The trade deadline is always one of stress, excitement, anticipation, disappointment, or possible elation for many fans. It is usually more so for fans of the New York Yankees, being that their name is pretty much always thrown out there in potential deals and blockbuster moves. Other general managers have been known to say "the Yankees are also interested" in order to drum up interest from other teams. It's not the worst strategy, considering how storied and gloried our franchise is. There was no story and glory for the Yankees this trade season. The deadline has passed us by and the only things the Bronx Bombers did was acquire Dustin Ackley from the Mariners and ship Esmil Rogers off to Korea. The Yankees did not part with any of their top prospects and are instead banking on their farm to step up this year, which is precisely what fans have been calling for them to do for a long time now.
Many times we have heard claims that the Yankees need to build from within or that they should not trade their future stars for older players or for a rental, which as fellow writer Harlan has already shown, does not happen at all. Here we are after the deadline and Brian Cashman still did not do the thing that many fans still claim that he is known for doing. The real confusion over these past few years is trying to comprehend what the overall grand pinstriped plan is. With this trade season over and Cashman's insistence that the Yankees would not trade their top prospects, we are starting to see the fruit of his labors. The plan is coming into focus and really, it's the same plan they've had for a couple of years now; retool while competing at the same time. Yes, they can do both and have been attempting to do both for the past three years.
One thing that a lot of Yankee fans tend not to acknowledge during the 2013 and 2014 seasons is that despite how frustrating those teams were to watch, they still competed for a playoff position. Yes, both of those awful years the Yankees were in the mix. With the second wild card spot now in play, even a broken down injury plagued Yankees team could make it in. Once you're in, you can go all the way with this playoff structure. The Royals and the Giants proved that last year. Another thing that a lot of Yankee fans tend to forget about are all the injuries that occurred during those years.
The lack of Alex Rodriguez and a hurt Mark Teixeira are obvious examples, but one of the best examples of this was their catching situation in 2013. The Yankees let Russell Martin walk and decided to roll the dice on long time catching prospect Francisco Cervelli and noted sand drinker Chris Stewart as their backup. In case you're unaware, this is the exact same catching situation right now on the 2015 Pirates and it's working. Cervelli is doing very well in Pittsburgh right now, as opposed to him getting injured and then suspended for fifty games like he did in 2013 while on the Yankees. Injuries change everything. If Cervelli remains healthy and doesn't get suspended, who's to say if the Yankees spend on Brian McCann in 2014? For all we know, Cervelli was always part of Cashman's design. It doesn't take much to alter plans though.
Injuries can change everything, both the present and the future. Manny Banuelos was once thought to be the next young Yankee pitching star to come out of the farm. That was a few years and one Tommy John surgery ago. Now he is in the Braves organization. It's hard to believe that the Yankees' master plan for Banuelos was to be used to acquire Chasen Shreve and David Carpenter, but that's what happened. Injuries force adjustment and the Yankees have had to adjust over the years while still trying to stick to their primary plan. That is not easy for any team to do. The fact that the Yankees still competed in 2013 and 2014, despite everything that happened, should be a sign of success rather than failure, especially now that we are seeing the success that could have been during those years if the team wasn't broken. That is not to say that they always made the correct decision though. Continuing to start Chris "two strikes" Stewart in 2013 and continuing to bat Derek Jeter 2nd in the lineup do not rank high on the correct decisions list. Injuries still hurt the team more than those choices though.
What's done is done. "You gotta put your behind in your past" as Pumbaa once said. During the bleak years, they did not trade away their future. Even now, as Michael Pineda is potentially out for a while and the Yankees need a starting pitcher, they did not trade away their future. The Yankees' plan is starting to come together:
Cashman: Severino's next start will be at the Major League level— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) July 31, 2015
Rather than pay a high price for a starter like the Rangers did in order to acquire Cole Hamels, the Yankees are going all in with their own home grown pitcher Luis Severino. He has been downright dominant in the minor leagues and it seems that there's nothing left for him to prove down there. The Yankees have need for a starting pitcher and it's his time to shine. This is what the fans have been wanting the Yankees to do for years now. There should be little to no complaints about this move, regardless of the Yankees' record this season. This was always their plan from the beginning of the year. The Yankees bet on their heavy hitters actually hitting and it has paid off. Their farm system has improved immensely. Now it's time to see what they can do.
It is now August and the Yankees are coming off their best month of the season. With a six-game lead on the AL East, the Yankees and their fans can almost smell their first playoff berth since 2012. As the Yankees enter the final two months of the regular season the fanbase still needs to do their best to be patient, perhaps now more than ever. Nathan Eovaldi and Didi Gregorius, our two acquisitions before the season began, have started to turn the corner after a downright ugly start to their Yankee careers. Fans' patience with them has been rewarded for the time being and now the same courtesy needs to be applied to Luis Severino.
Do not expect him to be Cole Hamels or David Price on the mound at the beginning of his career. If he falters, please do not complain that the Yankees didn't trade him away for one of those pitchers. Most of all, be excited for what is hopefully a bright new career. Things take time and, just like with injuries, some adjustments might need to be made. Either way, the future is here and it's just the beginning. The only regret that should come from Brian Cashman standing pat this trade deadline is that we did not have a chance to use this GIF.