• No Hope, Now, Or Later, For Yankees

    Posted by on August 7th, 2013 · Comments (24)

    Now that the Yankees season is basically done, I thought “Maybe now it’s time for a plan…to see what you have?”

    Out of the chute, I figured “Release Joba Chamberlain. He’s gone, no matter what, in two months. You don’t want him back. And, he’s not going to help you any from here out. And, even if he did, so what? It’s not like you have a shot for October?”

    And, then, once that roster spot is open, call up J.R. Murphy and then have him and Austin Romine split catching duties for the rest of the season and see if maybe you have an in-house catching option for 2014.

    Next, look at the starting rotation. Is there any reason to keep giving Phil Hughes a regular turn? There’s nothing to see there – you know what he is and will always be. Plus, odds are, you’re not keeping him beyond this season. Why not move him to the pen, to take Joba’s spot, and then call up some kid from Triple-A, or maybe even push someone at the Double-A level, and let him get some big league experience for the next six or seven weeks?

    Ah, and, there, I hit the skids.

    There is no one in the Yankees farm system at the Triple-A or Double-A level who warrants a call-up at this time. Zach Nuding has been hit pretty good in the minors.Brett Marshall has been hammered. Ditto Caleb Cotham. Who does that leave, Jose Ramirez? Is he even healthy? I don’t know. And, don’t even get me started about Michael Pineda.

    And, it’s the same elsewhere. Worried about who is going to take Granderson’s spot? Not thrilled with the notion of flanking Gardner with Soriano, Wells and Ichiro in 2014? Well, there’s no Yankees outfield propsects in Triple-A or Double-A that are ready. Ramon Flores would get the bat knocked out of his hands in the majors. Slade Heathcott went backwards this season. Tyler Austin is not ready yet. Mason Williams is still stuck in A-Ball. And, we’ve already seen Melky Mesa and Zolio Almonte. Face it, the Yankees have no impact outfield prospects near being ready to help in the majors.

    How about Cano? In case he leaves – and I hope that he does – should the Yankees be looking at someone now, in the system, to see if he’s ready? Who would that be, Jose Pirela? Seriously?

    I won’t even talk about short and third. We’ve already seen, this season, there’s no one to help at those spots.

    Yes, the Yankees stink this year. But, just wait until next season. It’s going to be worse.

    Comments on No Hope, Now, Or Later, For Yankees

    1. Mr. October
      August 7th, 2013 | 11:56 am

      “How about Cano? In case he leaves – and I hope that he does – should the Yankees be looking at someone now, in the system, to see if he’s ready?”

      Cano leaving and this team not trading him before 2013 or 2012 will be a significant mark against this ballclub and organizational failure. At least 2015 should be better than 2014.

    2. August 7th, 2013 | 12:49 pm

      @ Mr. October:
      Yeah, say what you want about Cano – and, most of it, good and bad, I would agree with – but, he’s still 200 hits/30 HR/and 100 RBI. And, it will be interesting to see how THIS LINEUP will live without that.

      On the bright-side, the Yankees will need an astute GM to pull them out of this season and the next one. And, Cashman is not that guy. So, even if it means taking a hit this year, next, and the couple after that, if it gets Cashman out of here, it would not be all in vain.

    3. Garcia
      August 7th, 2013 | 12:53 pm

      “No Hope, Now, Or Later, For Yankees ” — it was bound to happen sooner or later. All franchises, after many years of success, always go through a bad period. That, however, does not mean someone or a number of someones should not be made accountable.

      The Red Sox were not supposed to be this good this year because of a lot of the same reasons you stated above. They didn’t have the talent in the high minors — unless you are going to count Iglesia — to help them fill all the voids. Yet they signed some FAs to short term deals, and look at where they are right now. No one really expected that.

      I’ll agree with you that today things are not looking that great, but all hope is not lost. IMHO.

    4. August 7th, 2013 | 1:04 pm

      @ Garcia:
      I’ve said this before, but, the key for the Red Sox was dumping those contracts, so they would have the money to spend – along with having a FO smart enough to know who to get, etc.

      The Yankees, with A-Rod, Jeter, Tex, CC (and maybe Cano?) pulling HUGE money, will not have that…and they don’t have a GM who is astute.

      Maybe the Yankees get luck and A-Rod’s money comes off the books next year? That would be a big help.

    5. NC Yankee
      August 7th, 2013 | 1:18 pm

      What’s stupid is the self imposed salary cap of $189 million. The Yankees are flush with cash and should spend it as they always have. I cannot understand why they don’t use the major advantage they have over most of the other MLB teams….money. It was never an issue when the old man was in charge. Say what you want about the Boss, but he always wanted to do whatever necessary to put a winner on the field for the fans. I really don’t think his primary concern was profit. If you put a consistent winner on the field, profit will come.

