Playoffs or no playoffs, the Yankees are in need of major change this offseason

One way or another, the Mariano Rivera era will end in a few weeks. (Jared Wickerham/Getty)

One way or another, the Mariano Rivera era will end in a few weeks. (Jared Wickerham/Getty)

Despite getting manhandled by the Red Sox this weekend, the Yankees wake up this morning with a small chance — a 4.5% chance according to Baseball Prospectus — of qualifying for the postseason this year. Last night’s loss eliminated them from the AL East race, so it is officially wildcard or bust for this team. New York needs a ton of help these next two weeks but they do have a favorable schedule, including nine of their final dozen games against the lowly Blue Jays, Giants, and Astros.

Getting to the playoffs this season doesn’t mean much in the grand scheme of things for the Yankees. If anything, sneaking into the postseason would (further) mask some severe organizational flaws, whether they be outdated policies (no contract extensions? really?), an over-reliance on old players (two years for Ichiro Suzuki? really?!?), an unproductive farm system, or a medical staff that can’t seem to keep anyone on the field. The list of problems goes on and on and explains why no matter what the Yankees do these next two weeks, it’s impossible to look forward and feel good about where the club is heading.

The Yankees have spent the last few seasons doing what? Holding onto the last remnants of the dynasty years because they are either unwilling to move on or simply don’t know how to do it. Their plan doesn’t seem to be much of a plan at all. They aren’t trading veterans for prospects, they aren’t trading prospects for veterans, and they aren’t giving prospects opportunities. What they are doing is picking up discarded players to plug whatever hole arises. Seriously, look at the roster: Ichiro, Chris Stewart, Mark Reynolds, Lyle Overbay, Brendan Ryan, David Huff … these guys were all available because their former teams dumped them and now they’re playing significant roles for the Yankees. What kind of plan is that?

I get that injuries really decimated the team. Really, really decimated them. Some were unpredictable (Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeira) while others were in no way surprising (Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Kevin Youkilis, Michael Pineda). Either way, there were a lot of injuries and the club was wholly unprepared for them because the farm system has produced so very little beyond a handful of relievers and emergency call-up types in recent years. The Yankees force Phil Hughes and Eduardo Nunez types down our throats because they so desperately want to prove they can draft and develop competent big leaguers, but they can’t. I feel we’ve beyond the point of saying “they haven’t” and should now say “they can’t.”

Between the unproductive minor league system and the slashing of payroll at the big league level — which ownership will happy remind you of every chance they get, by the way — there’s almost no way for the Yankees to turn around and build a team that can have sustained long-term success this winter. They aren’t a Shin-Soo Choo or a Brian McCann or a Matt Garza away from contention. They’re three starting pitchers, two outfielders, a left side of the infield, a catcher, half a bullpen, and a farm system away from having a club that can have sustained success over a number of years. Their best building blocks going forward are a 30-year-old second baseman and a 30-year-old center fielder. Think about that.

“We have the most money, no secret about that. If we combine that with the best decision-making process on a consistent basis, God help the rest of baseball,” said Brian Cashman to Bryan Hoch when he signed his new three-year contract following the 2005 season. Yes, the 2005 season. That’s almost seven years ago and what has happened since then? The Yankees won the World Series, which was pretty awesome, but have they combined their ability to spend with the “best decision-making process on a consistent basis?” I find that very hard to believe and not just because the ability to spend has been willfully marginalized.

Joe wrote about the team’s need to adapt and improve their minor league development last month, but the Yankees need more change than that. I think the easiest way to put it is that they’re behind the times. Teams have more money to spend that ever before, which means the best young players are not hitting free agency or becoming available in trades as their salaries grow. The talent pool available to New York has become diluted and they can’t wave their magic pinstriped wand bank account to make it all better. The rest of baseball has gotten progressive but the Yankees have remained the same.

