Saturday, December 7, 2013

How could we be so tough with Cano, then cave in so pathetically with Beltran?

Last night, the signing of Carlos Beltran - three years, age 37, cranky knees, our sixth OF - conjured instant memories of the last time a Steinbrenner hustled out to grab a headline, after another team picked our pockets. It happened after the Redsocks stunned baseball with an outlandish bid for Dice K, the Japanese sensation. So we broke the bank and signed Kei Igawa. Remember him? The Yankee front office does, because they all still have their jobs.

Yesterday, we held the line against Robbery Cano's outlandish deal. We stood up to that ridiculous contract. We showed grit... for eight hours. Yes, eight magnificent hours! Hooray for us! Then... we scurried to the vault, drunk-dialed Carlos Beltran and caved in on a third year. God knows, we couldn't go to bed that night without spending $45 million for a piece of the back page. 

We now have six outfielders - each one either a china doll or far past his sell date. The only one anybody will take is a trade is Brett Gardner. Why, you might ask, is Gardner the only one anybody will take in a trade? Simple. He is the only one worth keeping.

My friends, we are living in a universe of magical thinking if we believe Derek Jeter can play SS for 120 games, or that Mark Teixeira - who in 2012 was already showing symptoms of Early Onset Giambizheimers Disease - will return to all-star form at 1B. Right now, no infield position looks remotely secure, not one.  

With an injury here or there - and we will field the game's most brittle lineup - we could easily be one of the worst teams in the American League. We could find ourselves in the most pathetic August since 1990: Waiting for A-Rod's ban to end, so he can spark ticket sales among booing fans. Yet the danger is far more long term.

We are approaching the coldest part of winter, that period when teams start dumping old players and rotted out contracts - you know, like Vernon Wells last year, or Robbie Cano four years from now.  Here is where the Yankees could blow up their future, while following the mad hubris of thinking they can buy a championship every year. 

We have few prospects in our farm system, nearly all of whom floundered last year, diminishing their trade value. It's not as if we're trading them when they're hot. We'll be trading them at a low point, getting the least in return. Next week, the also-rans  will start shopping the Chase Headleys and Brandon Phillips - the contractual zombies on their rosters - and they will want bundles of our best prospects in return. There is a reason they call it a "salary dump." The key word is "dump," as in - where we could end up. We went 14 years under George Steinbrenner, trading the future for the past, and it didn't end until we drafted first. We are ripe to start watching the best young talent in our system fly out of the door in exchange for somebody else's mistakes.

Yesterday was both invigorating and depressing.  I was so glad we didn't match Seattle's absurd contract. Still, I always thought Cano would stay - that being a New York Yankee meant something to him. (Regardless of what he'll claim, it didn't. That is the take-home point of yesterday.) Cano is gone - (I'll never call him Robbie again) - and without him, we are a far worse team. Unless Beltran can play 2B, he cannot replace Cano. And if we're thinking Brian Cashman will trade our way to a pennant, please tell me what historical record inspires such hope?

Get ready, everybody. We are going to trade Brett Gardner and a bunch of prospects for meatballs and gravy. And the aftertaste is going to linger for a long, long time.

1 comment:

Alphonso said...

I told you so.

Beltran is the worst idea since John Boehner. He will be a failure from his first at bat.

He can't play the outfield; he can't run;
and if he hits 13 home runs, I'll be shocked.

And that is before he misses the last two years of his contract ( or most of it ) injured.

When people don't learn from history, they repeat it. As long as fans watch, buy and listen, the Yankees will keep doing the same dumb things. I mean; when there is no accountability, everyone keeps doing the same things.It takes no effort.

No new coaches; no smart moves to get draft picks; no change in approach at all.

Give us the oldest players you've got, players whose last dash in the sun is now over, and we'll overpay them. Pretty much forever.

Like our troop commitment to Afghanistan.