I guess there really is a first time for everything. Although Brian Cashman claims that the Yankees are not waiving the white flag, for 2016 they are. I have never been able to imagine this. It's never happened in my adult life....but the Yankees just sold off key assets of the team. I am still trying to take all of this in.
We've been saying it all season, but the Yankees are a mediocre team at best so winning this season was extremely unlikely. Not only that, but winning in 2017 or 2018 seemed unlikely also. The team has too many bad combinations working against them. We are either too old, too young, and too depleted down in the minor leagues. The Yankees lack impact players and versatility and it has eventually caught up to us and shown all of baseball that our failure to plan for the future has become our downfall.
This past week we finally started to make the correct but tough decisions to start building the future. It was no surprise to to anyone that Aroldis Chapman was dealt. It was in the rumor mill for months and the Yankees had nothing to lose by dealing him. It's what happens with one year contracts. I think I let my guard down though on Saturday though when Miller was still a Yankee. It was like I could see the light of the trade deadline tunnel up ahead and he was still wearing pinstripes.
Andrew Miller is a great pitcher, a great teammate and with his very team friendly contract it made all of us want to keep him around. The fact of the matter is, Miller needed to go. It sucks to say but it is true. The new Yankees brass knows that the game has changed too much. You just can't win anymore without a good core group of young guys.....and to get them quickly the Yankees needed to give up their best trade chip.
It sucks it had to come to this, but the Yankees have not been business smart for years now. This is the start of a new beginning and this is where we see the rejection of old school George Steinbrenner and the embracing of the prospects. We've been waiting for this for awhile at BYB, but the Yankees have always liked to spend money more on established superstars than building their own. I will have to remind myself of this in October when Mark Teixeira is gone and we get ready for Greg Bird (hopefully) at first base.
The more I think about this idea, the more I know it is possible. Looking back when George's suspension in the early nineties to let the farm grow and without his lack of involvement during that time we may never have seen the Core Four or Bernie Williams. Even without the cash flow that comes with being a Steinbrenner other teams know that young talent helps build winning teams. Look at the success of franchises like the Giants and the Cardinals. The Cardinals have one of the best farm systems in all of baseball and the Giants are just damn good. I've been joking that it is an even numbered year so the Giants are due for another World Series ring. Think about it they won in 2010, 2012, 2014.....now 2016?
What was once a strength for the Yankees has become their Achilles heal. Under George we used to just spend money and the farm was an after thought. Sure, I still call Hal cheap and I don't think he has anywhere near the passion that his father had but he does at least realize that the Yankees need to develop people now to compete for the future.
I am going to miss Miller a lot. It is going to suck watching him play for a contender knowing he is still an affordable piece and he loved being a Yankee. However, I am excited for the future. Clint Frazier could be the real deal and he could be an impact player for the Yankees as early as next season.
He's a five tool player and his versatility in the outfield would be huge for the Yankees and his bat speed and ability to hit for power could energize our current sleepy roster. If we had to give up Miller, I am at least glad that Frazier is part of the package. The excitement of a bright future to come helps ease the sting of losing Miller a little more.
It truly is the end of an era in baseball and change is hard to accept sometimes and this is no exception. Money will always help buy wins in baseball but the Yankees just showed us that once upon a time the team with the most money won the most games and championships but not anymore. It is the end of an era. The Yankees may have been the last one to realize it but now they will be in a better position for years to come.
--Jeana Bellezza, BYB Senior Writer & Editor
Follow me on Twitter: @NYPrincessJ