Sunday, February 26, 2017

Too much talent in the farm system?...

Credit:  J Conrad Williams, Jr, Newsday

Two games into the Spring schedule and it is clear that Gleyber Torres is the most exciting player on the field.  He is providing a glimpse into the future before he packs his bags and heads to Trenton, New Jersey and AA ball.  

Saturday’s game featured a 2-for-2 day by Torres, with two doubles.  He also scored from second base on a wild pitch with heads-up base-running.

One day, the Yankees will have to make a decision regarding their infield.  It’s probably still a couple of years away, but the day will come when Starlin Castro, most likely, is the one moved (either to third base or another team) to make way for Torres at second base.  Torres is just trying to make it happen sooner rather than later.

I’ve been a Yankees fan for a long time but this is the first time I can recall that a spot on the 40-man roster carries such a premium.  Packaging multiple prospects to send to the Chicago White Sox for, say, pitcher Jose Quintana, would arguably relieve some of the pressure.

The Yankees had to make hard decisions in the off-season when they cut loose both Jacob Lindgren and Nathan Eovaldi.  Granted, both players are recovering from Tommy John surgery, but the Yankees had no room to protect either on their 40-man roster.  Meanwhile, the Atlanta Braves, with arguably the best farm system in baseball, quickly signed the lefty Lindgren who was thought to be on the fast track to the major leagues when he was drafted by the Yankees a few years ago.  The Yankees had some discussions with Eovaldi after they cut him loose but it is not known how serious they were.  Eovaldi opted to sign with the Tampa Bay Rays, and was placed on their 40-man roster.  The Rays currently have one of the lower ranked farm systems so it was probably an easy decision for them to devote a 40-man spot to a guy that will not return to the field until 2018 at the earliest.  

The Braves are another story.  They have a plethora of top talent, yet were still able to make room for Lindgren, who, like Eovaldi, is at least a year away from playing again.  

If Jon Niese makes the Yankees opening day roster, they’ll have to make a move with the 40-man roster.  The obvious DFA candidate is LHP Joe Mantiply, but there’s still time for any roster decisions have to be made.  

Having the best or second-base farm system in baseball is great, but the truth is that not all the prospects will succeed.  The Yankees need to roll the dice and make some trades to upgrade the weaker areas of the team.  It may not be this spring but either at the trade deadline or next off-season, it will be time for the Yankees to upgrade the roster to compete with the top teams in the American League.  The key is obviously the continued development of Gary Sanchez, Greg Bird, Aaron Judge at the major league level but it will soon be time to supplement those great present and future Yankees stars with commensurate talent.  

Making trades will free up room on the 40-man roster for other young talent in the system moving up through the ranks when it is their time for protection.  The Yankees’ huge haul from the international free agent market in 2014 will start to progress into the upper levels of the farm system within the next few years.  The pig in the pytheon is coming.  Shortstop Wilkerman Garcia is leading the way for the 2014 signees.  Since he signed before he was 18, he won’t have to be added to the 40-man until after five minor league seasons.  But for players signing their first professional contract at age 19 or greater, they’ll have to be protected after four minor league seasons.  If not protected, the players are eligible for the Rule 5 Draft held each December.

The Yankees lost a few players in the Rule 5 Draft this past December.  Odds are most of the players picked will be offered back to the Yankees, but it’s also possible that one or two of the players are gone forever.  The San Diego Padres, for example, could decide to carry three catchers this year, allowing catcher Luis Torrens to remain on the big league roster.  

With such great talent in the organization right now, the 40-man roster and the Rule 5 Draft will be an incredible challenge every year.  I guess it’s possible to have too much of a good thing.

So, go ahead and make the trade for Jose Quintana.

I know, that was a long route to get to the request for Quintana, and there’s obviously so much more that goes into those type of decisions.  But I really do not want to see Chad Green as the team’s #5 starter.  So, pardon me…


  1. Trouble is, who is on the short list of players to be traded? We know they will want the two or there best of the best in any trade for Quintana.
    IF we go with the Baseball America top ten Yankee prospects, that means one of the top 5 and one of the bottom 10....Really?!?

  2. I think it's important to have a few players that can lead the way and be locked to pinstripes for over a decade. Boston had a Ortiz and Pedroia, Ortiz was a beast in Beantown for over a decade, and pedroia gave them about a decade as one of the better middle infielders in the game.

    We are starting from scratch. They tried to make ellsbury that guy, and he and brett gardner are nowhere near that. Sure, they are good players, but in reality, they would not start if they were in boston.

    You get there by letting kids play, and collecting assets. If there's a 40 man crunch, the team makes moves just to solve that issue. That's how we got litrell. thats why ben gamel is gone. that's what why we traded who was it? jose Ramirez? jose campos? I cant remember. mason Williams will probably see the same fate.

    I'd like them to play the game before signing jose Quintana. Maybe some of the question marks on the field (bird, judge, severino, sanchez, frazier, torres, wade, kaprielan) will be exclamation marks. THEN we should make moves. Right now, sanchez is the closest to a sure thing, and all the others are FAR behind.

    1. You are a true Yankee Fan, Daryl! We keep asking Cashman, for this guy and that guy to be added to the team but, why is there this big deal about winning this year?
      If anyone is in a rush to win NOW it should be me but, again I say, "BS build the team now...let the kids show what they have or don't have"! Next year and the next 10 years is what I want to have happen.
      Good thinking, Daryl! Have Fun!

  3. hopefully sooner rather than later, cash decides to either fully immerse these kids or starts trading away high level prospects that we have an abundance of(middle infielders--castro, mateo, torres, refsnyder, torreyes, to name a few). if they can play at the big league level, let em play. have to get something out of them if not. refs, i feel awful for that guy. he has a nice bat, an ok glove at 2nd. can play other spots(outfield better than 3rd/1st). he can play for someone and we just keep stringing him along.
    castro, as nice of a player as he was last fall, he is either moving to 3rd or out the door. G. Torres is a stud.
    i like didi, and he is young and is a baller. need to keep him around, unles mateo or torres is the same, but younger player.
    we could have a middle infield under lock and key for the next 10-12 years if it played out right.
    use em or get something for them before its too late!

  4. Look at the history of the Yankees, they always seemed to have had seven or more winning years in a row. I have given reasons for that over the last few years, time for fans to figure it out
    Trading away a prospect for a proven Major League player is a "No Brainer" I'll buy that..."IF" you are talking about the #40th on the Yankees best 50 player list or even many be #30.
    That isn't the way the winning teams were built, From 1921 up to 1964 the Yankees were replacing the older players with younger players.
    1962/63 we had a team that had injuries and old age catch up to them. 3/4 of the infield retired or were injured, Mickey was playing 1st and the OF was nothing to cheer about.
    We did win a few seasons from 1965 to 1995, but we were trading away our future for the now...not the right way to go.
    1995 rolled around with a Mostly young team, Mattingly retired and we added a player (by trade or FA) or two and went on another winning charge, while bringing in younger guys for a few years. Then, the team got old, all a once, and then the Cabal "King" George and the Tampa Cabal "bought" a few players instead of going the way "Stick", Showalter, Watson and Yes Cashman built the team. I say Cashman because he was the "Organizer of the bunch" the S&S guys were the Talent part of the team.
    Play kids, let them build the team's talent, and replace those that can't cut it anymore or at all. Ells/Brett are to be replaced NOW, anyway they can do it. Replace by using what we have, the same goes for the pitchers. We have a good bunch of pitchers just wanting the chance to show they can do the job better than those we have or could get right now.
    Don't pay too much attention to this comment, it is my yearly "Know it all" rant!
    Have Fun Guys!


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