When a team starts to have a few rough seasons, the front office begins to panic and look for answers. They tend to try and get rid of star players and acquire prospects in an attempt to try and turn their franchise around and win again. They let said prospects develop, with hopes that after a few rough seasons they will be contenders again. Many teams have tried this or are in the process of trying this, but this process won’t work for one franchise. With a storied history of winning and tradition, the New York Yankees are the one team in baseball that can’t afford to rebuild.
The rebuilding process isn’t for everyone. Many big market teams with a big payroll can’t fully strip down and rebuild for the sole fact that they have money and believe that one or two trades or free agent signings will turn them around. The Philadelphia Phillies are beginning to prove that theory wrong. They have been towards the top of the league in payroll consistently over the past decade, although they are starting to decline now as the rebuilding effort drags on.
The Phillies have relied on the same core players to deliver for their team for years, and all but one currently plays for the Phillies. Ever since winning the World Series in 2008 and winning the NL Pennant in 2009, the Phils have been on the decline. Since that time, they have gotten rid of Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, Pat Burrell, Cole Hamels, Shane Victorino, and Ryan Howard looks like he could be next.
After the 2012 season, the Phillies realized that something needed to change. Despite winning five straight NL East titles from 2007-2011, including a 102-win season in 2011, they have failed to achieve a winning record, and in 2015 finished last in the MLB with a 63-99 record. The thing they discovered was that their core players couldn’t get the job done anymore, and because they had relied on them so much they had no backup plan. So, Philadelphia decided so bite the bullet and accept a few losing seasons as they attempt to rebuild.
The Phillies have now freed up some cap space, and made their team younger by acquiring prospects and bringing younger talent to the city of brotherly love. While Philly sports in general are hurting now, Phillies fans have accepted that they will have to endure a few seasons of losing before they become successful again.
This strategy won’t work for all franchises across baseball, including the New York Yankees. Their front office, as well as its fans, can’t and won’t tolerate losing. With their tradition of winning, including 27 World Series titles and 40 AL Pennants, losing just doesn’t go over well in New York. It’s no secret that they Yankees have money, as they have had the one of the highest payrolls in baseball for the past few decades. They have the ability to sign whoever they want for a ridiculous amount of money, and have in the past. The possibility for the Yankees simply just rebuilding isn’t possible.
The Yankees have found themselves in the same scenario as the Phillies a few years ago. The Core Four, made up of Jorge Posada, Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, and Andy Pettitte, all retired within a few seasons of each other, and the Yankees needed to replace them. Instead of just letting the legendary Yankees fall and let the prospects see some time, they went out and signed a few big names to keep them competitive until they find their next group of core players to bring them another few rings.
Losing just isn’t in the Yankees name. It never has been, and never will be. The fan base, as well as the players and front office, won’t tolerate losing in the Bronx. While some teams, like the Phillies, can afford to break down and rebuild, the Yankees cannot. The Yankees will always be a team that believes they can win a World Series every year, and they have the talent and money to do so. They will never undergo the rebuilding process, and while they do have young prospects, they will go side by side with veterans in order to help the Yankees win, because that’s what its all about in New York.