Thursday, August 24, 2017

The Tigers are one of those teams that peaked in talent and won squat; how do we avoid doing the same

For a three-week eternity, you've heard me spout daily bile upon Brian "Cooperstown" Cashman's deadline deals, so today, let's give it a rest. Suffice to say, I believed that by holding onto prospects, we were inexorably headed toward dominance - like recent incarnations of the Cubs, Royals and - gulp - Redsocks. Even with Cashman's trades, we still have enough emerging talent to succeed - but now only exorably, I guess. 

With luck, in 2019, we could be baseball's best team, anticipating a two or three year surge before Seligian payroll taxes, international signing restrictions and low draft picks take their toll. Of course, Boston isn't going away, the White Sox should be a colossus, and the A's could have rising stars named Fowler, Kaprielian and Mateo. The question: How do we avoid being a reincarnation of the Detroit Tigers from 2011-14 - that is, a perennial division champion that always stumbles in October. It's a fine line between champion and runner-up. Ask the Mets.

Last night, we blew out the hapless Tigers, two laughers in a row, confirming their dead end season (and our own mediocrity two weeks ago, when we lost a series to them at home.) They look drop dead awful. It's sad, seeing Miguel Cabrera and Jason Verlander on such a sinking barge. (How long before Kate Upton leaves him?) They had one shot at the World Series - 2012 - and were swept by the Giants. If you're a Tigers fan, drink heavily. Your greatest memories - beating the Yankees - will always be tainted by Detroit's inability to capture a parade.

Yankee fans don't want wild card wins or division crowns, or even one isolated world championship every decade. (Though hopes are constantly dwindling.) We want a team with multiple rings. Yankee fans want a dynasty. 

So here's our projected 2020 lineup - our peak season - based on current players and farm hands. It could be formidable. But does it win a championship?

1b Greg Bird
2b Starlin Castro or Tyler Wade
3b Miguel Andujar or Glyber Torres
ss Didi Gregorius or Jorge Mateo

lf Clint Frazier or Billy McKinney or Estevan Flores 
cf Aaron Hicks or Dustin Fowler or Blake Rutherford
rf Aaron Judge

c Gary Sanchez

sp Luis Severino, Jordan Montgomery, Sonny Gray (if re-signed), Masahiro Tanaka (if he stays), Dillon Tate? Chance Adams? James Kaprielian. 

Bullpen: God only knows. But here's a prediction: NOT Aroldis Chapman.

Even with prospects who fail - the lineup should be solid. We shouldn't need Bryce Harper or Manny Machado.

But to win a World Series, the Yankees will need to obtain an ace - and maybe a number two. They'll need it next winter, or the following year. One way would be for Foodstamps Hal to sign a huge, $300 million, 10-year deal - placing our future into somebody's elbow, a la David Price. The other is to build from within, hoard arms by the dozens, with the understanding that for every four young pitchers, you might lose three.

I am happy to say that the Yankees seem to be doing just this. In the June draft, ten of the first eleven picks are pitchers. (The first choice, Clarke Schmidt, is already recovering from Tommy John surgery.) 

Simultaneously, the Yankees seem to have a wave of young Latino pitchers on the way. At least, that's what River Ave tells us. (The problem with high-praise Yankee prospect sites is that they seldom compare us to other franchises; we get all wound up about 20-year-old Glyber Torres and don't realize the Redsocks have Rafael Devers, 20, until he shows up and kills us.) Still, if the Yankee system can develop one or two more Severinos, and if we don't consistently trade off young players for wild card races, by 2019, we could be doing to Boston what they just did to us. And by then, maybe they'll be the Tigers, looking back on these days with nothing to show. 


13bit said...

What a relief. I feel much better now. The sun has risen.

JM said...

if the Yankee system can develop one or two more Severinos, and if we don't consistently trade off young players for wild card races

Those two ifs undercut everything hopeful in your post, Duque. The first one is possible. The second, our recurring pipe dream, consistently dashed.

We are surrounded by incompetents.

Alphonso said...

So true.

At this very moment, Brian Cashman is identifying more Todd Frazier's and more Tommy Kahnle's to acquire.

I tell you this; as long as Cashman is the GM and Girardi is the manager, this team is doomed to mediocrity, with occasional flashes of brilliance and horror.

I hold no hope for Hal to be forced to cede ownership. But he is, at the core, useless.

Anonymous said...

I really liked this post because it confirms that we actually have a legitimate talent base. There is one thing though that is missing - and yes it will be expensive and it means we may have to trade Andujar who I really like as part of a package for the pitcher we need. But we actually have to sign Manny Machado. Here's why...

We need an M player.

My favorite Yankees going back to my beginnings were

Mickey Mantle
Thurman Munson
Don Mattingly
Mariano (no last name needed) and
Hideki Matsui

We don't have that M. Montero didn't pan out(and, yes I bought the stupid tee shirt which I now wear ironically -- or at least I tell myself that) Mateo is gone and McKinney doesn't do it for me.

But Manny Machado? As the Village People would say... "Machado Machado Man. We need to get the Ma-cha-do Man."

That's an M you can take to the bank. Start printing World Series tickets.

Doug K.

KD said...

I was actually yelling at the TV for the tigers to play better. My wife says, don't you want the Yankees to win? Well, of course I want the Yanks to win. But I hate sloppy and bad play. I don't like blowouts. I like close games that teeter back and forth with the outcome always in doubt. No honor to beat a team like the current Tiggers. Only shame for ever losing to them.

HoraceClarke66 said...

You are forgetting Thairo "the Pharaoh" Estrada at second.

I'm sure Hal has already bought the Egyptian head dresses and giant bird heads; talked to the Bangles about "Walk Like an Egyptian" rights, and marked off the potential, "Pharaoh's Tomb" site in Yankee Stadium.

Can't wait.

Anonymous said...




Leinstery said...

Why does Jaime Garcia get trotted out every 5 days? He's as effective as Jared Wright or whatever Weaver they had last decade.

Anonymous said...

el duque is champing at the bit at the chance to demand the immediate release of all of these young players as soon as they come up and bat .100 in the first week or slump in the second half--his favorite pastime.

ranger_lp said...

What a bizarre game...

Parson Tom said...

yes, bizarre game. The umpire mismanaged it entirely. He let Fulmer plunk Sanchez after a home run, after he already plunked us last series. Cabrera is an asshole. Romine should not have been ejected for getting attacked. Bettances is something of an idiot, too.

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