The fire sale has begun…
Apparently, Yankee Ownership has reached the same conclusion as the rest of us. The 2016 Yankees aren’t going anywhere and can make other plans for October.
With the Aroldis Chapman trade, the Yankees were still committed to the 2016 season as Chapman was a surplus at the back end of the rotation. But with today’s trade of Andrew Miller to the Cleveland Indians, the team has raised the white flag. Dellin Betances has moved very quickly from the 7th inning reliever to Closer. Perhaps it was always his job. There was a certain air of destiny as a homegrown talent from the Bronx. Miller and Chapman proved themselves elsewhere before they came to New York, but Dellin has been a Yankee from the start.
Now we need new setup guys…
I was reading that Yankees reliever Bryan Mitchell is nearly healthy again and will be on a rehab assignment as soon as next week. At the beginning of the year, he was expected to the new Adam Warren. But now when he comes back, he’ll have to fight Adam Warren to be the new Adam Warren given the latter’s return to New York in the Chapman trade.
The days of a six inning lead and game over are history. It was fun while it lasted. How great it would have/could have been if the Yankees had shown any offensive ability during the course of the season. But for the Bronx Bumblers, having the greatest bullpen ever didn’t mean anything.
Despite the lack of a quality farm system just a few years ago, the Yankees have clearly brought an infusion of high level talent that is re-shaping the Yankees top prospects list. C Gary Sanchez was the top prospect for years until he started to slide down a couple of notches. Most recently, SS Jorge Mateo held the spot. With the Chapman trade, SS Gleyber Torres became the Yankees’ top prospect and Mateo became a second baseman on the A level Tampa Yankees. Now, with OF Clint Frazier on board in the Miller trade, there’s a good chance that he pushes Torres down the list. Getting the top prospect from two other organizations is quite a haul.
Credit: The Plain Dealer
The Yankees also acquired the Indians’ #5 prospect in LHP Justus Sheffield. He is the second rated pitcher for Cleveland behind P Brady Aiken.
I can’t help but wonder if the infusion of quality young talent might be a precursor for a trade to get someone like P Chris Sale. I doubt it, but the Yankees will certainly have more options in 2017 as they look to rebuild the team.
There’s no doubt that I would just bite the bullet on the Alex Rodriguez contract and release him. At this point, A-Rod has no defined role and is unable to contribute commensurate with the contract. If Greg Bird was healthy, I’d say the same for Mark Teixeira but he’s not so the Yanks will have to stay with Tex for now.
With young outfielders like Aaron Judge and Clint Frazier soon ready to knock on the door at the major league level, I have to wonder how much longer Brett Gardner will be a Yankee. If the team truly makes a run at Bryce Harper in a couple of years, they’ll have to move out some outfielders.
It’s very easy to get excited about Frazier. Per MLB.com’s 2016 Prospect Watch:
Frazier’s bat speed and raw power are among the best in the Minor Leagues and suggest the ceiling of an All-Star. Though he struggled to harness his aggressive approach and recognize spin early in his career, Frazier has developed into a more complete hitter as he’s climbed the Minor League ladder, with strikeout and walk rates that continue to trend in a positive direction.
As a centerfielder, his job will be to make Jacoby Ellsbury expendable.
Now that Chapman and Miller are gone, the Yankees should focus on moving Carlos Beltran and Brian McCann. Beltran has been a great Yankee this season but the contract’s soon up and there’s no chance the Yankees will re-sign him at age 40. So, it’s better to get some value before he walks away since the team is not a contender this year. With McCann, the Yankees have to create opportunity for Gary Sanchez and Austin Romine has proven he belongs as a major league backup. With McCann on the roster, the Yankees would have to move or cut Romine to create the room for Sanchez. I’d rather see McCann go.
I am excited to see the wealth of young talent enter the organization, but admittedly, it is very hard to see guys like Andrew Miller leave. He was such a great team guy who never put his own self interests first. Whatever the role, he could be counted on to deliver. Tito Francona is going to be very pleased with his bullpen now. Miller was my favorite Yankee after the retirement of Mariano Rivera. I guess I need to find a new favorite now…
Credit: Patrick Semansky, AP
As hard as it is to see Chapman and now Miller in other uniforms, I know that this is for the good of the organization. I don’t see any other players on the roster that are capable of bringing in the other organization’s top prospect. Well, maybe Dellin Betances, but he’s not going anywhere.
These are the days that will define GM Brian Cashman’s legacy.