What if the Yankees had traded Mariano Rivera in a deadline deal?…
It’s tough. I’ve been preaching the Yankees need to sell and I still believe it. Yet, it was very hard to watch Aroldis Chapman and his 105 mph fastball move to Chicago. I know, it was the right thing to do. The Yankees got a player (SS Gleyber Torres) that knocked #1 prospect SS Jorge Mateo off his perch. They also got promising talent with two other minor leaguers, and the bonus included former Yankee Adam Warren, the perfect spot starter/long reliever. He should slot nicely into the 7th inning role departed by Dellin Betances when he was promoted to the 8th inning with the trade.
Credit: Barton Silverman/New York Times
Andrew Miller is my favorite Yankee. Going back, my favorite Yankees have been long-term affairs. I became a Yankees fan in 1974 when P Jim “Catfish” Hunter signed with the Yankees as a free agent. But it didn’t take long for me to jump to C Thurman Munson as my favorite. There was a short stint with P Rich “Goose” Gossage, but then 1B Don Mattingly became my favorite. When Mattingly retired, Mariano Rivera, then an 8th inning set up reliever for closer John Wetteland became my favorite Yankee. So, from 1983 to 2013, there were two players that were my favorite. When Andrew Miller joined the Yankees, he became my favorite due to his unselfish, total team approach. He’s been great at whatever role he’s held with the Yankees and has never complained. He is now the closer again with Chapman joining the Cubbies. Yet, with several days to the trade deadline, Miller could still soon be an ex-Yankee.
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There was a report today that the Washington Nationals might be willing to part with pitcher Lucas Giolito for Miller. A subsequent report indicated the Yankees would not take Giolito for Miller. Realistically and considering he is my favorite Yankee, that’s a trade that I would do with no questions asked. I think Giolito has a very promising future. There are no guarantees for anyone unless your name is Mike Trout or Bryce Harper. Pitchers are very fickle. The Los Angeles Dodgers have the best pitcher in baseball with Clayton Kershaw yet he is on the DL and there’s no word when he’ll be returning. The Yankees need a New York Mets-like starting rotation and I feel that Giolito could be a cornerstone. I would hate to lose Miller, and I would be very sad to see him go even if Giolito is the compensation. Yet, I feel the Yankees would be better off long-term with a potential ace in the rotation and Dellin Betances as the closer.
The Yankees have played better of late but realistically this is not a World Series team. The Yankees really need to make decisions now to influence the 2017 roster. That means they need to move guys like Ivan Nova and Carlos Beltran. Get prospects rather than see the players depart at the end of the year. I am prepared to cut bait with Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez and CC Sabathia. I’d try to move C Brian McCann and 3B Chase Headley. I’d also check to see if there was any value for LF Brett Gardner. I wouldn’t trade P Masahiro Tanaka but I’d seriously have to consider moving Michael Pineda and/or Nathan Eovaldi in the right deal.
The influx of additional young talent could allow the Yankees to make a deal for a guy like P Chris Sale or another impact player.
Owner Hal Steinbrenner and President Randy Levine still believe in the 2016 Yankees but they are definitely in the minority. The Yankees, behind GM Brian Cashman, need to be forward-thinking. The next couple of days will be crucial to the future of the franchise.
As painful as it is, please sell…