Monday, November 19, 2012

As Yankee fans stare into the abyss, there is one possibly way to avoid falling in

Today, I again woke up to find David Phelps our fifth starter and Chris Dickerson patrolling right field. And - get this - I was relieved.

That's because waiting for Brian Cashman's inevitable bad trade is like sitting on death row, waiting for the padre to walk down the corridor.

Despite the hype - which is always solid - we have a relatively barren minor league system. That means we will have to bundle prospects - thinking Mason Williams and Slade Heathcott - to deal for anyone of substance. Thus, every morning I expect another Austin Jackson giveaway, where we take some slugger two years beyond peak foliage, or the next arm about to fall off from 220-plus innings. (Think King Felix in 2015.)

Listen:  Cash does a great job of picking usable parts off the scrap heap. But our problems cannot be solved by the next Brian Bruney. The Steinbrothers have changed their Prime Directive from "Win World Series" to "Cut Payroll to $189 M."  That means trades. And pardon me, folks, if I sound pessimistic. But it's trades that brought us to this sorry precipice.

No GM trades with the hated Yankees unless he can assure his local, Yankee-hating fan base that he just robbed us.  It's always payback for some free agent - Danny Tartabull or Bob Shirley - we "stole" long ago. Only a few teams answer our phone calls -- figure Pittsburgh, Seattle and/or maybe the Nats, if we want to unload another Tyler Clippard.

As long as we're more interested in banking profits than winning a championship, the future means "being creative." That boils down to trading youth for age, and that's how we ended up in the 11-Year Barf between 1983 and 1994.

The YES Network will soon be sold to News Corp.  Rupert Murdoch will not accept the July-to-October ratings collapse that comes from a fourth place team. He will exert pressure for another quick fix acquisition that lets us chase the new, final wild card slot.

I can tell you the one thing that could change our future: A creative renegotiation of Arod's contract.

We need to spread payments over a longer period of time, to avoid luxury tax. The NY Giants did it with Eli Manning. Teams do it commonly in the NFL and NBA - leagues with salary caps. Considering that MLB now has a salary cap - even though it doesn't call it one -- we need creative book-cooksmanship, and Arod needs to understand that he'll be happier with Robbie Cano behind him in the order.

There was never a rule made by billionaires that didn't have a loophole large enough to fit Prince Fielder. Hello, Yankee shyster lawyers. Where are you? Our fifth starter is David Phelps. Let's get on this.


joe de pastry said...

What is worse than having Phelps as a 5th starter? Having two old guys who could fall apart at any minute [Kurado/Pettitte] as our potential 2d and 3d starters? Or is it having the elbow burn out case of Sabathia as #1?

YankeesMILBGuru said...

Very interesting piece. I'm not sure barren is the best way to describe the minor league system though. Confused or upside down may be better. I have watched and studied it for decades and I can not remember a time when so many potential back end of the bullpen types were in the system. Also if the real truth were told numbers 1,2,and 3 in the upside department are all coming from the Dominican this year. Yankee fans #1 holiday wish has to be to keep whoever broke Banuelos, Campos, Stoneburner, Heredia and the rest of the former starting pitching prospects away from DePaula!

Tanned Tom said...

How is it possible that an experienced blogger is unaware of basic English? "there is one possibly way to avoid falling in"?
Where were you taught to write like that? The least, the very least, we should be able to expect is a basic command of the language. Don't you care enough to do better?

SanJoseKid said...

Perhaps Duke Carmel could come out of retirement and cement right field?

Anonymous said...

What is wrong with Phelps? He looks like he will become a very good pitcher with a full season under his belt. The problem with the yanks started when George died. His kids are nothing but a bunch of greedy butt holes. They have millions and still make millions with the Yanks but its not enough for them.