Monday, November 15, 2021

With a deadline approaching, the Yankees will soon make their first move of winter, and we should be terrified

By Friday, MLB front offices must finalize their 40-man rosters in anticipation of next month's Rule 5 draft. That's the annual rearrangement of talent, the one in which the Redsocks last year surgically plucked Garrett Whitlock from our system. Yes, that's the Garrett Whitlock who locked down their bullpen, and whom they plan to make into a starter. Yeah, that Garrett Whitlock.

In recent weeks, the Yankees' propaganda machine - also known as YES - has steadily pushed one narrative: Our farm system is so brimming with talent that Brian Cashman will need to trade prospects, rather than face the prospects of losing prospects in the draft. We certainly don't want to lose another Garrett Whitlock. 

Keep in mind that:

1) The Yankees last year produced no impact rookie - not even a bullpen lug nut, who made a difference. The closest we had was Luis Gil, who pitched well until he magically disappeared. The rest - Clarke Scmidt, Deivi Garcia, Nick Nelson and Estevan Florial - bombed. We went 0-for-2021. 

2) In late July, the Yankees drained their system of 10 prospects in order to bring us the Bore Four: Joey Gallo, Andrew Heaney, Anthony Rizzo and Clay Holmes. These deals helped us take the final AL wild card slot. In case I forgot, belated congrats to all.

3) Generally, when the Yankees trade prospects, they receive players who were all-stars about three years ago, and who have outstayed welcomes with their old teams. For example, Rougned Odor, a fine fellow we obtained last spring, and who spent the season proving that Texas - his ex-team - was right about him: His HR swing had holes in it, and he needed to change his entire approach to hitting. But he didn't.

So, the front office patter goes this way: The Yankees have too much talent to protect in the draft, so they will bundle prospects in a trade to bring us another veteran - and if the prospect-huggers out there don't like it, they can go to Hell. 

Well, I am a prospect hugger. 

Also, for Yankee fans, this is Hell. 

Every dark period in Yankee history has coincided with a "win-now" philosophy that is balanced on trading the future for the past. 

If the Yankees really believe in their prospects - the ones they're suggesting will be lost - they should dump the established players who stand in their way. 

If that's Gary Sanchez, so be it. If it's Luke Voit, so long. Every year, Tampa Bay owns us with a wave of emerging young players. In 2021, so did Boston. Toronto and Baltimore are building. We cannot go on this way.

Last year's Rule 5 problem was not that the Yankees had too many prospects, and thus protected them instead of Garrett Whitlock. The problem was that they protected aging veterans instead of young talent.

So, should we fear what's to happen this week?


Celerino Sanchez said...

It's getting to the point where I really don't care what this team does. They have no plan, they are purely reactionary when it comes to team development. Until there is a new regime, the Buster Olneys, Joel Shermans, and every other baseball writer will have to work OT to protect the Cashman legend. You know they've had 20+ .500 seasons.

JM said...

A strange aspect of this is that Cashman continues the methods he learned under George Steinbrenner. I guess that was his way of keeping his job, but as George faded, he had the opportunity to change his approach to something more successful. He didn't, and here we are.

Stick Michael, Watson, and Showalter were team builders. They created a mix of young talent and key vets who were not big stars (maybe an exception or two in there), but team players who did what it took to win. It was an incredibly succesful formula, and abandoned quickly. (A generalization, but not only was it abandoned, choices that were made about young talent were lousy and we were hypnotized by big stars like Giambi and A-Rod. I'll never forgive Boone for wrecking his career in the offseason and opening the door to the Enhanced One. Actually, the weirdest thing about A-Rod, and there are so many, is that, like Bonds, he would've been a great player without all the juice. Giambi? Yeah, I don't know.)

It's like Cashman is eternally covering his ass, whether dumpster diving to get a pat on the head for frugality, or going for vets over youngsters. And it doesn't work. It's clear that 2009 was a fluke, then pffft.

Sorry, I'm beating a dead horse. It's really, really dead, but I'm beating it anyway.

Ken of Brooklyn said...

I cannot agree with you more JM and Celerino!
I've finally been broken. Nothing that happens under Cashman's watch will truly amount to anything more than saving his ass. The evidence is EVERYWHERE and obvious to all on how a new direction could benefit the team, but we all have seen this same insane story unfold year after year and year after year after year. I will of course tune in, but there's a part of me that has just stopped caring, for all of the reasons stated above,,,,

And once again I will shout from the mountain tops, that my favorite aspect of the Yankees universe is this IIHIIFIIC site,,, bless you all for being here!

HoraceClarke66 said...

And yes, once again gentlemen, like so many mariners headed straight for the Bermuda Triangle, you've reached...THE CASHMAN CONUNDRUM!!!

JM, I think that, to be fair to the little weasel—and I don't know why we should do that—he really HAS tried to build a farm system. He just can't—witness the great international money meltdown—because he can't judge talent himself, and refuses to hire on people who can, lest they one day take his job.

He should trade this or that player—but we already know that won't go well, because he can't judge talent himself, and refuses to hire on people who can, lest they one day take his job. Witness how little he got for Sonny Gray, a still-valued pitcher who has done well in the National League.

He should get trade guys from the 40-man roster before simply releasing them—witness the witless disposal of Allen and Velazquez for nothing, despite their contributions in 2021. But he won't. Because he can't judge talent himself...well, you know the rest...