Everything from the team’s policies to their decision making at the MLB level to their player development needs an overhaul and that starts right at the top. Does that mean replacing Cashman is step one? I don’t really know. I can’t say I have much confidence in ownership hiring the right replacement if they do fire him. The last thing I want to happen is Cashman being replaced by a figurehead GM while Randy Levine & Co. call all the shots. Ownership dips their toes into the baseball operations too much as it is. Change has to happen though. The Yankees run an outdated organization and the rest of baseball is leaving them behind. These last few months couldn’t have made it any more obvious.

Categories : Musings


  1. Robinson Tilapia says:


    • WhittakerWalt says:

      Such pessimism.

      J/K it’ll be a flood.

      • Robinson Tilapia says:

        It…..hasn’t been that bad?

        • Dick M says:

          DCA’s (Delusional Cashman Apologists) unite!!

          • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead says:

            Eternal Pessimist Head In The Sand Never Watch Other Teams And Have No Idea What Probability Is Annoying Assholes UNITE!

          • WhittakerWalt says:

            Word to the wise, when coming up with acronyms it helps if the acronym is also a word. Otherwise you’re just putting letters together in an un-clever fashion.
            Maybe you don’t care.

          • Robinson Tilapia says:

            I bet it took the full two hours to come up with that. Your mother and your three possible dads should be proud.

          • WhittakerWalt says:

            I am far, far from a Cashman apologist. He does plenty of things wrong, as does every GM in baseball. I think he’s probably about average as a GM, maybe a bit above average. I defend him when I think the attacks him are unjustified, that’s all. This frustrating Yankees season has brought out the pitchforks, and most of the people using them have no fucking clue.
            I’ve sat through a lot of shitty Yankees baseball in my 50-odd years. You guys who think this is rock bottom have no goddamn clue. We’re having one bad year. Out of the last 18. We’ve won 5 titles in that time, more than any other team by a lot. No one else has won more than 2. We’ve won 7 pennants. And now, with this one bad season, you guys want to blow the organization up? Do you really how asinine that is? Do you realize what a bunch of spoiled whiners you all sound like?
            One bad year in the past 18. Literally every organization in baseball would for the kind of success we’ve enjoyed, but you’re going to let this down year ruin it all for you? This is your takeaway, after all this success? That we’ve been doing it all wrong this whole time? A year where we might not make the playoffs is enough to make you all throw a big poopy-diaper tantrum and act like you could do a better job with this organization?
            Cubs fans are marveling at your hubris.

            • Robinson Tilapia says:

              But, remember, we shouldn’t care what Cubs fans think because we’re somehow above the fray by choosing to be fans of CHAMPIONSHIP OR TEH BUST.

              Some of are Yankee fans because we literally cannot see ourselves as fans of another team. Other are fans because its convenient and, now, they feel like their little world are crashing in on them. Fuck em. Who needs them. I’d rather hang out with a Sox fan than them. Hell, in often do.

  2. Dars says:

    This article leaves little room for optimism and we should be looking at a decade of last place finishes. In reality is not that bad. You can buy your way out of trouble, the Red Sox are the best example of that. No matter what they say, the Red Sox bought their way out of trouble last season. What the Yankees need to do is close the door on their aging stars. Force Jeter into retirement, buy off ARod, no contract to Pettite or Kuroda and start buying solid players but no superstars. The Red Sox will make 3 of those available right away – Napoli, Drew and Saltalamacchia. Combine them with the likes of Matt Garza and Grant Balfour and you have a solid team with Soriano, Gardner, Teixeira and Cano coming back.
    Sabathia should rebound, Garza would give you a solid #2 and Pineda, Phelps, Nova and a reclamation project like Josh Johnson and Haren should make you competitive again.

    • Frank Costanza says:

      I don’t think the answer is “do what the Red Sox do.” That organization was fortunate to be bailed out by the Dodgers and are benefiting from players have career years. I would give Kuroda another year in a heartbeat. But free agency is very thin. If Napoli and Victorino don’t have the years they are having the Red Sox are in a different place. I’d like to see more along the lines of creative trades. Try and bring younger, more versatile players to the team. But that’s what every team wants to do. Let’s see if it happens.

