Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The Yankees' future will be dictated by what they do at second base

Ever since Robbie Cano jogged off to Seattle, second base for the Yankees has been Syria: Poverty, pestilence, bombings and nothing to show for all the money spent. Next season shapes up as Year III of the drought.

Look at the teams in the post-season. None of them concedes 2B, as the Yankees have done.

This winter, the Evils must decide what to do at 2B, which will in turn dictate the direction of the team. Will they go old, go young, or go Met? Let us consider the options.

1. Sign another old coot, probably to a two or three-year deal. The nominees:

Ben Zobrist, currently 34, switch hitter, who this year batted .276 with 13 HRs. (Previous year, .272 with 10.)

Howie Kendrick, currently 32, bats right, who hit .292 with 9 HRs. (Previous year: 293 with 7 HR.)

Chase Utley, currently 36, bats left, .212 with 8 HRs. (Previous: .270 with 11.)

Asdrubal Cabrera, currently 29, switch hitter, .265 with 15 (Previous: .241 with 14)

These guys represent Cashman's survival formula: Spend on a big name, and if he fails, everybody blames the player, not the G.M. But with the exception of Cabrera, every one of these guys is three years past his sell-date, and Cabrera is a crap shot. The one thing we know is that if the Yankees sign one of these guys, they'll play him - regardless of how bad he is. He'll be the 2B through July, no questions asked.

To me, this would represent another sad, boring, mediocre team. Really, have we endured the last three years to end up with Howie Kendrick?

2. Sign Daniel Murphy of the Mets, and pay him for his 2015 post-season. (This is also known as the Second Coming of Tony Womack option.

If they sign Murphy - currently 30 - one question rises above others: Would they get the Murphy who hit .281 with 14 HR in the regular season, or the post-season superhuman. Because they'll pay for the latter.

The last time they went after a World Series star 2B, old George signed old Tony Womack of the Cardinals. It turned out to be a disaster. But the Yankees might feel they need to steal the Mets' thunder. To sign Murphy could require a five-year deal, because he'd be in the drivers' seat, at the absolute zenith of his negotiating career. Talking about buying high.

This is the plan we should fear the most.

3. Go with Rob Refsnyder (and maybe Dustin Ackley). 

Refsnyder will be 25. In 43 at bats, he hit .302. For any other team in baseball, he would be a lock to start 2016 in the Bronx. But why kid ourselves? It's one thing to be cheap. It's another to be stuck in your ways. The Yankee ownership seems to be intermittently both.

We all know the deal, as outlined by Alphonso yesterday: If Refsnyder makes an error in a spring training game, we can kiss him goodbye, and watch the team sign a coot.

As for Ackley, who knows? Cashman really likes him, he's 27, and last year, he hit .231 with 10 HRs. The question is, can he play 2B over a season?

The Yankees this winter are said to be moving their best SS prospects to 2B, a sign that Didi Gregorius will play SS for the next few years. That makes sense. But the team still has no youth option beyond Refsnyder in 2016. These younger guys will be lucky to make Scranton next season.

I still don't know why the Yankees were so reluctant to play Refsnyder this year. Management seemed to have its head up its ass, or was there something else? Cashman recently debunked a theory that Refsnyder projected an entitled attitude during his first brief fling with the Yankees - a story that never made sense. Yet Cashman let the rumor go for more than two months.

Fans wanted to see Refsnyder get a chance, rather than subject him to a second season in Scranton. Yet the Yankees played Stephen Drew, a horror show. They never really gave Jose Pirela the time of day. And Brendan Ryan never offered anything beyond a glove. Joe plays them and plays them and then - poof - here's Refsynder, starting in the Wild Card game?

Much has been written and said about the emergence of Luis Severino and Greg Bird. But neither would have gotten so much as a cup of coffee, had it not been for injuries. The Yankees seem incapable of actually turning a position over to a young player. The notion of Slade Heathcott getting a shot in the OF is beyond our abilities to imagine.

They have no long term plan at 2B. Now, it's time to come with one.

13 comments:

I'm Bill White said...

If Greg Bird starts the season in Scranton I will not watch one pitch. Fan is short for fanatic, not a-hole.

Anonymous said...

