When the Yankees were trash in 2013 and ’14, we watched Stephen Drew, Brian Roberts, and the ghost of Kevin Youkilis take at bats. It wasn’t pretty to watch. The Yankees were an old, patchwork team, recycling aging veterans at each position to try to stay relevant because of their poor farm system. It worked briefly in 2015, but that season ended predictably in the Wild Card game. Fast forward to 2016 and everything changed. The once powerhouse Yankees became “sellers” for the first time in a long time and traded away Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller for pieces that would hopefully help the team down the line (2019 was the circled year). This was a statement the Yankees were making: “We aren’t good enough to win right now, so we are going to punt and try again next year.” It was new territory for a team that had dominated the standings since the mid-90s.
The window is wide open
Then came the young studs. The summer of ’16 saw Gary Sanchez burst onto the scene and hit 20 home runs in only 53 games (should’ve won rookie of the year). In 2017, we saw Aaron Judge hit 53 bombs to set a rookie record. In 2018, we saw Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar come up and provide an even further boost to the offense. Even though Andujar is unfortunately sidelined right now, the point still stands, this Yankees team is ready to win RIGHT NOW. Their window is wide open, and when that happens, you have to go for it. You can’t dial it back and hope that you’ll be there next year and the year after (looking at you Nationals and Stephen Strasburg).
Stop hugging the prospects
Young players are fun to get excited about. I get it. But sometimes prospects need to be cashed in to improve the major league roster. The Yankees currently have Aaron Hicks signed for 7 years and a bevy of outfielders, so why is everyone reluctant to trade Estevan Florial? Yes, the Yankees need a starting pitcher, but why can’t we give up Deivi Garcia for someone that can help us win a world series right now? I love Clint Frazier, but if he can bring us Marcus Stroman, let’s get it done. It’s a lot easier to find a stopgap in the outfield than a reliable starter. Hell, Cameron Maybin and Mike Tauchman have played outstanding for us, and they were shrewd scrap heap pickups.
Now, just because I am advocating for a trade to be made doesn’t mean I want to give away the farm system. But sometimes this point is lost on fans: the farm system is there to make your current major league roster better. Whether that be right now or in the future. I trust Brian Cashman and his analytics team to make good decisions and to not grossly overpay in a trade. Yes, some of his deals haven’t worked out — that comes with the territory — but he rarely gets burned by trading away future stars. When the Yankees target certain players they know they want to keep, they don’t trade them. See: Luis Severino, Gary Sanchez, Aaron Judge.
The fan base has collectively lost their minds and it’s every day that we see “no don’t trade Deivi Garcia!” or “Florial is untouchable!” A lot of those fans probably didn’t know who Deivi Garcia was before the season started, never mind even seeing him pitch. They probably haven’t read one scouting report on Florial either. We should all be hoping that the front office improves the team in the coming days. If that involves trading away some future pieces, so be it. It’s worth it for a World Series.