Should the Yankees not make any trades this year simply because they are forecasted to be a .500 team? There seems to be an attitude that 2019 is the year. Yes, some of the team's top prospects will mature and be major league ready in two seasons. And there's the speculation that the team will make a significant plunge into the free agent market in a few years, hopefully snagging Bryce Harper and/or Manny Machado.
Last time I checked, there were 29 other Major League Baseball teams. All teams with designs for improvement and many with money to spend. It's not a given that the Yankees will be able to buy their way to a championship or that the current flow of Baby Bombers would produce a World Series champion.
Frankly, there's not enough room on a major league roster for every top prospect in the organization. Many of the names will never succeed for one reason or another. In my opinion, it's better to trade promise and potential for a sure thing. I am not advocating the trade of Gleyber Torres or Clint Frazier, but the Yankees should consider packaging some young farmhands with higher projections in a deal (or deals) to get better now. The difference between being a .500 team and a wild card hopeful is not that great. If the Yankees could make a deal or two to position the team for a chance at the play-offs, they should. Once in the play-offs, anything can happen. But you have to go to the dance in order to dance.
With so many talented young prospects, it will be difficult to fully protect all premier prospects with a 40-man roster. I am a firm believer in finding hidden nuggets and the Yankees are known to be evaluating younger talent across the league in attempts to find players they feel can make them successful.
The Paul O'Neill trade was a bit of a surprise when it happened. At the time, Roberto Kelly was a decent player. I didn't know a great deal about O'Neill other than he was a part-time outfielder for the Cincinnati Reds with a temper. I was sad to see Kelly go, but it turned out to be one of the best trades in Yankees history. These are the types of trades that win championships.
So, regardless of the team's chances for 2017 success, I feel that they should do whatever is necessary to get better now, not wait for two years.
I understand the argument that the Yankees shouldn’t empty the cupboards for someone like Jose Quintana. But there are other opportunities that can be made to improve the 2017 Yankees while keeping the eye on future years.
The Yankees are still hamstrung by a few bad contracts but even as the NFL’s Houston Texans proved last week in unloading disappointing and under-achieving QB Brock Osweiler, anything’s possible. It’s just too bad the Cleveland Browns aren’t in the American League. I am not advocating Jerry DiPoto’s approach for making trades. The Seattle Mariners GM has led the league with trades since taking the job in late 2015. But there are moves that could be made to unload dead weight and add additional talent to the team.
Standing pat is not the right answer…in my opinion.
The roster cuts continue. On Monday, the Yankees sent RHPs Domingo German, Ronald Herrera and Yefry Ramirez to AA Trenton and re-assigned them to minor league camp. With the roster cuts, the Yankees now have enough players remaining in camp to field a NFL football team (53) but there'd be a few too many quarterbacks.
Monday was a much-needed and much-deserved day off for the Yankees. At 13-4, they are at the midway point of the spring schedule. They return to action today in Port Charlotte against the Tampa Bay Rays. It must be odd for the Rays to host a team from Tampa. Luis Severino takes the hill for the visitors. He’ll face Jake Odorizzi.
James Kaprielian should make his first spring appearance later this week (either Thursday or Friday).
Have a great Tuesday!