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The Yankees procrastinated on pitching

In college I had friends that prided themselves on procrastinating. One buddy didn’t start a 10 page research paper until about 12 hours before it was due during our senior year. He had the entire semester to bang out this paper, but he just didn’t care enough to sit down and do it until he absolutely had to. He ended up finishing the paper at the last second, passed and was able to graduate. Barley.

Sadly, the 2019 Yankees trade deadline reminds me of this college friend. The Yankees irresponsibly neglected starting pitching during the winter and spring, and now it has come back to bite them. I know we have some fans that refuse to criticize Brian Cashman no matter what, but it is painfully obvious he botched the starting pitching market this winter. Now, like a procrastinating college student, he is scrambling.

Cashman’s loyal soldiers will claim that he’s been in on everyone. That he’s been turning over every rock. That it’s good discipline to walk away if the cost doesn’t match up to exactly how much the Yankees value said player or asset. That’s good business for a team fighting to stay in contention with a middling payroll, but it’s downright stupid for a team with the largest financial empire in the league.

Consider last off season

Ideal Target: Patrick Corbin. I’m tired of writing about how dumb it was to pass on Corbin, but it keeps haunting the Yankees, so I’ll keep harping on it. Corbin was one of the most obvious free agent signings of all time. Great numbers, young, healthy and from New York. Coming off a top five Cy Young finish and a 3.15 ERA, he was ready to take his talents to the Bronx.

Here’s the problem: The Yankees were light years off with their “evaluation.” Their analytics team determined that Corbin was only worth four years. This was an obvious miscalculation. The Phillies offered him five years, and the Nationals offered him six years. I don’t have the math skills of the analytics nerds, however I do know that someone is worth what a team is willing to pay him.

Corbin is dominating again this year with a 3.7 Bwar. He would be BY FAR the best starter in our rotation. Would the Yankees have had to “overpay” to sign Corbin? Maybe by their evaluations. But he is earning every penny of that contract by dominating for Washington. I’m sure they don’t feel like they overpaid and are happy with the production.  Besides, Corbin’s 2019 luxury tax hit is lower than…

J.A. Happ!

Yup, Back to Happ again. I’ve already broken down all of Happ’s struggles in previous articles, so I won’t keep banging on the guy. You already know that he stinks and can’t get anyone out. So the Yankees determined through their “evaluations” That a $17 million tax hit on Happ was easier to swallow than a 12.92 million dollar tax hit on Patrick Corbin. LOL.

Charlie Morton

Another one that seemed obvious. Like Corbin, Morton was coming off a dominant 2018 going 15-3 with a 3.13 ERA. An American league battle tested world champion, the Yankees had been dominated up close and personal by Morton in the 2017 playoffs and the 2018 regular season. His high velocity, high spin rate, and playoff experience made him a slam dunk fit with the Yankees. However, the Yankees never even reached out to Morton. Morton is currently 12-3 with a 2.60 ERA. He’s probably going to win the Cy Young Award with the rival Rays. Instead of just giving Morton an easy 2 year 30 million dollar deal, the Yankees decided to trade for…

 James Paxton

The Yankees surrendered their top pitching prospect, Justus Sheffield, for Paxton in November. Paxton, like Happ, has been terrible. He’s 5-6 with a 4.72 ERA and has the worst first inning ERA in the majors. He had two excellent starts in April against Boston and Kansas City. Other than those, he’s been abysmal. Paxton can often be seen trudging off the mound in the fourth inning with the Yankees down 5-1. He was brought in to be an ace type and has pitched like a number five. His numbers are similar to…

 CC Sabathia

I love CC. Love him. But it was irresponsible to assume that a 39-year-old, 300 pound pitcher with one knee was going to be a championship piece in the rotation this year. CC is on his third IL stint and will probably have more. How could Brian Cashman look himself in the mirror and think that CC was going to be healthy and effective at this point in his career. Pure lunacy. CC is currently sporting a 4.78 ERA.

Let his be a lesson to you procrastinators. The Yankees could have been responsible and invested in quality starting pitching. They could’ve  diligently prepared  by bringing in league leading work horses like Patrick Corbin and Charlie Morton to solidify a dominant rotation that would have been borderline unbeatable in October. Instead, they tried to skimp by with minimal effort and minimal investment. They acquired older, cheaper washed up pitchers thinking they could still write a quality paper.

The paper is due at 4 p.m. tomorrow, and Brian Cashman is still scrambling because he didn’t prepare properly this winter.