      • I'm One says:

        In addition, I don’t see that path forward as doing anything more than providing one (maybe 2) more years of possible playoff teams.

        I agree something needs to be done. I agree the future isn’t as bleak as the post makes it appear. I certainly don’t have the answers, but I don’t think going after a couple of guys that are having career years is the answer.

      • mitch says:

        The Red Sox showed how to leverage a financial advantage in a time where the less wealthy teams are starting to narrow the gap. There are no longer many dollars available so they brought in a bunch of quarters and dimes.

        That’s just one piece of the puzzle though. The other two big ones would be better development and knowing when to step away from old players.

        • Robinson Tilapia says:

          Someone correctly pointed out that the Red Sox may have been just as good, if not even better, with A-Gon and Crawford still in the lineup.

          They’ve done well this year and, other than those awful beards, I’d be happy for them if they weren’t the archrival. It wasn’t all precise skill, though, that got them there. Victorino, for example, was an injury risk on a multi-year deal. Napoli’s your typical man without a position, etc.

          Also, doing it again next year is something that definitely is in question.

          • mitch says:

            Yeah, it’s definitely not a proven model. They’ve have their share of misses as well(Dempster, Hanrahan, Bailey) to go along with a pretty good amount of hits.

            I was just pointing out that their financial advantage isn’t gone….it just has to be used a little differently. The Yankees don’t have to become the Rays. They just need to become a smarter version of the Yankees.

            • Robinson Tilapia says:

              Completely agree.

              However, if they’re worried about a luxury tax at a time where they truly don’t have that flexibility with payroll because of already-existing long-term deals, then they’re just handcuffing themselves.

              • JKK says:

                Could not agree with you more. I think if the major changes start this offseason, it will take Yankees at least 4 years to rebuild a good to great team to contend for a 6-8 run. Yankees must do all of the following with success:
                1) Let CC, Tex and ARod’s contract expire to free up dead weight payroll.
                2) Hope the group from (Austin, Heathcott, Williams, Sanchez, Murphy, Bird) can produce at least one All-Start and two above average everyday regulars, use the remaining three prospects to gain another All-Star level player between the age of 27-28 via trade (similar to Kelly for O’Neill) like.
                3) Hope the group from (Banueles, Campos, Pineda, De Paula, Ramirez, Turley, Hensley, Clarkin + sleepers) can produce a #1 starter, a #2 starter, a #3 starter and trade the balance for a veteran hired gun with Ace stuff like the trade for David Cone to rebuild the entire staff.
                4) Hope the power arm groups such as Betances, Baruwa, Mitchel, and Co can convert high end velo into ability to dominant late innings.
                5) Sign top end free agents available that are under the age of 27-28 to their prime years.
                6) Rebuild the player draft, player development departments with the focus on acquiring high end talent pool.
                7) Be aggressive on signing high end Latin America and Asian talents.
                8) Lock up high end talents on their own teams to longer contracts to save money down the road similar to Rays locking up Evan and Yankees locking up Cano through 2013.
                9) If David Price does become free agent, sign him at all cost.
                10) Take Tanaka if possible. High end pitching talent with plus plus stuff.

                • Robinson Tilapia says:

                  1. I don’t think there’s a soul in this world who thinks those guys are coming back after their deals are up. The problem is when those deals are up and what performance they’ll get from thos deals from here on out.

                  2. That’s a VERY tall order.

                  3. Same.

                  4. Sure. I’d just rather not attach names to that. I’d like to see the team continue to develop quality bullpen pieces and not have to rely on free agency for them.

                  5. That’s a pretty select group, and I do think every other team in baseball has the same goal. You can’t force them to sign with you.

