Yankees Need to Let Brian Cashman Do His Job
Monday’s win brought the Yankees back to .500, but at this point, it’s little more than window dressing. It’s time for the Yankee brass to allow Brian Cashman to make roster moves with an eye towards the future.
The Yankees are up to their usual tricks coming out of the break and the trade deadline is rapidly approaching. They may not be buried in the standings, but having spent most of the season hovering around .500; mediocrity is the name of the game. There is no need to wait and hope that things will turn in their favor. This team has declared itself loud and clear.
The Yankees are only five games out of the second wild card spot, but by the same token, there are just four teams behind them in the standings. For the Yankees to truly get back into contention, they would have to leapfrog six teams. In the midst of a four-game series against Baltimore, and series with San Francisco and Houston to follow, that would be an exceedingly tall task. It’s not going to happen.
As reported last week by ESPN, there is some infighting within the Yankee brass. The baseball operations people, led by Brian Cashman, want to sell off as many assets as possible. The business side, led by Hal Steinbrenner and Randy Levine, believes the team is still in the postseason discussion.
This report is a bit disconcerting when you consider all the evidence to the contrary.
For a moment, let’s not think about all the teams the Yankees would have to climb over. When clubs are in a pennant race with a lot of ground to make up, they can really only worry about themselves.
Getting caught up in the business of other teams generally leads to distractions. Let’s also throw out the upcoming schedule. It’s a difficult row to hoe. But the Yankees would have to do so much winning to get into contention that who they play is virtually irrelevant.
It’s still just as unsettling.
From a bare bones baseball standpoint, the Yankees are deficient in many areas. Like so much else in baseball, the list starts with the rotation. As the saying goes, it’s Masahiro Tanaka and pray for rain.
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The Yankees ace has been about as reliable as they could have hoped for. He’s pitched poorly on normal rest but what he’s done with a few extra days off has been enough to keep him in the top 10 in ERA in the A.L.
The Yankees are 14-5 in games Tanaka has started, which means they are a paltry 32-41 with anybody else on the mound. A sample size of 73 games is considerably more telling than one of just 19. This is what the Yankees are.
CC Sabathia was reliable for a time this year but has struggled of late. Both Nathan Eovaldi and Michael Pineda have shown signs, but the Yankees lack a true number two to backup their ace. In order to win without starting pitching, a team needs a potent lineup and a staunch bullpen.
With rare exceptions, the Yankees have neither. But what they do have is a cache of players– headlined by free agents-to-be Aroldis Chapman and Carlos Beltran— that are desirable on the trade market. The Yankees have a unique opportunity to turn a short-term negative into a long-term positive.
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Here’s hoping Steinbrenner and Levine come to their senses and allow Cashman to do what he deems best for the organization’s future. Yankees fans are among the game’s most intelligent. They look around baseball and see how young, premium talent can transform an organization– look no further than the hated Red Sox and crosstown Mets.
This is what Yankees fans want. They are excited about bringing in potential high-impact prospects, and are ready to move on from this core of players. Another one-and-done playoff appearance is not going to cut it.