IT'S AMAZING...WE WASTED A PRECIOUS YEAR WITH REFSNYDER...RIGHT NOW, WE COULD HAVE BEEN TALKING ABOUT HOW WE ARE SET AT 2ND FOR MANY YEARS TO COME (OR IF HE TURNED OUT TO BE A TOTAL BUST, WHICH I DOUBT---AT LEAST WE WOULD HAVE KNOWN FOR SURE WE NEED TO LOOK ELSEWHERE)....BUT HERE WE ARE AGAIN, A LONG, PAINFUL, STEPHEN DREW/BRENDAN RYAN SEASON BEHIND US, AND WE'RE AT SQUARE ONE AGAIN, NOT KNOWING EXACTLY WHAT WE WILL DO. THIS IS WHAT I MEAN BY SAYING OUR "DECISION MAKERS" HAVE NO "VISION" FOR THE FUTURE. GOD FORBID WE GIVE REFSNYDER (24) THE 2ND BASE JOB (AFTER HITTING OVER .300 AT 2 LEVELS IN 2014), OK, I UNDERSTAND HE WAS BEING FORCE FED TO LEARN THE POSITION IN A HURRY, AND I ALMOST COULD EVEN LIVE WITH SENDING HIM DOWN AT SPRING TRAINING LIKE WE DID TO GIVE HIM MORE TIME TO LEARN...BUT THE, PAINFUL, AND INCORRECT DECISION TO SEND HIM BACK TO SCRANTON AFTER THE ALL STAR BREAK AFTER HE WON A GAME FOR US IN BOSTON, WAS UNFORGIVABLE, AND COUNTER PRODUCTIVE TO HIM AND THE TEAM. WE ARE STILL PAYING FOR THAT DECISION NOW. CAN'T OUR "DECISION MAKERS" HAVE THE VISION TO SEE, THE SOONER WE PLANT A GOOD LOOKING 24 YEAR OLD IN OUR INFIELD AT 2ND, HE CAN BEGIN TO WORK WITH, AND GEL WITH OUR PRETTY GOOD LOOKING SHORTSTOP WHO IS 25....AND THIS SHOULD BE THE PRECURSOR FOR THE ARRIVAL OF OUR ALREADY GOOD LOOKING 22 YEAR OLD FIRST BASEMAN.....YOUTH!..PROMISE!..EXCITEMENT FOR THE FANS! ALL AT "LEAGUE MINIMUM" BARGAIN BASEMENT PRICES!!! VISION, MOTHERFUCKERS!...LET ME GO ON...WE HAVE ANOTHER HUNK OF POTENTIAL IN AARON JUDGE. HE IS 24....THE SECOND HE HAS A HOT 10 DAY PERIOD IN SCRANTON (AND HE WILL), HE NEEDS TO BE PROMOTED IMMEDIATELY. DO NOT WAIT! PLAY BELTRAN AGAINST RIGHTIES, AND JUDGE AGAINST LEFTIES (BELTRAN IS A BETTER LEFTY HITTER, PLUS, HIS CONTRACT IS DONE AFTER NEXT SEASON) I SUGGEST PLATOONING BIRD WITH TEX TOO ON SOME DAYS, SENDING BIRD DOWN COULD BE COUNTER PRODUCTIVE FOR HIM AND THE TEAM-(TEX IS A BETTER RIGHTY HITTER, PLAY BIRD AGAINST RIGHTIES, DH HIM FOR AROD AGAINST SOME RIGHTIES, AND HOW ABOUT PUTTING A OUTFIELDERS GLOVE ON HIM IN SPRING TRAINING? WILL IT KILL HIM? SENDING HIM DOWN WOULD BE FUCKING CRAZY!....IF THESE SOMEWHAT, SIMPLE DECISIONS HAPPEN, WE WILL HAVE SUB PLANTED OUR TEAM WITH YOUTH, AND HOPEFUL EXCITEMENT, RIGHT AWAY.....SEE WHAT A LITTLE "VISION" CAN DO MOTHERFUCKERS?.....AND YOU KNOW SOMETHING? IF THESE SIMPLE THINGS HAPPEN, I BET REAL YANKEE FANS WON'T HAVE ANY PROBLEM WITH ANY OF IT, EVEN IF SOME OF IT DOESN'T WORK OUT. GET TO WORK "DECISION MAKERS"...AND GUESS WHAT? I JUST TRANSFORMED THE FUCKING TEAM, AND IT DIDN'T COST US A PENNY!!!!! NOW GO OUT THERE AND SIGN PRICE, OR GREINKE!!!!!..

ceeja said...

