Wednesday, March 14, 2018

How to strangle a farm system

Barring injuries to key personnel, earnest-but-young Yankee infielder Tyler Wade soon will be told that he's heading home to Scranton, a place where he hit .310 last season and was declared the International League's best SS. Yankee grief counselors will couch this news with statements of encouragement: He really showed something this spring, hitting .333, and he damn near won the 2B competition, which was modeled after the hit show "The Bachelor." They'll say they are sure he'll be back with the Mother Ship, as soon as someone gets hurt. It's only a matter of time! Meanwhile, hey! there are new things to discover in Scranton! Has he ever been to the Wegmans?

In Scranton, Wade will play SS, a position where he is blocked for life by Sir Didi Gregorius. He'll play beside Gleyber Torres, the anointed one at 2B, who will be waiting until August, or September, or 2019, or until Brian Roberts, Stephen Drew, Neil Walker hurts his back or plays himself out of a job. On the other side of Wade will be Miguel Andujar, the 3B who hit .317 last year in Scranton. He'll also be repeating the grade, knowing that by this time next year, there's a solid chance the Yankees 3B will be either Manny Machado or Josh Donaldson. And  he'll still be in Scranton, eating at Wegmans!

Further down, in Double A, 22-year-old Thairo Estrada will get to repeat a year in Trenton. Last year, as all-star SS, he hit .301 and impressed the Yankees enough to protect him on the 40-man roster. They even claimed he would have a shot at winning 2B this spring. Yuk yuk. Now, he will be back in Trenton. It's deja vu all over again! 

Down in the Single A Florida State League, Kyle Holder - one of the most impressive youngsters this year in spring training - will get his second shot at Tampa. Last year, he hit .271 there. Maybe he can improve, eh? He's 23, so at this pace, we can look for the former first-round pick in pinstripes by 34!

Let's not forget Hoy Jun Park, a 21 year old Korean SS, who signed for big bucks a few years back. He'll also get to repeat the Florida league... or maybe return for Year II in Charleston.

Not long ago, the Yankees traded 2B Nick Solack for Brendan Drury. Turns out, that was the most humane thing the team did for a prospect this winter.

In the miserable 1980s, the Yankees were characterized by their penchant for pissing away prospects in favor of the Steve Kemps and Danny Tartabulls of the world. I'm not suggesting we're there yet. But a franchise that turns its back on its farm system, as the Yankees have done in recent weeks, is always on the verge of making the kind of bad trade that defines it for a generation. The more the Yankees go all-in for 2018, the more pressure they put on their players - and their front office - to forfeit the future for a game or two in June. One of these days, when a starter tweaks a gonad, they'll trade young players just to fill a role and break the logjam. And one of these days - maybe it's already happened - we will get really burned. That's not baseball. It's human history. Eat your seed corn, and you will live to regret it. 


John M said...

I don't like what's going on, but I'm not ready to throw in the towel just yet. David in Cal had a good point a few posts back: sending the kids down gives the Yankees another year of controlling them. While I'd rather see them playing in the Bronx, there might be something to that. If backtracking doesn't break the kids' spirits, they'll be coming up during this season as the hobgoblins attack the lineup in April and May.

Maybe I'm being too optimistic, maybe past performance really is a guarantee of future results where the brass are concerned, but it's too early for me to give up.

May or June, that's when I'll give up.

Ken of Brooklyn said...

I'm sooooooo preying John M is correct, that seems to be the mantra that we are hearing so maybe maybe maybe,,,,,

The Ghost of Yankees Past said...

Like John M , I am not ready to jump to the worst case scenario. For one, we have more shortstops than we can reasonably use. Some will need to be traded at some point.So far Cashman has resisted trading our top prospects and walked away from getting players he would like to have . Andujar and Torres have been sought by many. Cashman has refused to trade them. In the recent past it was Judge and Sanchez everyone wanted. Cashman refused to trade them, Hopefully he will continue to make the right decisions when we make the trades to get the players we need. Time will tell,

I have trouble accepting that sending these kids back to the minors will destroy their fragile psyche. The best of the group are not delicate snow flakes. They are tough competitors and team players . They will be disappointed, The winners will use that disappointment as motivation to continue to excel and be better for the experience.

Maybe Cashman will screw the pooch, That is not my default position,

13bit said...

If I didn't throw in the towel in the late 60s, the late 80s or, god help us, the last 5 years, I'm certainly not going to throw in the towel now. In fact, I'll use Mets fans as an example of never throwing in the towel, no matter how grim it looks. I'm a Yankee fan forever.

That being said, I'd love to throw a wet towel at an anonymous, humorless poster from another thread who tossed a bunch of low-level insults at some of the good citizens on this blog, all from behind the invisibility cloak of an anonymous posting name and a wall of garbage stat-head word salad.

Okay, I got it out. Time to get back to the serious things in life.

Anonymous said...

The Yankees piss away tens of millions on the likes of Stanton and then count pennies when it comes to the number of years they will control their prospsects? How asinine? The excitement generated by these young players will more than compensate for any dollars lost to early arbitration, and the damage done to the team's overall energy, prospects, and psyche could be irreversible by any amount of money. CASHMAN, LEVINE, AND STEINBRENNER ARE IMBECILES.

Anonymous said...

Oh, here's another candidate feverishly running for the cherished title of Blog Hypocrite--13bit--registering his counterfeit sanctimony and ignoring the fact that Anonymous was subjected to a volley of hair-curling abuse from Rufus T Firefly before responding in kind. Of course, RTF, being a member in good standing of 13bit's own Philistines Against WAR Society, gets a free pass to churn out any sort of nauseating invective he sees fit, because it's all in the good cause of pissing on the analyitical tools used by every major GM in the game now but disdained by the militant morons of this blog. Fuck off, dumbass. Save your phony piety for your grandma at Christmastime--but I think even she will laugh in your face.

13bit said...

Get a life.

13bit said...

And one more thing - I don't know if you're just full of rage, on the spectrum, 15 years old, devoid of humor, or all of the above, but it's clear that all you want is attention. Paradoxically, you are incapable of identifying yourself and acting like an adult or being civil. I plan to ignore you completely from this point on and I'd advise other members of this collegial forum to do the same.

Anonymous said...

Hey 13bit--finished with your daily bout of primal therapy? I hope you didn't spit up your mommy's chicken soup all over your bib. YOU ARE A MORON. Fuck off, momma's boy.

Alphonso said...

I say we should all throw in the towel.

HoraceClarke66 said...

I guess it's too late to say, "Agree to disagree?"

Well, how about "Whale's vagina"? (Purely an "Anchorman" tribute, not directed at anybody!)