The Yankees, and forgive me for a dose of reality, will make the playoffs as a Wild Card Team if they make it all. No, the future counts more.
As a Yankees fan, do you, aside from your loyalty to the team, really believe this team will win the AL East, let alone as a team that has a chance to take it all the way to a season-ending World Championship, the only mark that matters to the Yankees’ franchise?
If you do, this is not for you, and you should stop reading to go about the business of your day, and I’m good with that.
But aside from players like Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Hicks, Luis Severino, and Clint Frazier, all of whom are saddled by injury or insane contracts, before you reach into the Yankees’ chest of prospects, where do you think the Yankees would best be going as the trade deadline approaches?
The “old Yankees” would throw two shifts to the wind, saying the hell with it – it’s only money and let’s go all-in with the last chance effort to at least make the playoffs.
Hal Steinbrenner is on the record as saying, and throwing some mud on the face of his dad, he will not do anything “rash,” as George was prone to do save or create a championship season when he decided I’ve had enough,” as George did to open the 2009 season.
Yankees Dealing Prospects Is “Rash”
Here’s the salient point, though.
If the Yankees go in as buyers in a couple of weeks, is that being “rash,” considering they are looking (at best) at a one-game shootout as a Wild Card team – and is a loss of farm system prospects worth it?
An analysis of the 30 major league team farm systems put together by MLB Pipeline shows the Yankees ranking 18th, with this summary:
Dominguez is ranked as MLB’s #32 Prospect, has to be the singular untouchable, Schmidt is out for the season, and Garcia has fallen off terribly at Triple-A Scranton.
So, what’s left for the Yankees to offer if they decide to deal prospects?
Yankees Have Surprises In Their Farm System
Midseason, the Yankees have some surprises doing well.
Yankees No. 28 prospect, Glenn Otto was dominant tonight in AA! After a HBP against the first batter, he retired the next 20 in a row!
7.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 12 K 🔥 pic.twitter.com/iGgpxi9YFP
— Farm To Fame (@FarmToFame_) July 4, 2021
For this year, Otto, the Yankees 2017 fifth-rounder, has struck out 95 batters in 59.1 innings while keeping his WHIP somehow under 1.00 (0.94).
Another Yankees prospect on the rise and making a name for himself is shortstop Anthony Volpe, who is profiled in this video.
Yankees: Back To The Same Question…
Teams will jump over backward to trade for either one or both of these players, and no doubt, the Yankees will reap a healthy return if they go that route.
But together with Dominguez (today’s featured image), a power-hitting outfielder, a shortstop Volpe, and a fireballing pitcher with good command in Otto, the trio is at the top of team needs. It may very constitute the nucleus of a next-generation winning Yankees’ team.
There is no science in any of this, especially when it comes to prospects.
Now, you can argue the Yankees are only 4.5 games removed from a Wild Card spot, with the Mariners, Blue Jays, and the Oakland A’s ahead of them before they reach Tampa Bay, who holds the top spot by 1.5 games over every AL team.
But to beat a dead horse is it worth it for the Yankees to rest their future on a one-game crapshoot, even with Gerrit Cole at the top of his game, just to get into the “real thing” with (say) Boston, Houston, and the White Sox on tap?
Plus, would it be worth exceeding the luxury tax limit this year – not for the money – but again for the future because the Yankees would then move to MLB’s blacklist of teams that require atonement for their sin next year and the year after?
Yankees And The Temptation To Be “Rash”
Again, I think it would be “rash” of the Yankees to do anything that negatively affects their future, including saddling themselves with another expensive and long-term contract for a player to be named later.
The best thing for the Yankees is to ride the season out with the team they have, hoping they have it in them to turn the tide on the season, putting a run together that vaults them to ten games over .500, and go from there.
If they can’t do that, then what’s the sense of the 2021 season anyway?
The explosion of the Yankees offense in Seattle last night could be a start, but if it isn’t, so what? – and it’s time to look at the future instead of the past.
Here’s What Readers Are Saying…
Marcus Coudriet Agree
Andrew Pal It almost doesn’t matter whether they give up the farm. They can’t seem to develop their young players, so prospect hugging does this team very little good. But the farm isn’t where they need to concentrate at the trade deadline anyway. They need to be sellers, not buyers. Start purging the deadwood from their 26 man roster and hope the young prospects they get back can thrive under an offseason front office regime change which is this organization’s best hope for the future. Author’s Reply: Love to see it but easier said than done. Name a team interested in taking on Hicks, Stanton, or even Cole and his contract if the Yankees really get crazy…
Joseph Dziezawiec I wouldn’t buy or sell. The current .500 team will win 70 or 90 games. If 70, they are in a better position to juggle the roster. If 90, they will be busy preparing for the wild card game and can juggle later.
Closing Published Comments And Final Thoughts
Reactions to this one as you can see are mixed. The common thread remains – the Yankees are stuck in a hard place, and no matter they do a segment of their fans will not be happy.