It’s going to sound weird to a sports’ fan and downright demonic to a New York Yankees’ fan, but everything is happening just as Brian Cashman, in his heart of hearts, expects. The Yankees are in a rebuild. A rebuild is when Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez are your two most potent hitters and you spent nothing in free agency this past winter.
Understand it. Accept it. Live with it, Yankees’ fans.
The Yankees don’t intent to win the World Series this season, they only hope they somehow will. They aren’t going “all in” now or at the deadline and probably not next season either. It’s a cold, hard truth, but true nonetheless.
Those trades they made in the winter? They weren’t so win the World Series this year, they were to load up for 2-3 years from now when the team has a legitimate chance to be a contender for years to come.
Starlin Castro, like Didi Gregorius before him, is only heading into his prime and has years of control taking the Yankees past 2020. Nathan Eovaldi and Aroldis Chapman, two more players traded for in the past two years give the Yankees two options. Young players who can be extended for bigger money once their contracts expire the next two years, or extra compensation picks for New York when they walk.
One step towards the present, two steps towards the future.
New York is showcasing a historically good bullpen. One where if it retained half of its arms long-term it will still have a good enough bullpen to win a title. Johnny Barbato, Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances have combined to give up one earned run early on this year, while striking out over half the batters they face. Chasen Shreve has done his job from the left side and Chapman isn’t even in New York yet. The most important thing the Yankees and their fans can do this season is be patient and keep minimal expectations. While the team will likely win more than 90% of the games it grabs a lead in after the 6th inning, it may not be in that situation as many times as it will need to in order to win the division.
The Bronx Bombers need some bombers. Teixeira and Rodriguez can no longer carry the load and Brian McCann, though an elite hitting catcher, is still a hitting catcher. Jacoby Ellsbury has proved to be worthless, overpaid and the next big payroll mistake and Brett Gardner, though a nice piece, is just that.
The Yankees need a big bat and won’t want to mortgage the future since it is all about the future. Aaron Judge and Greg Bird aren’t going to graduate to that level this year or next season and free agency isn’t going to provide it either.
So when you head to your blogs and have your conversations with other fellow frustrated Yankees fans just remember this is what a rebuild feels like, but the team has a focus and has kept to it since the second Derek Jeter walked off the field. But rebuilds take time and the turnover of dead weight on the payroll and turning it into big money for players in their prime and internal extensions hasn’t begun yet.
That’s what’s “wrong”with this year’s Yankees, nothing more, nothing less.