A big knock on how the New York Yankees do business is the organization’s overall lack of feel for the game. Going down the slippery analytics slope is dangerous and will only get you stuck in the worst corners of social media, but it’s hard to deny the front office has favored advanced metrics far more than the human element.
Folks … both are important! Deeper stats tell a story you might not have noticed, which helps find gems, like Clay Holmes. There’s no replacing “the feels,” however — a pulse on a locker room, knowing when to make a pitching change, or, in this case, knowing who to trade!
But we’ll get to that in a moment. Even before general manager Brian Cashman soured the entire trade deadline (which was wildly successful up until the buzzer) with the Jordan Montgomery-Harrison Bader trade with the Cardinals, he angered one of the team’s key players.
Luis Severino, who began throwing on Monday as he works back from a lat strain, was transferred to the 60-day injured list, seemingly without being notified and/or without his approval. Now, is it up to him? Not exactly. And the fact he didn’t report this most recent injury, or the one prior that forced him to undergo Tommy John surgery, is problematic. But why is there such an extreme disconnect between the front office and the roster that results in this kind of drama?
Remember, the Yankees screwed up Severino’s injury diagnosis due to poor communication/information gathering heading into the 2019 season, which kept him out for most of that year. So regardless of who is actually right, the Yankees creating a problem when there doesn’t need to be one is beyond bizarre — and further proves the front office really does lack any sort of positive “human element” traits.
The Yankees torpedoed team chemistry up until the trade deadline
Thats one (1) bad move. The second was the Montgomery trade. The Yankees added a starter in Frankie Montas and then subtracted another, further weakening a unit that was already weakened with the Severino injury, Jameson Taillon’s struggles, and Germán’s mere presence.
But forget about that — back to the human aspect of things. Blindsiding a homegrown talent who’s battled and battled — regardless of his effectiveness as a high-end producer in your eyes — is bad business. It truly doesn’t get worse than that. It’s akin to the Red Sox trading Christian Vazquez to the Astros while he was at Minute Maid Park and had no knowledge of it. Don’t be like the Red Sox, man.
The guy’s almost in years! Great for team morale.
And that had ripple effects. Taillon, a fellow starter and close friend, wasn’t happy about it! That definitely helped him allow five earned runs on two hits and four walks across 4.2 innings on Tuesday night, didn’t it?
And lastly, this final scenario has effects from both last year’s deadline and this one. A year ago, the Yankees traded for Rangers outfielder Joey Gallo, who then put forth arguably the worst near-full season of baseball in New York Yankees history for a full-time player.
However, reports suggest the front office was warned “by their own people” that Gallo wouldn’t be a fit at last year’s trade deadline, whether it was because of his player profile or ability to handle a bigger stage. That was ignored by the higher ups, Gallo was acquired, totally ruined the morale of the fanbase to the point where all anybody could do was feel bad, and was traded a year later.
But the funny part about the trade this time around? Gallo was a valued member of the clubhouse! That’s two times the human element was disregarded (though we won’t fault the Yankees for the second time because Gallo simply had to go, there was no way he could stay).
Had they listened the first time, though, the Yankees aren’t in this position and don’t have to conduct damage control concerning Gallo for 10 months and then remove someone from the clubhouse that everyone generally liked.
This organization needs a Vibes Coach or Zen Master. Maybe the Dalai Lama is the only one who can help. Anyway, this isn’t Tampa Bay or Oakland. We’re not churning humans through some Baseball Machine. Act with some class, respect your employees, hear people out, and make tough decisions with tact. How hard is it?