Yankees Editorial: Forget 2015, The Yankees Need to Look Ahead


Call me pessimistic. Say I’m being negative. I’ll claim I’m being realistic and trying to look at the New York Yankees’ prospects of a successful season, not through rose-colored glasses, but through the prism of someone who has seen this all before.

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The Yanks have not had such low seasonal projections since 1993. The trending arrows all point down, while their typical philosophy of trying to rebuild on the fly, despite being hamstrung by numerous awful contracts, takes shape.

The latest rumor about Cole Hamels notwithstanding, the Yankee fans (and New York media) need to understand something: there is no quick fix. There is no savior. There is short-term, painful rebuilding, which could very well turn into something special. However, patience will be necessary.

Yankee General Manager Brian Cashman, needs to sell this to the Yankee front office – or, at least, believe it himself. The pieces are in place to deliver what everyone purports to want: an inexpensive, winning solution.   Gone are the days when dominant teams can skate through to the World Series. In recent history, we’ve seen one pitcher stop better teams (hello Mr. Baumgartner and Mr. Carpenter). As Yankee fans, we’ve been victims of it as well (see 2001 and 2003).

It’s not about building dominant teams; it’s about building consistent, winning programs, down several levels.   In the past 20 years, the Yankees franchise has experienced unprecedented success, making the post season in 17 of 20 seasons.

Since the real modern, free agent era of baseball began, no team has enjoyed that level of extended achievement. Using their combination of financial resources, good drafting, well-placed free agent signing, the Yankees took the few seasons of failures in the early-1990s and created that era.   It can happen again, but the painful price needs to be paid.

There are teams out there looking for stopgap outfielders. As soon as he shows any signs of success, Carlos Beltran should be shipped off for prospects.   Once CC Sabathia shows he’s healthy (knee brace and all), off he goes to another potential contender. (Both might end up in the same place if the San Francisco Giants need rotation help and Hunter Pence’s rehabilitation takes longer than expected.)

Major-league ready pieces like Rob Refsnyder, Jose Pirela, Aaron Judge and Luis Severino (as well as current roster member Adam Warren) need to be thrown into the deep end of the pool to see if they can swim. At the first sign of breakdown (and we all know it’s coming despite any gluten-free diet), Mark Teixeira can be replaced by Gregory Bird (with help from Garrett Jones).

If Cashman really wants to wait until May so this new group of young players’ arbitration/free agent years don’t start counting until 2016, so be it.   But this is the time. Trading these pieces for a 31-year old pitcher will not win you a pennant.

But holding these pieces and rebuilding in 2015, might win you several starting in 2017.

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