The plan is simple. Sign Price. Then go with the kids and what you have for position players.

Alphonso said...

If we don't build from within, we don't ever win again. That is the formula. That is the simple plan the simpletons running the team don't acknowledge.

Anonymous said...

YEP...I CAN LIVE WITH THAT PLAN CEEJA...AND NO DISRESPECT TO EL DUQUE, BUT DANIEL MURPHY IS NO TONY WOMACK, (WITH THE BAT, ANYWAY).. I WATCH THE METS AS MUCH AS I DO THE YANKEES (I KEEP MY FRIENDS CLOSE AND MY ENEMIES CLOSER), AND FORGET ABOUT WHAT HE IS DOING NOW IN THE POST SEASON, HE HAS BEEN GETTING MOST OF THE TEAMS BIG AND CLUTCH HITS FOR 2 YEARS NOW...PLUS HE IS ONLY 30 YEARS OLD. (I REMEMBER WOMACK, WHO WAS A DISASTER FOR US, BEING AROUND 35 THE YEAR WE HAD HIM-HE WAS MORE A PUNCH AND JUDY HITTER.....ANYWAY, LIKE I KEEP SAYING, REFSNYDER IS MY FIRST CHOICE, BUT IF HE IS NOT STANDING AT 2ND BASE ON OPENING DAY?...THEN I WANT TO SEE MURPHY STANDING THERE. I SEE HIS SWING TEARING IT UP AT YANKEE STADIUM. OF COURSE, THERE IS A LIMIT....I SEE CHASE HEADLEY MONEY HERE, 4 YEARS AND $52 MILL...ANYTHING OVER THAT AND IT'S A NO-GO. TOO BAD WE COULDN'T SUBTRACT HEADLEY FOR MURPHY AT 3RD...

ceeja said...

Murphy would have flexibility to play 3B or 2B. But I really don't see him as an upgrade over Headley. Headley had a horrible year, but I think over the next 3 years of his contract he and Murphy will post similar numbers. Why spend a fortune on an overpriced Murphy when you could put that money to better use on other free agents as they become available. Plus, I'd like to see Refsnyder/Ackley/Pirella get a fair shot at second base for a year.

Alphonso said...

Believe me folks, the Mets are going to win the world series this year. I doubt that they will lose another game.

Once Murphy has had his ride down the Canyon of Heros, he will become a mediocre player again. Perfect for the Yankees to sing and overpay.

If Refsnyder is not at second next year, he better be on the DL. Otherwise, we have to all drop our interest in the Yankees.

liveamovielife said...

"Yankee Killer" Rob Refsnyder sounds about right...

Buhner's Ghost said...

The solution is obvious: Trade Severino and Bird for Robinson Cano. You need a captain.

Leinstery said...

Utley is the answer that Cashman is looking for. Old? Check. Former Star? Check. Lefty batter? Check. Probably sign for ten times his actual value? CHECK! Cashman is sitting with a full rod at the thought of signing him.

ceea said...

New nickname for Cashman: "Full-Rod"

Leinstery said...

I didn't even catch that. I didn't even catch that. Henceforth we will blame the Steinnbrenners, Full-Rod, and Girardi.

Anonymous said...

THERE MAY BE HOPE!....THESE ROYALS LOOKS HUNGRY! NO DEFICIT SEEMS TOO BIG FOR THEM TO COME BACK FROM IN ANY GAME...BEAT THESE GOD DAMN METS!..(I THINK THEY MATCH UP WELL AGAINST THE METS)...ROYALS HITTERS AREN'T FREE SWINGERS, AND DON'T GO FOR THE CONSTANT HOME RUN....THEY BASE-HIT YOU TO DEATH, THEY MAKE CONTACT, THEY RUN, THEY SACRIFICE, THEY MOVE RUNNERS OVER, AND THEY HAVE THAT BULLPEN.....BETTER TO HAVE THE ROYALS PLAY THE METS THAN THE JAYS. THE JAYS HAVE THE BIG FREE SWINGERS, (MY OPINION, NOT GOOD AGAINST THESE FIREBALLERS)...BUT K.C WILL MAKE MORE CONTACT AND PUT THE BALL IN PLAY MORE....WATCH K.C...I THINK MUCH BETTER SUITED TO TAKE THE METS DOWN..AND LIKE I SAID, THEY LOOK HUNGRY!