    6. MJ Recanati
      August 7th, 2013 | 1:26 pm

      Steve L. wrote:

      [T]he key for the Red Sox was dumping those contracts, so they would have the money to spend – along with having a FO smart enough to know who to get, etc.

      It’s less their signings and more a return to normalcy for their rotation. For example, instead of 140 horrible innings from Aaron Cook/Daisuke Matsuzaka, they’ve gotten 125 very good innings from John Lackey and instead of 125 awful innings from Josh Beckett, they’ve gotten 125 slightly below league-average innings from Ryan Dempster. Buchholz has been hurt but, when he’s pitched, he’s been brilliant.

      The major signings — Napoli/Victorino — have performed at about the same level as the players they replaced at those positions.

      In other words, last year’s catastrophe was a lot less about having bad players as it was unusually poor performance (and the toxicity added by Bobby Valentine’s enormous ego).

    7. MJ Recanati
      August 7th, 2013 | 1:28 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      Buchholz has been hurt but, when he’s pitched, he’s been brilliant.

      Meant to say:

      Buchholz has been hurt but, when he’s pitched, he’s been brilliant (in contrast to his much lousier performance last year).

    8. MJ Recanati
      August 7th, 2013 | 1:30 pm

      NC Yankee wrote:

      What’s stupid is the self imposed salary cap of $189 million. It was never an issue when the old man was in charge.

      When George Steinbrenner was in charge, the luxury tax penalties weren’t as steep and the incentives to curb spending weren’t available.

      The new CBA gave the Yankees a very big carrot to get under $189M and it makes sense that they’d want to reset their luxury tax rate.

    9. NC Yankee
      August 7th, 2013 | 1:48 pm

      That is true, but the Yankees have plenty to spend and seem to be willing to take a year off of winning to re-set that tax rate. I’m not sure George would have been willing to sacrifice a year to save some cash. I guess we’ll never know…

    10. August 7th, 2013 | 1:52 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      last year’s catastrophe was a lot less about having bad players as it was unusually poor performance

      Still, Mike Carp, Stephen Drew and Shane Victorino, all new comers, IRRC, have helped them a lot this year – along with Koji Uehara

    11. August 7th, 2013 | 1:55 pm

      @ NC Yankee:
      There is no doubt, in my mind, that Big Stein in his prime, if around today, would not tolerate what’s going on right now…the way his son Hal does.

    12. NC Yankee
      August 7th, 2013 | 2:21 pm

      I sincerely think that the Steinbrenner family is trying very hard to get expenses down and cut fat in order to increase the enterprise value as much as possible in order to sell the team. Of course they want the team to win enough that people still come to/watch the games, but winning is not the top priority right now….increasing the value of the team is.

    13. August 7th, 2013 | 2:40 pm

      NC Yankee wrote:

      I sincerely think that the Steinbrenner family is trying very hard to get expenses down and cut fat in order to increase the enterprise value as much as possible in order to sell the team.

      They deny it. But, it would not shock me if this were the case. If the sons really wanted it, then George wouldn’t have tried to give it to the son-in-laws all those times he tried to set them up…until the SIL then screwed it up and was out of the family.

    14. MJ Recanati
      August 7th, 2013 | 2:52 pm

      Steve L. wrote:

      Still, Mike Carp, Stephen Drew and Shane Victorino, all new comers, IRRC, have helped them a lot this year – along with Koji Uehara

      Drew is practically replicating Aviles’s season from last year so, no, I don’t think it’s him. Ditto Victorino replicating Cody Ross’s performance last year.

      Carp’s had a good year, though he’s more of a role player and has less than half the PA’s of the regulars so it can’t just be outsized performance from a utility guy that’s driving this.

      Koji Uehara has pitched very well. Given that both of Boston’s original closers (Bailey/Hanrahan) went down with injury, Uehara has filled in as the backup to the backup closer. Certainly he’s helped stabilize the bullpen.

      That being said, it’s still more about guys on the team who are back to their normal productivity and less about the guys signed in the offseason. That Boston is back to contender status dovetails nicely with the narrative that the new faces must be the ones driving the return to success (and implies that last year’s team had bad players) but it’s just not an accurate portrayal of events.

    15. Mr. October
      August 7th, 2013 | 2:55 pm

      Steve L. wrote:

      Yeah, say what you want about Cano – and, most of it, good and bad, I would agree with – but, he’s still 200 hits/30 HR/and 100 RBI. And, it will be interesting to see how THIS LINEUP will live without that.
      On the bright-side, the Yankees will need an astute GM to pull them out of this season and the next one. And, Cashman is not that guy. So, even if it means taking a hit this year, next, and the couple after that, if it gets Cashman out of here, it would not be all in vain.

