I have been a Yankee fan all of my life. Watching this season has been excruciating. However, what bothers me most is not how they are performing but rather how poor their decision making has been in recent years and particularly this year when it comes to player transactions. What are the Yankees trying to accomplish?
The Yankees most recent title teams were built on a blend of solid scouting of amateurs domestically and internationally, veterans and intelligent transactions for players who were gritty, just hitting the strides and/or had yet to hit their strides but showed potential. Over the course of time, as key players aged, the Yankees moved away from that formula. Their best players, Bernie Williams, Jorge Posada, Matsui, Abreu, Damon, etc., all multi-dimensional players, got replaced by lesser players while the only substantial player the Yankees produced or acquired in that time frame was Cano (who interestingly was not even a top prospect.) Over the years, the replacements got worse and worse and yet no substantial positional players were produced by the farm (except for the traded Austin Jackson.) Even the starters developed fell far short of what a good farm should produce. Accordingly, fast forward to this season, and what does the team have; a very old, flawed team on the decline.
Notably, the only smart thing the Yankees did this season was collect three first rounders. Hopefully, the Yankees drafting and scouting has improved so that the Yankees can have some home grown difference makers in the not too distant future. However, right now, the Yankees still have a dilemma; what do they do moving forward? In that regard, their seeming answer is what is so frustrating. For every hole, the answer that seems to surface is some geriatric player whose tank is near empty. To what end? Do the Yankees think having Morneau, Ruiz and/or Michael Young solves their problems? These guys represent what has already been wrong with the Yankees. Further, these acquisitions might cost prospects who even if not top prospects likely could help in getting someone more substantial toward the Yankees future. Under the circumstances, why would the Yankees want to leverage the future unless it helps the future?
I do not know what the Yankees are trying to accomplish but I know what they should be trying to accomplish - positioning themselves to be the next great Yankees team. So how do they do that? As stated, getting those three 1sts was a nice start if they were good picks. The Dominican League teams are also good for talent development if the scouting is smart. But how about filling some needs more immediate with guys who are closer to or are major league ready? Unless anyone likes the idea of a 5 to 7 year plan? Right now, the Yankees have a few assets whose value they must look at. Kuroda, Hughes, CC. Kuroda has a no trade clause but considering this is likely his last season in the majors, would he accept a trade to say LAD or St. L? If so, considering what the Cubs got for Garza, what could the Yankees get for Kuroda? Maybe some combination involving Zach Lee, Joc Pederson and Corey Seager. How about maybe Matt Adams who has no real position on the Cardinals and either Michael Wacha or Carlos Martinez? What about CC? I know his stock is down but have the Yankees even gauged his value? The Yankees need a 1B and the Giants need a starter. How about maybe Hughes for B. Belt and a prospect? SF is pitcher's park which would be great for Hughes. How about to Pittsburgh who is contending? Maybe get back a couple of their nice prospects. How about seeing what it would take to get Jedd Gyorko instead of Headley? San Diego has more infielders than they do spots. What about Mike Moustakas who needs out of KC? Anyone heard of Alex Castellanos? He is AAA hitter for LAD who is blocked but does everything well. How about Justin Smoak? He could be the next Chris Davis (who could have been had for a song.) Could Danny Hulzen be had? He might be worth a top OF prospect plus.
I am not asserting who is available for whom. My point is that this is what the Yankees should be looking at. What are the Yankees trying to accomplish -- patchwork on a team going nowhere or the next great team?