Are Yankees setting up complete gutting of analytics team in offseason scapegoat move?

Pay no attention to the Brian Cashman behind the curtain.
Philadelphia Phillies v New York Yankees
Philadelphia Phillies v New York Yankees / New York Yankees/GettyImages

Some New York Yankees fans have trouble trusting the entire concept of "analytics" because of their perception that nerds are ruining the game of baseball. This is just a wild guess, but I don't believe those fans would have the same issues with analytics if the Yankees were, say, winning the World Series, rather than flaming out with untrustworthy aging talent.

"Analytics" aren't the bogeyman in other MLB cities, after all. They've helped the Dodgers stay sustainable. They led to multiple Astros World Series and a borderline dynasty. They are part of the fabric of baseball -- but you have to assess the numbers well to have a shot. When everyone's in the pool, those who are still banking on successes from 2009 (how many times have you heard Michael Fishman brag about Nick Swisher?) should probably innovate rather than deteriorate.

Which brings us to our central thesis: The Yankees' analytics department, at least on the offensive end, kinda sorta seems very much Not Good At This. For a team that wins as often as they do, the Yankees don't really seem to be leaders in many fields, offensively. Aaron Judge is a God amongst men, which has papered over a lot of recent traumas. DJ LeMahieu was a great find (and not a great re-sign). But New York doesn't draft well. They certainly don't develop well. And they no longer target the correct free agents within their (still very large!) budget.

All things considered, it would make sense to cut off the head and fire Brian Cashman, especially if that head has had 25 years to make his own distinct imprint on the organization and has only won one title with his own core (a core he splurged upon to make George Steinbrenner happy in his final year on earth).

Instead, as Bob Klapisch laid out this week, it seems the Yankees' analytics department might get the axe -- and the blame. Good idea? Probably! A good place to stop? Probably not.

Yankees analytics team could get makeover (under Brian Cashman) this offseason

In this case, is Cashman viewed as too feckless to turn down the analytics team's recommendations? If so ... uh ...

Hiring the Matt Blake of Offense is a worthy goal. It would be fantastic to see the Yankees make a move for, say, a Masataka Yoshida type and think, "Wow, they must know something we don't!" rather than, "LOL, WHAT?!?".

Right now, too many Yankees additions fall into the latter category. Carlos Rodón made all the sense in the world and still does. But Frankie Montas, available at a prospect discount with a known bum shoulder? Joey Gallo, another known quantity whose Minnesota breakout has become decidedly less sexy in recent weeks (and who got much, much worse under the spotlight in New York)? The tens upon tens of prospects who've seen their trade value de-juiced by being swept to the corner (Oswald Peraza, you're next)? Sonny Gray, who the Yankees tinkered with and touched until he smiled, nodded, departed, and succeeded?

New York already replaced the pitching regime that made that calculated error. They should absolutely brush off and mess with their outdated analytics group, too, and changing things in that department might actually have middle-aged New Yorkers trusting the buzzword again. But if the new department is still being lorded over by Cashman and Hal Steinbrenner, two people who've overseen budgetary malfeasance for a decade plus, will the needle really move? Or will Cashman just needle the new guy in charge -- or bend to his incorrect whims, as this report would lead us to believe is currently happening?