Monday, October 17, 2016
Posted by el duque at 8:00 AM
And 15 years ago, when old George ran the show, we would have signed Max, just as we did Mike Mussina, Jason Giambi, et all. Those were the days, boys - but they're not coming back under Food Stamps Hal and MLB's new socialist financial structure. Other teams sign the stars. while we procure Headleys and Castros. We even let Robbie Cano walk, rather than pay too much. (And yes, the deal Seattle gave him was absurd.)
But getting back to Max... we need one, desperately. And if we must trade for one, well, good luck with that. Proposed packages for Chris Sale are flat out ridiculous. We'd give up almost everyone last summer's youth movement - and then again, who doesn't think Sale would then wreck his shoulder? We either develop an ace - Luis Severino, are you there? - or do what Boston did with David Price - close our eyes and dig deep. (Stephen Strasburg, are you there?)
So... a note on Strasburg. He is property of the Nats until after 2019, when an opt-out clause kicks in. He'd be 30. It's more likely that Washington trades him beforehand because - get this - he's slated to be paid - gulp - $38 million - in 2019, due to deferred money. My guess: the Nats will shop him like a bag of hot diamonds. That's when the Yankees could come in - for better or worse - and frankly, I dunno.
I say all this to note that help is NOT on the way. Last year, the Yankees ranked 15th (out of 30 teams) with a 4.16 ERA. For all the carping by Redsock fans, their staff ranked 9th with a 4.00 ERA. Our ace - Masahiro Tanaka - ranked 12th among starters. Next winter, at age 28, he can opt-out of his current deal. We'll have to shell out just to keep him.
Next year, Sabathia will be 36, facing his final Yankee season. Pineda will be 28 and, unless he magically changes, he'll be leaving. After those three, we go to Severino (who will be 23), Luis Cessa (who will be 25) and Chad Green and Bryan Mitchell (both to be 26.) In other words, it's a crap shoot. Losing Nathan Eovaldi was the biggest injury of 2016. We pitched him until he fell.
As fans, it's fun to picture Aaron Judge, Clint Frazier, Greg Bird and Gary Sanchez pounding the opposition for years to come. But it won't matter unless we find a quality starter. Right now, the pickings look bleak.