Tuesday, December 8, 2020

The Yankees passed on Lance Lynn, and let's be thankful

Today, Joel Sherman reports what our tormented souls at IIH have been bellicosely screaming for weeks, months, lifetimes: That the Yankees - our favorite, fully-functioning Death Barge - need pitching, pitching, pitching...

He suggests the team should have chased the veteran lug nut, Lance Lynn, who at 33 had strung together two solid years in Texas. Yesterday, the White Sox traded for Lynn. 

Sherman is right, sorta. The Yankees had Lynn two years ago. If they had kept him, who knows: We might have more than a pair of 2nd place door prizes. Writes Sherman: 

Lynn is no (Gerrit) Cole. But he is as close to sure innings for a job as treacherous as throwing a baseball hard. He has one year left on a three-year contract and counts just $10 million toward the luxury-tax payroll. Expect that Masahiro Tanaka would cost more in 2021 on a multi-year pact. Yet, the Yankees made no strong efforts toward a reunion. Instead, a team already with more certainty atop the rotation in the White Sox added Lynn. 

I get it that Chicago just snagged a guy the Yankees could use. But they gave up their 9th best prospect - ranked 80th by MLB; (the Sox have been building their farm system for several years) - a pitcher named Dane Dunning, plus an arm to be named later. 

To outbid Chicago, the Yankees would have needed to trade Clarke Schmidt and/or Deivi Garcia. That's where talks would start.

Had we made such a deal, my wails today would echo across Gotham, and I don't even live there. 

Listen: I donno know what the Yankees will do for pitching. But they had their shot at Lynn, as they did with Sonny Gray, J.A. Happ, James Paxton, the cast of Big Sky, and a lineage that extends back to Rick Rhoden. None brought us a ring. And unless somebody invents a time machine, we are stuck with what we have. 

Somewhere out there is the next Lance Lynn, a thirtysomething with a fan belt for an arm, who one day tweaks a certain pitch and shouts, "Eureka!" He receives from the juju gods a two-year rebirth before the glue factory calls. 

The Yankees need pitching, pitching, pitching. But trading for a guy on the cusp of 34 won't cut it. We've tried. It didn't work. I'd rather take my chances on Schmidt and Garcia. 

It's almost impossible to assess the 2020 season. It happened overnight. Is Gary Sanchez really that horrible? Is Randy Arozarena really that incredible? (In both cases, if the answer is yes, we're screwed.) But here's one conclusion that seems to fit: 

Youth wins, and old age wilts.

The Yankees need pitching, pitching, pitching... To get it, they need to constantly scour the landscape and to fortify their farms. They need to build an organization that is better than the others. No nepotism. No cronies. No fat. They need a system built from the bottom up. It's the strength of that system that matters. 

And, frankly, that's why Yankee fans worry.


ranger_lp said...

Don't you think that our crack analytics folks are telling Brian "See...the Rays how they did it...young arms...not old ones...ones that throw 95 plus...not arms ready to fall off..."

13bit said...

Has deja-vu, despair, powerlessness and constant screaming at the Yankees' hot stove moves and non-moves become my new happy place? Can I string together a worse sentence than the previous one? Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio?

HoraceClarke66 said...

You know, apparently Paul Simon wanted to use "Mickey Mantle," instead? He had grown up watching the Mick, not so much DiMag. But the syllables didn't fit.

Just thought you'd like to know.

Kevin said...

HA! First show me that the TEAM can even find and develop young arms. In the past fifty years how many top-tiered pitchers have the Yankees drafted? Now that includes guys who've been traded away. For whatever reason this organization has failed at finding the Holy Grail. IMHO, the Yanks would be better served going after free agents in their twenties who have a record, and just bite the money bullet. Actually, the team has a pretty crappy record of even developing positional players. Where are all the "young and athletic" players that Cashman started talking about a decade ago? Perhaps he was talking about finding talent for the Olympics? Like many things in Life it's easier to talk about about a Concept than it is to execute. FWIW, I believe that ownership has nickel and dimed the scouting department, and put the money into free agency. It seems impossible to be so "unlucky" with the drafts......

Anonymous said...


You make a good point when you ask where are the young and athletic (homegrown) players...

3B Urshala - bought for cheap.
SS Gleyber - Trade
2B Hopefully DJ - FA
1B - Voit - Trade
LF Stanton - Trade or Frazier - trade
CF - Hcks - Trade
RF Judge - Homegrown
C Sanchez - Homegrown but we don't like him.

That's pretty bad. The only thing they can say is that they traded guys that other teams wanted but it is still weak.

Doug K.

Unknown said...

I think not wanting Lynn so we can share the joy of Mike King pitching every fifth day is rather misplaced.

Anonymous said...

I know that this is usually a caustic blog, but seriously, take heart. The Yankees have some seriously good arms at the lower level of MILB.I belong to a pay site- Pinstripelus- that is exclusively minor leagues. The lack of a MILB season caused us not to hear of them. We have several on the cusp of AA which is usually when the national services hear of them and get talking. Pitching is our strength, which is why there is such a hesitancy to sign or trade right now. We also have some good C, but they are pretty low as well.
Honest toDooley Womack, we may see some Mendozas that we have never heard of this summer and be tickled pink. I am actually looking forward more to MILB than MLB.
The Archangel

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