The New York Yankees recently cleared house, dealing Aroldis Chapman, Andrew Miller, Carlos Beltran and Ivan Nova before the August 1 trade deadline. Yankees fans were split as to what they wanted to see their team do before the deadline, including myself. A few weeks ago, I wrote why I believed the Yankees shouldn’t sell at the deadline. Part of this was out of the fact that I don’t like to see my team give up and build for the future.
Throughout my 2o short years on Earth, I have always known the Yankees to be competitive during the late summer and early fall months. I am used to winning and seeing my team do well right now, and this whole “abandon ship and build for the future” idea was a new, scary concept for myself and other Yankees fans. I have always known the Yankees to win and do well, and I wasn’t ready to see them give up all hope and wait. Wait for these prospects to develop and lead the Yankees back to the glory days, while getting rid of some fan-favorite players in the process. Its something I’m not used to as a Yankees fan, and something I’ve never seen the team do. But after seeing some of the haul they got back, I’m on board and ready for the future.
The Yankees farm system was good, but nothing special before the 2016 season. Highlighted by Jorge Mateo, Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez and Blake Rutherford, The Yankees had four of the top 100 prospects in Major League Baseball. They were not ranked in the top ten farm systems. but the deadline changed that. For the first time since 1989, when they traded away Rickey Henderson, the Yankees have traded away their superstars in exchange for prospects in the hopes of rebuilding. The Yankees fire sale landed them their two new top prospects in Clint Frazier (#22 overall) and Gleyber Torres (#24), as well as Justus Sheffield (#93), giving them seven of the top 100 prospects, the most in baseball.
In addition to these new top prospects, the Yankees also acquired left-handed outfielder Billy McKinney, Ben Heller — a hard throwing right-hander who the Yankees want to have in their bullpen soon — and Dillon Tate, another right-hander who is a former number four overall pick who has been struggling in the minors, but can be explosive if he turns it around. The big name is Frazier, the fifth overall pick from the 2013 draft. Frazier is a young outfielder with a lot of pop in his bat, quick hands, and a huge potential. Having him in the outfield alongside Aaron Judge will prove to be scary for opposing pitchers in the near future. Frazier has had limited Triple-A action so far, but once he gets settled in with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, can show just how good he can be. All of these prospects, including some others who just missed the top 100 cut, are the reason why the Yankees now have the second-best farm system in baseball, and one of the brightest futures in the game.
All these young minor-leaguers showing great potential and a bright future have changed a lot of minds about the state of the Yankees, including my own. After seeing the Yankees deal out some of my favorite players in Miller, Beltran and Chapman in return for some great young prospects, I think its about time. With the Yankees aging and spending a lot of money on those for under-performing players, getting some fresh faces who can help the team in the long run is refreshing. It took me a while to come around and realize that a fire sale would be a good thing, but I’ve finally gotten there. Here’s to the future, and hopefully building up another great dynasty in the Bronx.