HoraceClarke66 said...

...All Cooperstown Cashman can really do is dumpster dive, which is the easiest and most rewarding of a GM's duties.

Guys picked up for nothing at the trade deadline? We quickly forget the ridiculous—not Heaney! Not Heaney, God!—and remember the sublime.

ZacharyA said...

How many 40-man roster spots do we need to clear by Friday? I see a lot of guys who can be easily jettisoned.

Miguel Andujar: hasn't hit since 2018 (and that was with the old ball), doesn't have a defensive home, and has reached arb so he's not cheap anymore

Chris Gittens: he's 28, looked overmatched in the majors, and first basemen who hit AAA pitching well are easy to find

Rougned Odor: hit .202/.286/.379 last year and .199/.274/.415 over the last three years, hasn't stolen a base in two seasons, and the Yankees already have plenty of second baseman on the roster (Torres, LeMahieu, Wade)

Clint Frazier: shoulda cut ties with him long ago, can't stay healthy and management seems reluctant to play him when he is available

Zack Britton: out for 2022 with Tommy John surgery, but I guess they'll keep him on the roster to collect insurance payouts

HoraceClarke66 said...

And JM, you make a great point about the sacred trinity of Stick, Buck, and Bob.

They not only had an eye for talent where it wasn't readily evident, but they also knew which guys they could let go. Their success was evident—and would have been even more apparent if they hadn't had to field a (probably) juice-free team against an MLB already full of dopers.

As it is, the club they built came within a couple eyelashes of winning six straight World Series, 1996-2001.

Their reward? To be fired, demoted, or run off the team. The Steinbrenners finally worked their way down to what they really wanted: a toadying sycophant, with no talent save for preserving his own position.

No wonder everything else this family ever ran went belly-up. Only thanks to the marvelous internal socialism of major-league sports today could they have kept the Yankees a money-maker.

HoraceClarke66 said...

And Ken of Brooklyn? I could not agree more!

Doug K. said...

Duque -

"Bore Four"


"If the Yankees really believe in their prospects - the ones they're suggesting will be lost - they should dump the established players who stand in their way."

This x100.

There are at least a 1/2 dozen players on the 25 man roster that should go for "whatever" or just get DFA'd. Maybe as many as eight.

JM -

"team players who did what it took to win."

What it took to win. I feel like the Yankees don't have guys like this. We get too many "deals" from losing teams and there is a tipping point where your team is made up of losers.

Stanton - Miami
DJ - Colorado
Odor, Gallo Texas
Urshala - The Guardians (HA first time I wrote that - mostly because I cant spell Cleaveland.)
Hicks - The Twins
Heaney was an Angel so he fold under pennant race pressure.
Gleyber left when the Cubs were good but didn't play for them.
The list goes on.

The difference maker should have been Boone. They needed a manager who TEACHES them to be winners. Unfortunately Boone is not that. Not even close.

Hey Hoss -

Now, there's a teacher that would be worth big bucks! - I replied to you about that today in the other thread BTW :)

HoraceClarke66 said...

I saw that, Doug, and replied in kind, thanks!

And as for the list of "losers" above...I think it might be too much to blame it on the attitude of the organizations these guys come from.

First, DJ just had a bad season—one that may well have been caused by the sports hernia he was dealing with. Sure, the Yanks maybe gave him too much for his twilight years. But I would never call that guy a loser.

Urshela has also played very well for us—and as we saw, put his body on the line last year. Hicks gets hurt much too often—but as we saw AGAINST the Twins that time, put his body on the line to save one game.

The Gleyber left the Cubs in the year they won the Series. Losers? Odor, Gallo, Heaney? I don't know if they're chokers or losers—they just stink, and anyone who could read a stat sheet could tell they stunk before acquiring them.

Even Stanton seemed like a whole new ballplayer, once he was allowed to play the field regularly—against the esteemed advice of our crack training and conditioning staffs.

No, Doug, I'm afraid the fault lies not with the teams wither these ballplayers come from, but in our very own front office of dunderheads. (That was Shakespeare's original line, before he got into the whole "stars" thing.)

Doug K. said...


I like DJ (and Urshala) but to my point they were not on winning teams and so might never have developed that "We play today. We win today." confidence.

Gleyber never played for the Cubs. He was in the minors. :)

And yes it falls on ownership/management but there is a winning attitude that seems to be lacking in this current crop of Yankees.

Unknown said...

Demosle una oportunidad yo creo que si contratamos los chicos correctos tendremos una temporada exitosa no vallamos a crusar el rio sin llegar a el yo creo que lo van a lograr esta vez.

Doug K. said...

From google translate (and you're welcome)

"Let's give it a chance I think if we hire the right guys we will have a successful season we will not fence to cross the river without reaching the I think they will achieve it this time."

The Archangel said...

I can't believe what Negative Nancys you guys are.

Don't you know that the Yanks will sign an All-Star SS, two SP and Marte.

Plus, the new coaches will fill that hole in Odor's swing, teach Sanchez to hit and field and run the bases and instruct Hicks that he made his ungodly millions in baseball not ruining his wrists golfing every day.

Come on, who's with me? Did our forefathers quit when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?

I'm staking out a piece of sidewalk for next year's WS Parade.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Hilarious, Archie. And by "staking out," I hope you mean observing from a safe distance. Very safe.