Thursday, December 10, 2015

No more pretend pennant race: The Yankees are officially looking to 2017, and I'm okay with that

In the last 48 hours, two things of consequence have happened in this world - (well, three, if you count the nude photos released by Alphonso of Angela Merkel): 
1) The clown-haired Yankee president Randy Levine twice uttered the R-word - "rebuilding" - in public. This is akin to Pope Francis f-bombing the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

2) The Yankees dealt a serviceable major leaguer for no-name prospects.

The Evil Empire is supposed to be the franchise that never "rebuilds." We never take a year off to sift through piles of Rickie Ledees and Edwar Ramirezes. We always chase the World Series, and we never build the way other teams do: Notching high draft picks by finishing last. The Redsocks have twice collapsed their rancid teams at mid-season, looking to the next opening day. We snicker when their strategy fails, but one of these days - like, frickin' soon - it won't. The Yankee steamroller just moves onward. Trouble is, steamrollers don't win races, not even with tractors.

Yesterday, we traded Justin Wilson to the Tigers for two no-name starting pitchers, both of whom are destined for Scranton's 2016 summer of laughing about Wilkes Bare. One pitcher was Detroit's 6th rated prospect - (that's going into, not coming out of, 2015) - and the other was ranked number 19. Keep in mind that Detroit has one of the worst rated farm systems, according to the raters, so as far as no-names go, these no-names might be permanent nobodies. (Also, the one ranked number 6 was traded to Detroit last summer from the Mets; he's now been traded twice in six months - a really bad sign. Hello, Humberto Sanchez?) I've read that the Yankees did this to "fortify" their Scranton rotation, whatever that means. If we just landed the pitching versions of Kyle Roller - well - I can't say that's uplifting. Still... I like this deal, and I'll tell you why...

1. Return on investment. We traded Wilson at the peak of his market value. He's 30 and throws hard. He looks a lot like Shawn Kelley, whom we dealt last winter to the Padres for a no-name, who is still a no-name. But Kelley fell apart in San Diego. I'm not sure how long middle innings pitchers last, and though Wilson is a good one, you cannot depend on thirtysomethings, and you can never have too many young arms, and the Yankees now have two more.

2. The wave theory. We have a pile of young relievers, and if they all flop in 2016, we're sunk, anyway. Last year, we went through bullpen arms the way Taylor Swift does diet pills. From Nick Goody to Nick Rumbelow, from Branden Pinder to Caleb Cotham, we set the Guinness Book record for unveiling cannon fodder. Next season, one of these pants-pissers must march out of the ooze and become our 7th inning stud. It's not fantasy. It can happen. The Yankees need a Justin Wilson at age 27, not the one who will be 31.

3. Keeping Andrew. I think the likelihood of trading Andrew Miller diminished yesterday with the Wilson trade. It still could happen, especially considering the packages that are being thrown around these days for closers. Houston yesterday gave up four prospects for the Phillies closer, and Boston shot its wad to get Craig Kimbrel from San Diego. Right now, though, only the Dodgers are desperate for a closer, and that's if their deal falls through for the lady-loving Aroldis Chapman. LA could offer a stack of prospects, or more likely, Miller stays. And I'm good with that.

4. What's the diff? Back when the Yankees actually challenged every year, the line was that they could carry a weak link or two, because if the big guys didn't produce, it wouldn't matter what the others did. I feel that way about Wilson. If Betances and Miller are solid, our pen will be strong. If they fall apart, hello-o-o 2017! If A-Rod and Tex are hitting - (until they get hurt, of course) - we will win our share. Wilson was a fine pitcher. He's not a make-or-break presence for the team.

5. The long term. Listen: If the Yankees really intended to make a run in 2016, they would have chased David Price or Zach Greinke. It's abundantly clear that all the talk about them suddenly jumping in to sign a big name was mere bloggers' wishful thinking. Aint gonna happen. So anything that points us toward 2017 - no matter how it stings now - it's a good thing. Until then, we just have enjoy Alphonso's photos of Angela. The ones with the whipped cream are my faves.

4 comments:

Keith said...

I'm usually on board with your analysis, especially when it comes to the cheapness of this new regime, but this trade was not great. Take a look at what other teams are getting for relief pitchers, the market is out of control. Yankees got two generic RHP. Also Shawn Kelley was actually pretty awesome last year (http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/k/kellesh01.shtml) and really would have helped the pen, I predict we will miss Wilson quite a bit unless more moves are coming to back fill.

Anonymous said...

SORRY EL DUQUE, BUT THIS DEAL WAS EVEN DESCRIBED BY THE PANEL ON MLB NETWORK AS A "HEAD SCRATCHER"....WILSON WAS DAMN GOOD...66 STRIKEOUTS IN 61 INNINGS, A GOOD ERA, GOT BOTH LEFTIES AND RIGHTIES OUT, DIDN'T MISS ANY TIME (THAT I CAN REMEMBER), AND IS ONLY 28 (NOT 30)...HE WILL TURN 29 IN AUGUST NEXT SEASON....WE WILL MISS HIM BIG TIME NEXT SEASON.....WITH MILLER AND BETANCES, WE ARE SOLID IN THE 8TH AND 9TH....BUT WHAT HAPPENS WHEN OUR STARTERS COME OUT OF THE GAME IN THE 5TH?....THE 6TH?...THE 7TH?....IT WAS GREAT TO KNOW JUSTIN WILSON WAS THERE IN THESE CASES...NOW HE IS NOT...THIS TRADE WILL HURT US....

jdrny said...

The deal makes NO sense. The explanation for the deal by Cashman, etc. Makes no sense either.

Anonymous said...

It's a good trade if these two prospects, both of whom were highly ranked within the Detroit organization, either become trade pieces for a #1 or they both are lights out a Scranton/Wilkes Barre in the upcoming season. Personally, I don't see the latter, gut it could happen. I'm in hopes of the former. The Yankees should never be playing for next season. Ever.