As it appears right now, the Yankees are not going to be a playoff team in 2017, and I am fine with it. They are taking a shot at greatness and they should be applauded for it. Certainly, they will have to sell tickets and be watchable this upcoming season and I think they will be. I am looking forward to watching a young group of players develop, for better or worse, right before our very eyes.
The Yankees have not won a World Series since 2009 and they have made the postseason just once in the last four years, and that appearance lasted just nine innings. In the last four years the Yankees have won 85, 84, 87 and 84 games. They have not been awful, they just have not been what you expect from the Yankees. They have not been brilliant.
It began last year for the Yankees and that was the decision to trade the likes of Carlos Beltran, Andrew Miller, Aroldis Chapman and Ivan Nova for prospects to build, as Chapman described, an "uber" team. The Yankees farm system is now ranked as one of the best in all of Major League Baseball. I am all for it and I believe Yankee fans are ready to be patient. I know it is the dreaded word that nobody wants to hear when you are discussing the teams that you root for. Lets face it, we live in a "what have you done for me lately?" society where everyone wants everything now. Sometimes you need to be patient and GM Brian Cashman hopes that patience does pay off.
Gleyber Torres, acquired from the Cubs, was just named Arizona Fall League MVP. Clint Frazier, the hotshot outfielder acquired from the Indians, should make his presence felt at some point in 2017. I know not everyone will pan out and there will be prospects who never realize their potential. I get that and I fully understand that. However, I would rather see the Yankees take a shot at building a championship caliber team than spinning their wheels in mediocrity.
Gone are the likes of Alex Rodriguez and Mark Texiera and the face of the Yankee franchise moving forward will be young power hitting catcher Gary Sanchez.
When news came down early this past Thursday evening that they had traded veteran catcher Brian McCann to the Houston Astros for two young pitching prospects, it was music to my ears. It also signaled the Yankees had seen enough from Sanchez to believe that he is the real deal. With the acquisition of young power arms like Albert Abreu and Jorge Guzman, they Yankees have given themselves options for the future. We don’t know what Abreu or Guzman will be, but we do know they have the potential to impact the major leagues either out of the bullpen or in the starting rotation.
The trade has also given the Yankees some more financial flexibility moving forward and that does not mean and should not mean that they use it this offseason. I know that they need a starting pitcher, but I would not invest a three-year contract on 36-year-old lefty starter Rich Hill. I could understand investing in Mets free agent Yoenis Cespedes, given the fact that he is the best offensive bat on the free agent market. With that being said, I would stay away because I don’t think they Yankees will contend in 2017 and I would be a more than a little leary of giving Cespedes the five-year contract that he seeks.
By making the trades and adding quality prospects to their farm system, they have given themselves some viable trade chips should a franchise caliber player become available from another team. You never know when those guys become available and now the Yankees have the prospects to pique the interest of another ball club.
If not, and the majority of these players develop into the potential players they can be, the Yankees have given themselves a core group of players for sustained success.
Sometimes you can’t have everything you want right away. The Yankee brass looks like they are willing to wait and the fans should, too.