Although the Yankees have not yet decided they will be sellers at the trade deadline, MLB executives say that the team is fielding offers for nearly all of their moveable parts so that they can move quickly once/if the ownership does decide to sell.
According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, beyond having Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller on the block, the Yankees are also taking offers for Brian McCann, Carlos Beltran, Brett Gardner, Michael Pineda, Ivan Nova, and Nathan Eovaldi. It makes sense, if the team doesn’t see itself competing in the next couple of years, to basically hit reset and see what other teams are willing to part with for these players.
As Olney notes, the Yankees are pretty much a team in transition. They are going to be going through quite a bit of roster turnover in the next couple seasons, and it makes sense to attempt to find quality talent to plug those holes via trade when the upcoming free agent market is lacking impact pieces.
Like last year’s Padres, the Yankees are only really in contention for the postseason by virtual technicality. Anyone who has watched the Yankees knows that they are not on the verge of putting it all together in order to make a run. The last thing the team should do is stand pat or attempt to buy at the deadline.
Hal Steinbrenner hasn’t yet conceded that his team of notorious buyers should be on the other end of deals this summer. Not wanting to declare the season lost and potentially cost himself ticket sales is understandable, but the team isn’t a good one even without selling off pieces. It seems like most fans have even warmed to the idea of trying to sell and regroup going forward.
If the Yankees decide to go all in and sell, as they should, the complexion of the team could look very different than fans are used to by August 2nd. It will be interesting to see if Steinbrenner can commit to a full fire sale instead of just a piece or two, if anything. It is definitely a position he hasn’t really found himself in so far as owner of the Yankees.
Olney notes that the Padres’ decision not to sell last year was seen as “refusal to acknowledge the reality of the team’s almost nonexistent chances to make the postseason” and that is exactly what the Yankees would be facing as well. Yes, the second Wild Card does give teams more hope later into the season, even teams as bad as the Yankees. However, holding on to false hope of jumping from the bottom of the American League up to the top when the team has shown an inability to consistently defeat even MLB’s worst teams would simply be foolish.
It’s time for the Yankees to accept that they are going nowhere this season, allowing them to trade away moveable pieces in hopes of getting a valuable return. The unfortunate reality is that this team may not be in a position to compete for the next couple of seasons without free agents who can turn things around, and stockpiling talent within will be their only chance of getting back to making an impact in October.