The New York Yankees enter the 2017 season with a bit of a conundrum on their hands regarding their team, their focus and their overall goals for this upcoming season. Does the team want to compete in 2017 and if so will they be willing to trade off pieces that they have seemingly been unwilling to part with in the past before the trading deadline to make sure the team competes? Will the team, despite what the standings say, continue the youth movement and move pieces at the trading deadline? Do the Yankees even know what they are going to do or want to do? I’m leaning more towards the latter than the former and nothing gives me that feeling more than the current state of the New York Yankees outfield.
The Yankees outfield, on paper anyway as we are just beginning spring training this season, consists of Brett Gardner in left field, Jacoby Ellsbury in center field, Aaron Judge in right field and Aaron Hicks playing the fourth outfielder. Now excuse me if I’m confused but the team, as I said earlier, is in the middle of a rebuild and the team still currently employs overpaid and underperforming veterans like Ellsbury. I get holding onto Gardner, if it weren’t so soon after the retirement of Derek Jeter I would be beating the drum for Gardner to be the captain of the team right now if we’re being honest, but we didn’t even hear an inkling of news regarding Ellsbury this winter. Why? We see players with no-trade clauses who have underperformed and failed to live up to their outrageous contracts traded all the time, why don’t the Yankees ever do this?
Why don’t the Yankees ever eat half the salary and move their overpaid and underperforming players for mediocre and high upside prospects like the rest of the damn league does? Usually to us might I add, although not recently thank goodness. If the team is going to rebuild they need to rebuild, that includes trading Ellsbury to anyone who will take him and the bulk of his salary. If the team is going to compete in 2017 they need to trade Ellsbury to anyone who will take him and the bulk of his salary. Ellsbury does not make the team better, he doesn’t make the team younger and he doesn’t make the team more financially flexible going forward. He’s weighing the team down and he’s the next big contract that the Yankees will simply wait out rather than deal away, lick their wounds and move on.
Rebuild…. Compete…. Neither of them are being done right now with the current state and the curious case of the New York Yankees outfield. You can’t have your cake and eat it too, and in the case of Jacoby Ellsbury you wouldn’t even want to eat this cake if you could. It’s a bit… stale.