab course that — in the ultimate best-case-scenario – gets him back on a big-league mound by late August, the Yankees would be obliged to press on. Their bullpen is strong and their underachieving lineup is more or less intact.
They have the resources to add pieces without giving up chunks of their farm system, such as buying a contract like Cliff Lee’s. They could deal for a bat with an expiring contract, such as Josh Willingham."
It is interesting and while we're all screaming about what we need to do, buy or sell, Pete brings us back to earth.
Now for my thoughts; Look, I am a firm believer that having 1 more veteran starter in the rotation while we wait for CC Sabathia and Michael Pineda could be key. The problem is, once you word it that way, and think about what we might have to give up for a starter, be it Lee or someone else, you really have to think; is it worth it? I mean, think about it, bringing up a kid like Shane Greene has worked out, maybe for the better.
(In Photo: Shane Greene)
I mean, let's face it, the reality is Chase Whitley and Greene have been terrific. Not to mention, David Phelps has become more confident than I have ever seen him, and those 3 alone have done great things recently.
You add veteran Hiroki Kuoda into the mix, and maybe what Caldera is saying makes a ton a sense here... No selling, just piecing it together to get to the finish line. While I would much rather be the dominant force going into the second half, I do understand that we spent a ton of money in the off season, so we're kind of in a weird spot with spending.
The bats are a question mark too though. I mean, the reality is, it's not so much a bat that we need... it's that we need to knock in runners in scoring position. We have to tools, we have the bats... we don't have the aggressive play to get those runners home. I mean, how about a sacrifice if a man's on third, guys? You know what I mean?
Pete brings up Josh Willingham... and I know he's just throwing it out there as an example. But Willingham is just more of the same. Again, we have the tools... let's use them, and you know what? Let Zelous Wheeler shine. Let Zoilo Almonte shine. Over time, bring the kids up... sprinkle them, bring some energy and most of all, don't sell, because we're the Yankees... we're contenders. Yes, we're at .500 at the All-Star break, but we can do this!
I leave you with something Pete said that stuck with me:
"The Yankees weren’t sellers last year at the break, trailing by six games in the division with Mark Teixeira lost, Curtis Granderson out and Derek Jeter making a cameo. Two weeks later and seven games out, the Yanks traded for Alfonso Soriano.
Historically, of course, the Yankees haven’t had to be sellers."
And it's not gonna change this year either. The Yankees will make a run for it, and there is a good chance we make the playoffs... there's a good chance we don't too, but I'll put my money on the Yankee machine getting it together and becoming competitive in the second half...
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