For the first time since the last time Randy Levine was involved with baseball decisions, the Yankees are in flux in the front office and time is running out. Instead of trying to decide how much power Brian Cashman should have, players like: Aroldis Chapman, Carlos Beltran, Andrew Miller and Nathan Eovaldi have futures up in the air and the franchise once again rests in the balance.
The Yankees need to sell. That is the correct and most productive decision the front office can make. New York lacks a young core outside of Didi Gregorius and Starlin Castro (the latter who can still be improved upon anyway) and it has prospects who are completely unproven because they are not getting playing time due to players past their primes taking up roster spots. The Yankees need youth and with an average farm system, won’t get enough of it internally to compete anytime soon, which seems to be the overall goal of the front office to begin with. Hal Steinbrenner is concerned about money, Levine is concerned about image and Cashman, the guy who is supposed to control the roster, is rightfully concerned about winning, or in this case, losing.
New York sits under .500 more than halfway through the year and so far it seems Levine has torpedoed the deadline to the point of a half-sell, where the Yankees are only willing to sell off players who will not be under contract next year. Instead of committing to a plan, they are trying to stay mediocre, which sends a signal to the fans they are not trying to compete and they don’t plan to soon because Levine might have his feelings hurt and Steinbrenner might lose some money while he continues to cut payroll.
If the Yankees are not “quitters” than they had better win the deadline because the postseason has five teams ahead of them and 5.5 games between them. New York has an under 10% chance of playing meaningful games in October so forgive the fans for not caring if the team stays together or not. This team, by any Yankees’ metric, is a failure. It’s OK to quit at failing.
If the Yankees truly believe what the front office claims, than it should buy at the deadline, and look for two middle of the order bats, a front of the rotation pitcher and one more middle reliever, but they won’t do that because they won’t trade the farm or spend money.
So we can rightfully disregard anything Levine has to say about Baseball. It’s not for him.
The Yankees need to trade assets and commit to it fully as has been the rumored desire of Cashman, the guy who knows about rosters. Trade Miller to the Cubs or Rangers, Beltran to the Indians and Chapman to the Nationals. Get three elite prospects and a couple of lottery tickets. Look to move Eovaldi or Michael Pineda, two guys with enough rope to hang anything they want, who will likely pan out elsewhere and have one more year left on their contracts. Try to move Brett Gardner, since both Tyler Austin and Aaron Judge are ready for major league callups (once Judge is healthy). See what’s out there for McCann so Gary Sanchez can finally get an extended look.
Finally, cut bait with Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez, the two guys on or off the field most directly to blame for this season’s failure. Teixeira is done in a few months and has nothing left and A-Rod is a struggling, part-time DH taking a roster spot from players who deserve it. Cutting bait with one year left on his disaterous contract isn’t going to hurt anyone.
It’s time to sell and it’s about time the Yankees’ front office realized it.