With the recent news of Justin Upton being too costly for the Yankees this off-season it’s official that these Yankees are not the Yankees of old. You’ve had to have seen the postings of, “If George were still around he’d be a Yankee.” It gets to the point where everyone is talking like this is a video game. “Oh we should have traded for Felix instead of Pineda.” Well my friends, I’m sure if we could have done that we would have. The other general managers have common sense. They’re in that position for a reason. Also realize that the rest of the league is not a farm system for the Yankees to pick and choose the best players. Believe it or not, that’s not how it works. Shocking I know.
The days of the Reggie Jackson, Catfish Hunter, Alex Rodriguez, etc. signings are done. Sure, there may be the occasional big name signing by the Yankees to retain a player that came up with them through the farm, but even then that might not be the case anymore. Robinson Cano‘s contract is up at the end of next season. There’s some doubt that he might not comeback next year. And if that happens you can’t really blame the team for not re-signing him.
Look at the contacts of Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, and CC Sabathia right now [here]. The amount of money is an issue considering the self-imposed salary cap, but the bigger issue is the years. Fewer years equals more flexibility. So what does more years mean? Yup, less flexibility. The Yankees are stuck with these aging superstars now and I’m sure they don’t want Cano to continue the trend.
So what I guess I’m trying to get across is that this team will not be similar to other Yankees teams of that past. The past 18 years have been a success with this team. No matter how much we’re spoiled by their ridiculous amount of winning, we have to understand that this is one of the greatest runs by a franchise ever. I’ve witnessed the Yankees miss the playoffs one time in my time as a fan. Try getting sympathy from a Pirates fan after being eliminated from the ALCS. Oh, it was also the third time the Yankees made the ALCS in the last four years. Yeah, we’re spoiled.
While it’s actually going on it’s okay to get mad. I certainly was mad after the Tigers swept the Yankees, but you know what? You have to look at what has transpired over the years. Only then will you realize how spoiled you are.
Again, what am I getting at? Well, the new Steinbrenners don’t work the way their Dad did. The Tampa Bay Rays are the model franchise in baseball right now. Simply put, they do an excellent job of developing their prospects and getting rid of their older players for prospects. I somewhat believe the Yankees are becoming more and more like the Rays, to an extent. The Yankees will never fullly rely on prospects with their money. But, it doesn’t hurt to develop prospects to create flexibility and avoid paying out lucrative long-term contracts to aging players. Having a bunch of aging players will result in fewer playoff appearances. The Yankees might be on their way to missing the post-season this year. If key players play their age, then they’ll lose production.
The game is slowly evolving and players who are supposed to break contract records have less of a market now. It’s only a matter of time before every large market city realizes this. *Cough* Los Angeles *Cough*