                  6. I don’t see how that’s not what they’re trying to do right now.

                  7. Depends on the player. Depends on the money.

                  8. Problem is that I don’t know who else you do that with on this team right now. DRob?

                  9. Never all costs, but he is FYDP for a reason. :)

                  10. I’ll settle for do your due diligence and act accordingly.

            • Kenny says:

              How do they get smarter? People that miss the boat, fall behind the times (to use Axisa’s formula), rely on castoff’s, and so on, are not smart to begin with. They’re not going to get smart. What’s un-smart is they think they ARE smart, right now.

              Does anyone really think Hal S. is a shrewd, high-octane baseball owner, with a laser-like insight into the deficiencies of the organization and able to initiate the right steps to smart it up? Or Levine?

              They got serious trouble.

            • Dick M says:

              You guys are in denial about the Red Sox.

              Middlebrooks, Bogaerts, and Pedroia in the infield are under control into the next decade. The left side of our infield is a disaster and we may be forced to overpay for Cano. They can afford to save resources by not paying Ellsbury because they have Bradley.

              They developed Lester and Buchholz. Over a similar period what comparable starting pitchers have we developed?

              They have Ranaudo, Webster, Barnes and Owens on the way.

              Their front office is outperforming us and it ain’t close. And the days of us being able to buy our way out of it are over.

              They were 3 deep at SS and turned one of them into a legit starting pitcher. At the same position, we had one guy, nearly 40 yrs old, break down and then we proceeded to parade a bunch of SS’s out there who were an embarrassment.

              The problem is the front office. Does Hal have the balls to clean house is the only real question.

              • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead says:

                And without Napoli and Victorino, and without the Dodgers giving them an asston of salary relief, they’re what, exactly?

                • Farewell Mo says:

                  You really are delusional if you don’t think the Red Sox are miles ahead of the Yankees for the next several years.

                  Very hard to admit but facts are facts

                  • BFDeal says:

                    Delusional is thinking the Sox are going to get the same production next year from Carp, Victorino, and others who have performed above their abilities this year.

                • Dick M says:

                  Oh I don’t know, an organization that develops young talent maybe?

                  As far as Napoli and Victorino go, Cashman dreams about acquisitions that pan out like they did. Instead we get Ichiro.

                • yankeeboy says:

                  Would Cashman have traded Granderson and Texeira on the 2nd year of their contracts for draft picks? You’re missing the point of the Dodger trade. The Red Sox pulled the trigger on that and they’re reaping the rewards this year by signing up the right players. An oft injured relief pitcher who ends up being a lights out closer? A SS coming off an ankle injury that the Yankees are only NOW considering to grab via free agency? Victorino’s only bad year was last year and if only for his defense in right field at the Fen, that’s money well spent.

                  You ask what are they after the Dodger trade? A pretty good potential WS champ who just swept our asses. The sooner we accept the Yankee shortcomings, the better off for us.

              • JKK says:

                You hit it on the head. Player draft, selection and development have been a total loss for the Yankees. Other than Cano, Robertson and C.M. Wong, Yankees did not develop anyone good in the decade between 2000-2013. Even if the take away for being in first place is lossing the first round draft pick, and signing FA means lossing even more on the draft, the results should be better. Selecting Culver and Bitchett Jr in back to back drafts and Brackman two drafts prior were just super bad picks on the first round. Not doing proper due diligence on Cole was poor as well. Poor trades also have cost Yankees plenty by lossing Austin Jackson, Jose Tabata, Phil Coke, Kennedy, Arodis Viscano for Javier Vasquez and Curtis Granderson. In baseball as in life, team make mistakes and make good decision on the 50 to 50 basis because this is a game of chance. Winning teams and losing teams both fall into the same boat. The winning teams make key good decisions that are major impact decision and poor decisions on minor issues. For the past 12 years, Yankees have done the opposite for the most part. Win on small deals such as finding bargin basement gap fillers and missing on farm system development. The Bosox over that same period have done a much better job than the Yankees on their overall decision making and was fortunate to be able to hit a reset buttom when the Dodgers came with an offer. Even if the Yankees were given the reset button to wipe out CC, Tex and ARod’s salary, Yankees don’t have the necessary farm system to step in and win. Now, we should be getting ready to at least 4-5 years of black hole for Yankees baseball and start up from the ground up.

