In Tuesday morning’s news post, I made a remark about how we always joke about the season being doomed early in the season. It’s a joke because there’s so much time left for baseball that individual results this early don’t generally mean much in the grand scheme of things. Yet, here we are, barely a week into the 2019 season and the Yankees may actually be teetering towards the edge of the cliff.
Since spring training, the team has dealt with injuries to a significant number of players that they were expecting to rely on consistently. Luis Severino, Giancarlo Stanton, Miguel Andujar, Aaron Hicks, Dellin Betances, and CC Sabathia have all been placed on the injured list at various points. That doesn’t include the news from last October that Didi Gregorius would miss close to, if not all, of the season. It’s a frightening world, and I’m scared for every moment that Aaron Judge isn’t bubble-wrapped.
Then, during yesterday’s game, things became even more laughably scary:
Troy Tulowitzki left today's game with a left calf strain. He's going to a hospital for further testing.— Lindsey Adler (@lindseyadler) April 3, 2019
I’m not laughing at his injury. I’m laughing at the fact that the Yankees called on the 34 year-old to start regularly, when he hadn’t played a game in over a year and hadn’t stayed healthy in far longer than that, and then he got hurt. It was so predictable and yet the Yankees allowed it to happen. Don’t worry, though, they’ll be fine.
The Yankees have only two position players on the 40-man roster who aren't on the I.L. or in the majors: infielder prospect Thairo Estrada and catcher Kyle Higashioka.— James Wagner (@ByJamesWagner) April 3, 2019
On second thought, they could probably use some help.
They had an opportunity to get premier talent on the free agent market this winter but instead settled on, well, not that. Obviously no one could’ve seen this amount of injuries coming (except for Tulowitzki’s), but it’s still frustrating. They can make up excuses about character and age, but it all came down to money. The Yankees have plenty of it, and decided to share it only so much. They spent some money, so they’re not exactly cheap, but they didn’t spend in to put the best possible team on the field. Rather, they spent in the best interest of their wallets.
Now the Yankees are hurting, and it’s a little too late to go looking at the free agent market. Being that it’s only April, it’s hard to pin down exactly what the Yankees should do. But then, the Giants and Blue Jays just made a trade.
On April 2nd, the Blue Jays sent Kevin Pillar to the Giants in exchange for Alen Hanson, Derek Law, and Juan De Paula (yes, that Juan De Paula). Usually teams wait until closer to the trade deadline before making major moves, and rarely do we see something this early in the season. Yet, it just happened. Which got me thinking: why don’t the Yankees do something?
Now, I have no idea who would actually be available this early. Most teams wait to see how the season is playing out before they decide to be sellers or buyers. But that doesn’t stop the Yankees from putting some feelers out there. They can at least try and see who, if anyone, is available and what the cost would be to get some help right now instead of waiting until June or July. Plus, as the Blue Jays just showed, given the stratification of the AL, there are certainly teams already willing to admit they’re not playing for this year.
The last thing they want is to be too late to make an impact move, and not getting help and running out spring training lineups in the first week of the season runs that risk. I’ve never generally believed in teams panicking this early, but the amount of injuries this team has seen so far is just unreal. If they can find some quick help, they should jump on it. They may want to consider taking an early stab at the trade market. At the very least, they can say they tried, which I’ll take at this point.