FIFTY THOUSAND MOONS

Friday, September 23, 2016

It's time to look at next year... again

Ten games remain, and as Brett Gardner says, we must win 11. Moreover, we must run the table on Toronto, Boston and Baltimore - three flat-out superior teams. We're more likely to lose 11. The only bright spot: It should be over before Masahiro Tanaka tries a suicide outing and wrecks his elbow for next year.

Next year... 

Those words... We heard them last year, and the year before that. Next year... they're becoming the staples of YES Network propaganda, which touts the Yankees without mentioning the opposition. That's dangerous, because even without Big Papi, Boston is an ascending power. They could win this year and next. They have Bogaertes (age 23), Bradely (26), Betts (23), Benintendi (22), Shaw (26) and Leon (27) - all rising, and they'll add Yoan Moncada - (that name again... GAHHHH.) They spent two whole years retooling. Our "rebuilding" plan lasted one weekend, and if - as rumors suggest - we'll empty the farm next winter for Jose Fernandez, we might end up hanging it all on one elbow.

Unless Food Stamps Hal uncrosses his legs, opens his fanny pack, takes out his purse, works the combination lock and counts out some pennies - and signs some looming international mystery guest, we're left hoping that Brian Cashman can rob teams in trades. Good luck. It took us four years to dig this hole, and without a cash infusion from El Cheapo, we could be sitting here next September 23, needing to win 11 out of 10.

Obviously, there will be changes. But right now, let's look at 2017...

The batting order

Ellsbury cf (he'll be 34)
Gardner lf (ditto)
Sanchez c
Bird 1b
Castro 2b
McCann dh (he'll be 33)
Gregorius ss
Judge rf
Headley 3b (he'll be 33)

I suspect either Gardy or Ellsbury gets traded, because they have both become the same middling player with different contracts, and neither is on the upswing. McCann could go. It depends on whether Atlanta has anyone to offer. Nobody beyond Vladimir Putin will take Headley, who was outhit this year by four ex-Yankee third-basemen, each peddled away by Cashman - Martin Prado (.308, 7 HR), Eduardo Nunez (.287, 16), Adonis Garcia (.270, 14) and Yangervis Solarte (.284, 15) - in three cases, for next to nothing. We have Headley for two more years, and nobody ready to take his job in 2017, unless Cito Culver (.263, 1 HR at Scranton) starts juicing, or Brigadoon Refsnyder learns third-base. Maybe an asteroid will destroy us all, and it won't matter. La-dee-dah!

Let's face it: 2017 will depend on Sanchez, Bird and Judge and maybe the fast-tracked OF Clint Frazier, who hit .228 at Scranton. (I don't know why Tyler Austin seems to have already vanished from Joe's binder, but it's a bad sign. Once the Yankees sour on a guy... see Yangervis Solarte, Edwardo Nunez and Adonis Garcia...) If they all hit, we have something. Of course, if Boston signs Eduardo Encarnacion...

Starting Pitchers

Tanaka (unless we do something stupid and he hurts his elbow next week)
Sabathia (his final year)
Pineda (his final year with us)
Cessa/Severino/Green
The adult male population of Scranton

Bullpen

Betances
Warren
Clippard
The adult male population of Scranton
(Maybe we sign Aroldis Chapman?)

About signing Chapman? It'd be nice, but I don't get this infusion of hope by the Yankee media outlets. Somehow - (I suspect it's because they own their media) - the Yankees have managed to convince their fan base that frugality in itself is a victory. We're supposed to root for Hal Steinbrenner to make more money, not so he can buy players, but so he can plow it back into the partners, who can then buy politicians and even more media. It's a perfect circle, and let's give them credit for gaming the system. Old George was an anomaly: When he wanted a player, dammit, he went out and got the guy. Hal won't do that. He's too smart, and we're supposed to actually support such policies. How did we get this way?

The days of the Yankees quickly improving via free agency are gone. This is our team. We need 11 out of 10, and frankly, it won't be the last time.

6 comments:

The Ghost of Yankees Past said...

el duque, you are right that the Yankees are a couple of years away. As you know, the fact is they are rebuilding. However your basic assumption for the reason they are in this position ....that Hal won't spend the money.... is off base. The Yankees have the second highest payroll in baseball, spent all their money for the international pool and put plenty into their farm system. What they havent done , is spent it wisely!

The answer is not go buy a couple of knights in shinning armor. Look at the Redsocks , the players you mention as their core came from the farm system . The game has changed. Losing you top picks when you sign free agents is a killer . ( I won't even get into revenue sharing) Picking talent is hard enough, look at the past drafts and see how many picks never make it. Finding talent in the first round is your best chance . However even that is a 50 - 50 gamble at best. Losing those early picks takes its toll on you longer term. This is what has hurt the Yankees.The path forward in my view is build your farm system to get your core ( done) and supplement with it some trades and a free agent or two .

One thiing Cashman has done well over the past few years is hold on to our top prospects and trade to get more.Now we have a loaded farm system. The challenge going forward is to evaluate the talent, keep the best to build a team and via trade and a free agent or two fill in the blanks . The challenge going forward is in one, being patient enough to do this and two being able to execute the plan correctly.

el duque said...

Ghost,

You're right. But I'm talking about the Yankees signing international talent, which doesn't cost us a draft pick. And neither would Chapman.

Anonymous said...

It seems obvious to me after watching him last night that Severino should be the closer next year and Betances should be moved back to the set up role.

Anonymous said...

anonymous...YOU MAY BE RIGHT ABOUT SEVERINO.... HE LOOKS LIKE KING KONG COMING OUT OF THE PEN.....AGGRESSIVE, AND ATTACKING HITTERS, AND WORKING QUICKLY.....HE DOESN'T DO THAT WHEN HE STARTS.....AND HE DOESN'T WORRY ABOUT A CHANGEUP, WHICH HE HATES THROWING.....

Anonymous said...

CAN WE GET HANK IN CHARGE AGAIN?...... MAYBE THAT WILL HELP....... WE NEED THE DOPIER GUY AT THE HELM.

Anonymous said...

MR. EL DUQUE....... ON THE SAME LINES AS WHEN I ASKED YOU TO PLEASE CHECK THE YANKEES RECORD WHEN REFSNYDER IS IN THE STARTING LINEUP....COULD YOU PLEASE FIND OUT WHAT OUR RECORD IS WITH AARON HICKS IN THE STARTING LINEUP?..... THANK YOU.