Yankees Editorial: Does a failed 2015 Really Spell Trouble for the Future?


Will the New York Yankees ever be able to sell a rebuilding phase to their passionate fan base?

Perhaps just as important, can the New York Yankees sell a rebuilding phase to themselves?

Despite the fact that I predicted the Yankees to win the A.L. East on our Podcast this past weekend, there’s still a legitimate chance that I’m completely off-base and that the team crumbles in 2015. Should that be the case, the aforementioned questions might very well become the central issue to the Yankees 2015 season.

A bizarre off-season and a rather interesting spring training for the Yankees have only solidified one thing: The teams long-term future appears incredibly promising, and their short-term future, the here are now, appears questionable at best. The Yankees literally need every thing to go right in order for them to contend in 2015. They’ll need good health out of their entire pitching staff, bounce back seasons from the heart of their lineup, and the rest of the A.L. East to remain as weak as it is now for the duration of the season, meaning that the Red Sox don’t go out and acquire a Cole Hamels or Johnny Cueto at the trade deadline.

So what if this doesn’t happen? What if everything goes wrong and the Yankees miss playoffs for a third straight season? What if the teams finishes with a mark under .500 for the first time since I was born (1992)?

Is this even allowed in the ‘evil empire’?

“We’re not allowed to have a bad month,” General Manager Brian Cashman told Ken Davidoff of the New York Post.“let alone six months.”

Cashman, also the team’s Senior Vice President of Baseball Operations, re-signed with the Yankees over the winter, agreeing to a three-year extension, and then proceeding to his 18th season behind the helm. From a fan’s perspective, the moves Brian Cashman made this off-season were lackluster at best. Aside from the $52 million deal to bring back Chase Headley and the $36 million deal to bring in southpaw reliever Andrew Miller, the Yankees didn’t quite operate with an open checkbook like they had in years past. The Yankees never entertained free-agent pitchers Jon Lester, Max Scherzer or James Shields. Instead, Cashman relied on a series of trades to make the roster younger and more athletic, with the additions of shortstop Didi Gregorius and right-handed flame thrower Nathan Eovaldi.

Yes, their decision to remain out of the race for the three top pitchers on the free-agent market leaves them incredibly vulnerable in their starting rotation. But the decision to think long-term and acquire future assets should certainly pay off in the future.

As we look back on this years spring training, we saw the newly acquired Didi Gregorius put on a clinic with his gold glove caliber defense. We also saw the teams pitching coach Larry Rothschild and catcher Brian McCann adjust Eovaldi’s mechanics to yield less hits and get better production out of his fastball. We also saw the emergence of some of the Yankees top prospects, including Rob Refsnyder, Jose Pirela, Luis Severino, Aaron Judge,Gregory Bird and Jacob Lindgren.

Yes, we would all like to see the Yankees as underdogs and actually see them overachieve for a post-season berth, but regardless of the outcome of the 2015 season, there’s a good chance the Yankees continue the 2015-16 off-season right where they left off this winter.

Brian Cashman might stay the course and avoid big-name signings with little money coming off the books so that this new emphasis on acquiring youth talent and developing prospects becomes the new Yankees model for success. After all, one may argue that this is indeed the organizations best chance for another run at a dynasty era like we saw in the late 1990’s – early 2000’s.

Obviously this isn’t to say the Yankees should go dirt cheap and act like a small market team, but rather the solution isn’t to spend endless amounts of money like they have in years past.

Well all know that George Steinbrenner deserves all of the blame for this current debacle. His creation of the win at all cost, World Series or bust culture led to their demise. They elected to build the new Yankee Stadium, rather than renovating ‘the house the Ruth built’, essentially tailoring to the rich fans and driving out the true diehard fans. For years they drained their prospect pools and wasted compensation draft picks in free-agent signings to acquire aging stars in the decline of their careers.

The Yankees are a mess, but I believe Brian Cashman is ready to right this sinking ship.

If the Yankees can’t contend in 2015,  keep an eye on the larger picture. This season might not be as bad as you, or even the Yankees themselves, initially think.

Brian Cashman might decide to flip the script and actually deal away some of his veterans to teams on the playoff hunt in exchange for prospects and draft-picks. I’m not saying they should tank, but if the situation presents itself, the Yankees should bow out of the playoff race and stockpile on future assets.

What do you think Yankee fans? Let us know in the comments below!

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