Saturday, November 27, 2021

On Wednesday, everything stops. Will the Yankees be in the process of blowing up?

This is getting, well, weird... 

Wednesday, the MLB Doomsday Clock strikes midnight on the collective bargaining agreement - aka "the union contract." The owners will padlock their diamond mines and bring in the Pinkertons - and ongoing Yankee plans will be instantly frozen in a Hal-sized glob of amber, perhaps to be decoded in the year 2525, if man is still alive. 

By Wednesday, clubs must decide whether to tender contracts to arbitration-eligible veterans. For the Yankees, that could mean cutting ties with Miguel Andujar, Luke Voit and Gary Sanchez, three former future lug nuts - only days after dropping dimes on Clint Frazier, Tyler Wade and Rougned Odor. 

The Great Purge will have begun. 

The heaviest fog rolls in at catcher, where the Yankees have no replacement for the underperforming Sanchez, and the free agent market looks thin as a coat of Windex. If the Yankees let Gary walk - and if they don't, will fans riot? - Cooperstown Cashman might have to go weeks or months, until a new contract is in place, before filling the gopher holes.   

Until then, we could be sitting on a lineup of "TBAs" at SS, CF, 1B, 2B, C, and throughout the pitching staff. What if the Redsocks or newly owner-riled Mets do something crazy - like make outlandish offers for Freddie Freeman or Robbie Ray? (Note: The Mets signed Sterling Marte last night, so it may have begun.) That could force Cashman to bid on players while navigating not only the union dispute but - (jeeze I hate to write this) - fallout from a potential new Covid surge. 

We are entering into the most volatile Yankee period since the summer of 2016, when Sanchez and Aaron Judge arrived. 

We were never going to get much in trades for Voit, Sanchez and even Andujar, who once represented our golden future. 

But yeesh, imagine them walking out the door with almost nothing in return - as what happened with Frazier. 

Come Wednesday, when the Clock stops, the Death Barge will face far more questions than answers. 

I think it's fair to believe that Cashman possesses the technical expertise to run the Yankees. But does he have a grand strategy in mind, beyond annually trading for veterans in August to make a run at the wild card?

This could be getting weird.


DickAllen said...

Let's look on the bright side: we'll still have Giancarlo.


JM said...

I think Stanton has shown he's a very good player. He's just making way too much money for his ability, so it seems like he's underachieving. If they just install him in the OF, he'll be fine.

If he gets injured, he gets injured. Gardner can fill in.

My one early Christmas wish is, don't off Sanchez anything. Let him go. Buy him roller skates so he can go faster. Enough already.

Miggy, though...that's a tough one. It's possible that he can't regain his rookie form, but I suspect it's lurking in him somewhere. But if he doesn't get any playing time, we'll never know.

DickAllen said...

JM, you have been consuming too much turkey. The tryptophan is clouding your judgement.

Gardner? Fill in? He needs to be given a gold watch and sent out to pasture.

As for Giancarlo, so far, we've had maybe two, maybe three months of productive play in the last four years. And yeah, he MIGHT be a very good player, but he has yet to prove he can be an asset over the long haul. Until then, he's an albatross with seven years and $140MM left to pay out. By that time, Gardner will be eligible for the HOF.

Sanchez is still, for all his faults, a slightly above average catcher - a fact that is almost astonishing - and there is absolutely nothing available to replace him. In spite of the very fallible eye-test (seeing is NOT believing), he's still a productive catcher when compared to the league average.

And PLEASE, please don't suggest Romine. He and Higgy can't cumulatively measure up to Gary's contributions. El Duque recently published a list of available catchers on the market and what a wasteland that group is, with Romine at the bottom of the pile.

We need to save our wrath for the one who deserves it most: The Intern. "Here's another fine mess he's gotten us into."

Doug K. said...

Sanchez is a net negative.

Part of it is because of his potential which leaves us all (teammates included) let down and frustrated.

A catcher who delivers the same anemic offensive performance (minus the occasional HR) but who carries low expectations is actually better.

In addition, getting rid of Sanchez and acquiring a defense first catcher helps the pitching staff by giving them the confidence that, if they unleash a nasty pitch, it won't get past him.

As an added bonus, this makes the Yankees more attractive to FA pitchers.

I'm with JM on this. The Yankees should move on.

DickAllen said...

See, this is what I don't understand. Everybody wants Sanchez to go. Anywhere. For nothing, claiming it's a matter of addition by subtraction.

And you want a "defense first catcher."

Like who exactly?

It's easy to just dump Sanchez and then you're left with a gaping hole that can't be filled. Like a married guy who's bored because his wife just isn't the same hotty she was when they first met. And every other woman (any other woman) starts to look good. Even an ugly old mug like Romine.

