Thursday, July 2, 2015

The Window is Now

When you build a team that is supposed to win in Major League Baseball you always hear about that “window” the team has to win. For teams like the Washington Nationals that window is wide open with young core talent, a deep farm system and an owner with enough money to add any piece he needs by any means necessary. For teams like the Cincinnati Reds that window is just about closed and will be closed by the end of the trading deadline barring an epic turnaround in the National League Central Division. For teams like the Philadelphia Phillies the window closed a long time ago and the GM Ruben Amaro Jr. just didn’t recognize it or admit it to himself until recently while the window for the New York Yankees is now, the 2015 season.

The best thing about being a fan of the New York Yankees is that even if the window closes it won’t be closed for long. The Yankees, like the Nationals, have a good farm system and plenty of money to throw around either in the draft, in the international free agent market, in the trade market or in your hot stove market. While the Yankees owner has been a little gun-shy about spending said money the fact remains that the money is there, attendance is down and so are the wins on the field which may force the hand of Mr. Hal Steinbrenner. The Yankees have faced an uphill battle since the 2012 season and they are just about at the peak of that uphill climb, the peak being the 2017 and 2018 seasons. The Yankees have already missed the playoffs for two consecutive years and if they miss it for a third in 2015 it may be another two or three before they see October baseball again, the window is now.

The Yankees free agent class after 2015 includes back up outfielder Chris Young, long relief man Chris Capuano and second baseman Stephen Drew. There may be a few arbitration eligible guys I am missing, Esmil Rogers comes to mind, but the point remains the same that the core of the Yankees team will remain unchanged past this season and almost no money is coming off the books. The Yankees seemingly have eight of their position players already set in stone for 2016 and almost all their pitching staff locked in barring injuries and trades of course.

The problem with this is the team will be one year older in 2016, one year more injury prone, one year longer past their primes, one year this and one year that. The American League East will surely be better in 2016 as well so really the Yankees have two months left in their window to win. Win now, this season, or wait until the contracts of CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez, possibly Masahiro Tanaka and others come off the books after 2016 and 2017 and hope for the best in 2018. 2018 seems like a long way away… 

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)