The New York Yankees recently fell to last place. They barely made the playoffs last season, crawling into the Wild Card game before Dallas Keuchel and the Houston Astros ended their season. They didn’t make the playoffs in the two seasons before that, and now, with an aging offense and a mostly hold-your-breath starting rotation, what do they do?
There have been rumors of selling off players like Brett Gardner, Aroldis Chapman, and Andrew Miller and calling it a night for 2016. There are still more than three months of baseball to go, though. They do have the talent and certainly the payroll and expectations, but do they have the horses? And if not, do they trade any of them? Do they have it in them for one last run? Eric Kabakoff and Jeremy Bourque discuss the Bronx Bombers’ options.
First of all, are they sellers? My eyes, ears, and brain, not to mention the standings, tell me yes. Why hang on to players like Chapman and Miller just to have them help you climb to fourth place in the division?
I have to agree with you here. I can’t see any way that they hold onto such coveted commodities like Chapman and Miller, especially with the Cubs knocking on their door with a decent crop of prospects to give up. I think a bunch of teams will ask for Dellin Betances, as he is really the prize considering how much he makes. My guess is the Yankees will look to move Miller and Chapman first, though.
I don’t see why they’d move Betances since there are four more years of team control there, but Chapman is the first one I would move. Maybe Miller, but keeping him wouldn’t be the worst thing ever with two years still left on his contract.
So if we agree that they should pull the plug on 2016, then how about other players? Mark Teixeira could be worth a prospect if he comes back healthy and his bat gets hot, and then maybe a contender would take a chance on him for the stretch run since he’s a free agent after the season. That’s a lot of ifs, though. What about Carlos Beltran or Brett Gardner?
Beltran is an intriguing possibility. I think he would be the first to go and have the best return for the Yankees. He is still productive at the plate and having a great year for his age. Though he wants to stay with the team past this year, I don’t think he is in their plans after this year. Teixeira certainly could help a team, but there are a bunch of questions with his knees and health to where I don’t think the return would be that great, but I think that they should definitely look into cutting ties with him. Gardner could definitely help a team as well, but I think the Yankees are stuck with him unless they eat about half of his remaining contract. He has $24 million remaining over two years along with a team option for $12.5 million in 2019. I think for what he is doing offensively, it would be hard to move him without some relief.
You probably mean “for what he’s not doing offensively!”
I would love to see them bring back a starter. CC Sabathia is having some kind of year, but it’s hard to know how long he can keep it up. You never know what you’ll get with their other starters. Michael Pineda, Nathan Eovaldi, and Masahiro Tanaka are all capable of dominating for seven innings or getting lit up. I’ve always liked Eovaldi, but at a certain point you have to accept that what you see is what you get. Same with Pineda. Let’s say they somehow make the playoffs this season, and they’re not that far out of the Wild Card right now. Who would start Game 1? Game 2? This rotation is hard to gauge.
Gardner and Teixeira would be tough to move, though the Cubs have reportedly kicked the tires on Gardner. They almost certainly can’t move Jacoby Ellsbury at this point unless it’s for stock in a health insurance company. It seems Beltran, Miller, and certainly Chapman would be their best bets to get younger and/or some more consistent starting pitching. I don’t want to speculate where it might come from, other than that the Cubs keep getting mentioned.
I think they have keepers in Eovaldi, Tanaka, Gregorius, Pineda, and Castro as they all still have some sort of ceiling to be reached. (Some higher than others!) Unfortunately, they are stuck with Headley and Ellsbury for the duration of their contracts, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the team follow suit on what the Colorado Rockies and Los Angeles Dodgers did with both Carl Crawford and Jose Reyes somewhere down the line.
I think they have a great opportunity to turn these guys into young prospects for the right deal, but will the fans accept that? Sometimes you have to take two steps back to take a step forward. Every organization goes through it, but it’s harder to accept in win-now places like New York and Boston.
The Yankees are in a tough spot. Do they try to make the Wild Card again and sacrifice getting younger? Do they blow up the team and possibly further alienate the fan base that is already upset with them on high ticket prices and being bumped from premium seats and luxury suites? Brian Cashman has done a great job in the past with getting things done, but this could be his toughest challenge yet.
What do you think the Yankees should do? Would love to hear from you in the comments section below or on Twitter: @erickabakoff and @fpraven4!