I do understand that we thought he was the second coming. And now he might not even be one of the lesser apostles. That's been very frustrating, but at 28 I'd rather have him behind the plate. There are about 16 free agent catchers available, and only one of them have a positive WAR (Gomes) and he's 34.

So, who do you want? Who do you replace Sanchez with? C'mon guys, I WANT SOME NAMES!!!

ZacharyA said...

I’d like to see the Yankees pursue Sean Murphy of the A’s. He has four years of control. He’s an elite defender: winning a Gold Glove this year and Baseball Prospectus has him as a top-5 defensive catcher in all of baseball. He’s only 26 and is a career .222/.321/.431 (.752 OPS) hitter. That line is actually above average for a catcher.

I don’t mind giving up prospects for him since all our prospects bust anyway (see: Frazier, Clint or Andujar, Miguel). And the A’s are selling.

Doug K. said...

There's the trade market as well.

For example... The Cubs traded 3/4 of the guys from their championship core. The only one left is Willson Contreras. Maybe they will trade him too as part of their rebuild.

The truth is any one can be had. It comes down to what you're willing to pay either in cash or talent.

The position of catcher is too important to continue with Sanchez for the reasons I stated.

They need to move on. Ideally by trading him but regardless.

Doug K. said...

Zachary - Yes. Murphy! Pay the price.

DickAllen said...

Okay. Let's say the A's are willing to part with Murphy, which is highly doubtful. Being penny-pinchers, there's no reason to part with a guy who's only a year younger than Sanchez and has five years before he's a free agent. And IF they Yankees somehow managed to persuade Beane to give him up, what does The Intern have to offer? A handful of players who won't be ready for another two years. Not exactly a desirable outcome for the A's.

The same can be said of Contreras, only he's a year older than Gary. Who's left on the farm to entice the Cubs to part with him? After we've given away ten prospects at the trade deadline for nothing? Besides, one look at the Cubs system will quickly tell you they have no catchers knocking on the door.

The Yankees don't have any talent to offer except two SS prospects at least a year away. The only possible path is to assume the A's, with Andrus at SS for two more years is to love one of our SS kids enough to make that swap and groom him. Also, the A's have no depth at catcher either, on the 40-man or down on the farm.

The odds of either of those names wearing pinstripes is a fantasy.

I would be shocked if the Yankees parted company with Sanchez. But then again, I'm still amazed they gave Wade and Clint away for nothing. The Yankees farm was stripped bare for the sake of a wild card game. Cashman went all-in on a small pot and and even smaller hand and lost.

13bit said...

"That's future EX-lugnuts to you, mister..."

And speaking of purges, will Brian be the genocidal Stalin, who let the Ukraine starve while he exported their wheat? Or will he be the equally genocidal Mao, who let great swaths of China starve while he exported their rice? There WERE differences between the two, although I tend to view him more as Mao when I think of his Spider act and Mao's infamous "swimming in the Yangtze River" show.

Of course, Joe Stalin was also known for destroying churches, and you could compare that to the old Stadium's destruction under Chairman Cash, but it was more on the Steinbrenner family - and let's never forget Randy "Big Bobo" Levine and his notorious place in Yankee history.

Stalin famously went catatonic and into shock after the Germans invaded. It took him a few weeks to regain his faculties and start to issue orders. Mao never brushed his teeth. Joe trusted Beria to do his dirty work. Mao? Did he trust anyone? Maybe I need to look back further. Is there a Wikipedia page on "Purgemasters?"

Despite the horrors, I do miss the 20th century.

JM said...

Dick, my Gardy comment was a sick, twisted, horrifying joke. I said it only because Cashman is just goofy enough to re-sign him. In fact, I think it's better than 50-50.

Sanchez is statistically better than average, somehow, but in reality he sucks. If he played great defense but couldn't hit, that would be a step up. But he can't catch and he can't hit, just provides the very occasional moonshot. So for me--and I think Doug--ANYBODY who can at least provide solid defense would be an improvement. At this point, if the replacement can't hit, fine. Neither can Gary. So get a stopgap who can do the job behind the plate, sharing a chunk of time with Higgy.

I freely admit that I'm also simply tired of seeing Sanchez's Droopy Dog mug. He's such a downer, man.

Bit, sure, Stalin was a monster and a mass murderer, but there's a lot to be said for the Russian sacrifice that kept the Allies in the game. That's when we called Stalin "Uncle Joe," before he was seen as our postwar enemy. Kind of like the photo of Rumsfeld shaking hands with our pal Saddam Hussein.

He did have quite a mustache, which is a hell of a lot more than you can say for Mao.