It’s the first week of June and the New York Yankees are in first place. That sounds pretty great, right? Now consider the Rays are only behind by half a game and the Yankees are on pace for just 87 wins. The Yankees need to get better if they really want to play in October.
Masahiro Tanaka is one start back from is month-long stint on the DL. Ivan Nova is a few weeks away from returning to the Yankees after having Tommy John surgery just under a year ago. Both pitchers, while great, will have a difficult time pitching the rest of the year injury free.
Tanaka and Nova may not be able to stay in the rotation this year, but the Yankees have put themselves in this position without them. Trading away future ace Luis Severino, Aaron Judge, and others is not the response to “well they might get injured again.”
The AL East is terrible this season. Pitching is weak across the board and last week the Yankees were the only team above .500. Giving up the future for an expensive arm that has been taxed with tens of thousands of pitches is not the way to plan for the future. King needs to realize that the Yankees need to hold onto their youth so they can stop paying other teams for their talent year after year.
The free agent pool will be large for the next two years. If the Yankees must, they can grab arms then. Losing future draft picks is less worrisome than losing minor leaguers who have already started to show promise.
If the AL East had a team that had a winning percentage over .600, it might be time to hit the panic button. However, no one is running away with anything at this point.
With two seasons in a row without a playoff berth, I understand why King is tired of losing. Unfortunately, he sounds like a child that lost his favorite toy. Patience is the key to a long success and Cole Hamels is not the answer to the team’s issues. They still have a shortstop and second baseman that cannot hit the ball. Upgrading one or both of those positions would go much further than one more starter. Hopefully Rob Refsnyder gets his call to the Bronx squad soon.