Saturday, August 8, 2015


Managing change on a Major League Baseball team is difficult. It becomes especially difficult when you have to manage big money contracts, trade deadline negotiations, the immediate needs of the team, injuries, and the like. Throw in the pressures of a big market environment with a huge fan base, and you can understand why the temptation to gamble or to cash out is far more tempting than the discipline required to make long-term investments.

Yet for the first time in a long time, Brian Cashman and the New York Yankees actually succeeded in resisting the temptation for a quick fix and a big splash and chose to invest in the future. Finally. I imagine that throughout the month of July, and especially close to the 4 pm trade deadline, the names of the Three Kings must have been every third word in every conversation. "I'll give you _____. But you've got to give me at least Severino and Judge."

The Three Kings - that's what I call them. Luis Severino, Aaron Judge, Greg Bird. The crown jewels of the Yankees farm system. This is the group of players that were absolutely untouchable. This was also the group of players without which no major deal was going to happen with the Yankees at the trade deadline. It was the proverbial irresistible force hitting the immovable object. At some point, Brian Cashman must have realized this and realized that he had to make a decision. We should have been able to read it - he warned us that there was likely not going to be any major moves this July.

At 4:01 p.m. on July 31st the news broke. It was past the deadline and the Yankees had not made a move. The Yankees chose to invest long instead of short, and I for one couldn't have been happier. “I am doubling down on what we’ve got”, said Cashman, as if he wanted to make a point. He kept going. Severing those next start would be in the majors. What?!? If that wasn't enough, he went one further. "If he doesn't have his best stuff, then obviously he'll get the ball five days later." Obviously. Because players coming out of the miners usually get an automatic spot in the rotation.  What's obvious is that he believes in his rising stars, and he was willing to put it all on the line, believing that investment would pay off in the long run.

The thing that makes investing  so difficult is that in order to be successful, you need discipline and patience. Often investments look terrible at first, but the smart investor sees future potential and holds on to things that haven't reached their full value. Luis Severino had one of the best pitching debuts in MLB history. But don't be surprised if he has a bad outing. It's going to happen, and the boo birds will come out, right on cue, to tell us that we should have dealt him. Mark it on your calendars - they're going to come out. Same goes for Judge and Bird when they come up. After his first 30 games, Robinson Cano was hitting .245 with three home runs in 116 plate appearances. Baseball writers weren't exactly penciling his name in on advanced copies of the 2027 Hall of Fame ballot. That's the thing about investing. You have to know the value you have, and decide if it's worth keeping. If it has value, you don't sell. You hold on until the value reaches peak. The Three Kings have a lot of value. Brian Cashman is holding on to his "stocks".

I know there was a lot of disappointment in the lack of a blockbuster trade last month. I won't deny that it may cost us this October. The thing is, you don't build a dynasty by focusing exclusively on "this year". We didn't get the core for by making trades. We held on to the core for by not making trades. With the way things look, the Three Kings are about as close to an opportunity as we're going to have of having another group of players like that. Will it happen? We'll see.

But I like our odds.

--Ike Dimitriadis, BYB Senior Staff Writer
Twitter: @KingAgamemnon
My blog is: Shots from Murderer's Row

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