      @ Steve L.:
      I’ve always considered him someone capable of more than 200H/30HR/100RBI; I’ve considered him capable of 190-210 Hs/30-40 HRs/100-40 RBIs, but he hasn’t played at that level. I would’ve traded him years ago when it became apparent he wouldn’t.

      If he leaves via free agency, it was an org. failure in my opinion. And that’s Cashman’s responsibility. On the not bright side, I think Cashman gets a contract extension; what his role will be from 2014-17 or beyond is something that will remain to be seen.

      Steve L. wrote:

      There is no doubt, in my mind, that Big Stein in his prime, if around today, would not tolerate what’s going on right now…the way his son Hal does.

      Mr. Steinbrenner would not, of course. I don’t think it’s as much of an issue or question of toleration with his son.

      NC Yankee wrote:

      I sincerely think that the Steinbrenner family is trying very hard to get expenses down and cut fat…

      They could start with Cashman: instead of a new contract or an extension through 2017 or beyond at more than $3 million each year, give the job to Jack Curry at $1 million each year.

    16. Ricketson
      August 7th, 2013 | 3:05 pm

      NC Yankee wrote:

      I’m not sure George would have been willing to sacrifice a year to save some cash.

      Whether they realize it or not, this “plan” has had, and will have, consequences or ramifications in terms of competitiveness for more than a year; the years 2012-2016/17/etc. have been, and will be, affected. Note I referred to “competitiveness,” not “winning.” I don’t think this team would have won or will win with this GM either way.

    17. Corey
      August 7th, 2013 | 3:24 pm

      I’d honestly rather them not call up JR Murphy. He’s worth more in trade value before people realize he’s not that good of a hitter.

    18. Corey
      August 7th, 2013 | 3:25 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      Buchholz has been hurt but, when he’s pitched, he’s been brilliant (in contrast to his much lousier performance last year).

      Let’s also not forget the fact that he was cheating in the beginning of the year and mlb network caught it.

    19. Kamieniecki
      August 7th, 2013 | 3:52 pm

      Steve L. wrote:

      Next, look at the starting rotation.

      It might be more appropriate to call Sabathia and Nova a “starting alternation” than a “starting rotation.”

    20. Ricketson
      August 7th, 2013 | 6:26 pm

      Kamieniecki wrote:

      It might be more appropriate to call Sabathia and Nova a “starting alternation” than a “starting rotation.”

      That’s what Cashman’s 2014 team will have: a starting alternation.

      Sabathia and Nova will alternate, and pitchers of Pineda’s talent level, who ordinarily would be assigned to pitch in a relief capacity, will contribute “long relief” at the start of games from innings 1-6 between starts by Sabathia and Nova, to “relieve” or rest Sabathia and Nova.

      That’s what Cashman meant after he traded the organization’s top prospect for Pineda in 2012 and an-nounced Pineda will be start games after Sabathia: two starters and a fifteen-man ‘pen. That would be approx. $25 mil. spent on starting pitching – it all adds up…

    21. 77yankees
      August 7th, 2013 | 9:34 pm

      Steve L. wrote:

      There is no doubt, in my mind, that Big Stein in his prime, if around today, would not tolerate what’s going on right now…

      Yep. The big guy made lots of dumb impatient mistakes, but you could never say he wasn’t trying to win.

    22. Kamieniecki
      August 7th, 2013 | 11:04 pm

      Steve L. wrote:

      So, even if it means taking a hit this year, next, and the couple after that, if it gets Cashman out of here, it would not be all in vain.

      Agree 100%. A ridiculous set of circumstances if Cano leaves via free agency after this season not having been re-signed or traded.

    23. PHMDen
      August 8th, 2013 | 1:16 pm

      NC Yankee wrote:

      What’s stupid is the self imposed salary cap of $189 million. It was never an issue when the old man was in charge.

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      When George Steinbrenner was in charge, the luxury tax penalties weren’t as steep and the incentives to curb spending weren’t available.

      George Steinbrenner was in charge from 1973-2005; the current luxury tax system did not come into existence until 2003.
      77yankees wrote:

      you could never say he wasn’t trying to win.

      The only thing I miss more than the owner that was always trying to win and an exceedingly competent and respectable front office with executives such as Michael, Peterson, Sabean, etc. or their predecessors in the 1970s, is the House That Ruth Built itself, the Cathedral of Baseball.

    24. MJ Recanati
      August 8th, 2013 | 1:25 pm

      PHMDen wrote:

      George Steinbrenner was in charge from 1973-2005; the current luxury tax system did not come into existence until 2003.

      Which speaks to my point as to why comparing George’s tenure as owner with his sons requires the context of the most recent CBA. The financial incentives to remaining at or under $189M are clear and the penalties for going over weren’t around in George’s time.

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