Thank you, Brian Cashman. Thank you Hal and Hank Steinbrenner. Thank you to Randy Levine as well.
I am not going to get political in this column, but I will steal the slogan for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign of "Make America Great Again." America is and always will be great, but that is not the case with the Yankees. They have not been great for quite some time and what Brian Cashman has done in the last week is an attempt to "Make the Yankees Great Again." Not today, but in the future. They are now selling us hope, and I am all for it.
Thank everyone in the Yankees front office for realizing what this team is in 2016. I wrote about it a few weeks back that the Yankees needed to be smart as we approached the MLB trade deadline and they needed to trade veteran players for young building block pieces. They needed to realize there was a difference between a playoff contender and a championship contender. They needed to see that it is OK to take the financial hit right now, in order to try and build long term success. Sometimes a winning record is not a successful season, especially when you are hanging on by your finger nails for that ‘success’. It is not a successful season, when you are not getting better and are just treading water. The Yankees have perfected the doggie paddle.
That is why it was ‘smart’ to trade Aroldis Chapman to the Cubs for a package that included 19-year-old shortstop prospect Gleyber Torres. That is why it made baseball sense to trade Andrew Miller to the Indians for four prospects, which included 21-year-old outfielder Clint Frazier. After dropping their second straight game to the Rays, it became clear to the Yankees that they needed to sell. The time to strike was now because the value of your relief pitchers was never going to be any higher than it is right now. I know Chapman is a free-agent and once he declined to sign an extension, it made sense to move him. Plus, he enjoyed his time in New York and if the Yankees offer him the most money in the off-season, than he will be back. It is that simple.
So, I applaud Cashman and Yankees management for being smart. They have an understanding of what their team is and are not trying to sell themselves on any pipe dreams. It is not about just trying to make the playoffs, it is about trying to win championships. I know prospects are a risk and they are just that, a risk or a gamble on potential. But I believe the Yankees fan is good with that risk after watching the product the past couple of seasons. As a fan base, they have grown tired of paying for the past. Grown tired of bloated contracts on players that no longer resemble the players they once were. Hey, it happens. You win a championship in 2009 and there are going to be after effects to that title. I get it, but it is now time to get back to reality. Let the past go and think about the future ahead.
They Yankees have been good, but not great. You strive to be great and I believe with these deals, that is what the Yankees are trying to do. They will eventually be great again.