Opinion

Yankees can’t afford to stand pat

He who hesitates is lost. In baseball terms, it’s called not getting caught in a pickle between third base and home plate. In terms of the New York Yankees, it’s called learning from your recent past and not getting stuck in neutral.

As we all know the baseball season is not a sprint but a marathon. The Yankees have more than a month to ponder any deadline deals. A lot can happen in that time, which will determine if they become buyers or sellers. What they can’t afford to do is stand pat.

Yes, there’s a lot of mediocre to bad baseball teams which appear one hot streak away from hitting the 88 wins or so that are needed in securing the second Wild Card spot. However, falling short of that gets you nothing, no playoffs, no top draft choice.

In 2013, New York acquired Alfonso Soriano from the Chicago Cubs and while his reunion tour was a welcome revival, it wasn’t enough. The Yankees missed out on the postseason, and the opportunity to obtain assets for pending free agent players like Robinson Cano, David Robertson, Curtis Granderson and Phil Hughes.

The 2014 club picked up Martin Prado, Chase Headley, Brandon McCarthy, Stephen Drew, Esmil Rogers and Chris Capuano. These moves were essentially a mixed bag. Another missed opportunity was a potential trade of Hiroki Kuroda to the contending Los Angeles Dodgers.

Last season, while the Toronto Blue Jays made about a half dozen moves, the Yankees virtually stood pat, save for the Dustin Ackley deal. Although the team limped into a one-game Wild Card playoff, had they loaded up and kept the division lead, it might’ve meant a longer stay into October.

In summary, that’s three seasons, two playoff misses, one Wild Card game and at least five players the Yankees could’ve turned into Major League ready prospects, but instead let walk for nothing.

No, it’s not in the Yankees DNA to break it down and act like sellers. Conversely, you can’t not do anything or make patchwork deals and hope for the best.

They say you can’t rebuild in New York and maybe so, but here’s how I and many other Yankee fans see it. If you go for a blockbuster deal and decide to make a run at title No. 28, fans will always be with you. If you decide to go in the other direction and get what you can in the way of prospects for Aroldis Chapman, Carlos Beltran, Brett Gardner, Mark Teixeira, etc. and give fans some exciting and promising players to watch, like Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez, fans will be on board for that too.

What you can’t afford do is hold on for dear life hoping an old creaky team is going to turn it on like Paul O’Neill, Scott Brosius and Tino Martinez and take you to within three outs of a title.

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