Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Yankeetorial: To save this sinking ship, the Yankees need Shields AND Moncada

After fielding two foregone teams over two farewell seasons, the Evil Empire has spent the last three months pretending to be the Tampa Rays. They have dealt what few players other teams wanted - a backup catcher (Cervelli), a prospect (Baneulos), bullpen lug nuts (Kelley, Claiborne), a journeyman (Prado) and a young starter (Greene) - for slightly younger versions of the above, which those teams viewed as valuable... but disposable.

In recent weeks, the Yankiverse - yearning for hope - has honed in on 19-year-old Cuban infielder Yoan Moncada, now a free agent. It's as if everybody has privately jettisoned 2015 and is now working for 2017, when Brian Cashman's contract ends. The front office scorned the bidding wars over Hanley Ramirez and Max Scherzer, and the squatting Gammonites of NYC repeatedly tell us how we should exalt in this new, wonderful frugality.

It hasn't worked. Talk to any Yankee fan, and you hear unvarnished despair. Betances might conjure an optimistic note, and some do feel Tex or McCann will bounce back. But any rotation hitched to the Twin CCs - Sabathia and Chris Capuano - has a rocky road ahead of it.

Now, two names remain on the board. One is Moncada, a potential successor to either Derek Jeter or Robbie Cano. The other is James Shields, the workhorse Royals starter, who could stabilize the 2015 rotation, though he'll be withered by the time Cashman's contract is up.

New York sports is in a free fall. The city's one pillar of success - the Yankees - have lost Western Massachusetts and much of Connecticut to the Redsocks. If Boston comes back this year, and the Yankees continue to stumble, the Redsocks would easily become baseball's premier team. Moreover, another season out of the playoffs, and NYC could become Mets territory.

If Hal Steinbrenner wants to pride himself on bargain basement signings - "the man who signed Yangervis Solarte" - so be it. He will also be remembered as the owner who stood at the helm of the Titanic as it went down.

It's time for Hal to step up, and do what he does best in life: Pull out the frickin wallet and pick up the frickin check.

Otherwise, let's face it: We are the Tampa Rays. And one of these days, the crowds, the viewership, and the interest will all be adjusted accordingly.


Local Bargain Jerk said...

The city's one pillar of success - the Yankees - have lost Western Massachusetts and much of Connecticut to the Redsocks.

Don't you mean the Red Sox. Do you even know baseball ?



el duque said...

It's hard, being the lone prophet of truth in the bleak, vast Yankiverse of nothingness.

ceeja said...

It's not that I want to save the Steinbrenners their precious money, it's just that overpaying severely limits options going forward.

Moncada is not a given and carries a 100% penalty. Shields is a good pitcher past his prime. There is at least one team out there that will massively overpay for each of these guys.

KD said...

Shields? Meh. I suppose he could give us a slightly better chance to win one game out of every five for the next year or two. But they'd better open up for Moncada. Passing on this 19 year old hot position player will be tough for me to swallow. It's getting harder and harder for me to venture into the Bronx as it is.

Not Anonymous said...

Forget Shields. Sign him if his value tanks and nobody else wants him. Do not sign him under any circumstances if you have to choose between him and Moncada. I'd rather the exciting prospect even if he flames out in a year than a declining SP.

Shields is a mediocre pitcher who seems to get bonus points from everyone because you can sorta rhyme his name with "Big Game."