          • BFDeal says:

            Regarding the Sox, I think Kruk (hard to believe) summarized their season perfectly last night when he said it was a perfect storm of receiving over-production from guys that have been role players or cast offs their entire careers. I highly doubt they would have the same success next year with the same roster.

            Can you imagine the internet outrage had the Yankees signed Napoli and his two rotten hips last winter?

            • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead says:

              Pretty easily, actually.

              It’d look a lot like the criticisms they’re getting right now, signing aging, over the hill injury risks being unsustainable, idiot strategy, fire cashman, etc.

              • BFDeal says:

                True. NY could develop a Cano level player at each position and some of these guys would still bitch.

                • Dick M says:

                  At the rate we develop Cano level players it’ll be the next century before we develop “a Cano level player at each position”. In the last 15 years we have developed Cano, Gardner, and not one top starting pitcher.

            • WhittakerWalt says:

              Or Victorino, for that matter?

            • Dick M says:

              Can you imagine the internet euphoria if we had developed Bogaerts, Middlebrooks and Bradley?

              • BFDeal says:

                Overhyped, non-proven prospects? I thought you and your kind believed that’s all the Yankees have. How about waiting and seeing how these guys pan out, Dick Head.

                • Robinson Tilapia says:

                  No. Xander Bogaerts is a completely proven major leaguer on the strength of about a month.

                  • Dick M says:

                    No one said he was proven. He is a consensus top 5 prospect in all of baseball though. And, going out on a limb here, he might be better than Luis Cruz, Alberto Gonzalez, and Reid Brignac.

                    • Robinson Tilapia says:

                      Another one looking for an autograph.

                    • WhittakerWalt says:

                      Oooooh, top 5 prospect. How exciting! You mean, like Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain? Those kinds of top prospects?
                      He’s gotta do it for real at the big league level, for a decent amount of time, before I start crowing about what a brilliant fucking draft pick he was.

                    • Robinson Tilapia says:

                      Even the A’s had Todd Van Poppel once upon a time.

      • toad says:

        You can fill a gap or two with trades, but can’t rebuild with them.

        They are called “trades” for a reason.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      Look, I think Mike points on various things I’d like to see different as well, but the reasoning and explanation he gives for some of these things are pure hyperbole. Phil Hughes isn’t being shoved down our throats as some sort of smokescreen. He gets opportunities because he’s rarely bad enough for prolonged enough to truly get bounced. This happens. “Team policies” could refer to anything right down to whether the toilet paper goes over or under in the public restrooms.

      This is one of those “rant” posts that, if you’re feeling tons of righteous, unfocused anger you’re just dying to let out about the team, will speak right to you. The rest of us will either take up the fight or just skip to the next thread.

      • Frank Costanza says:

        Keep fighting the good fight. Being better than everyone else is tough business.

        • Robinson Tilapia says:

          I’ll send you an autographed picture. Even if you wipe your ass with it, it’ll wipe better than what you normally use.

          • Frank Costanza says:


          • emac2 says:

            Can you sign it. “thank you sir may I have another?”

            It will help remind me that a REAL fan is one that roots for the home team and never needs to question.

            • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead says:

              “Look, I think Mike points on various things I’d like to see different as well”

              Yeah, no questioning there. Idiot.

              • Robinson Tilapia says:

                Glad you made some sense of that.

                • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead says:

                  We’re seeing pretty good examples of our beliefs through the troll filter today.

                  • Dick M says:

                    Bottom line is there’s a new paradigm in play here.

                    We once had a huge advantage in the ability to spend come draft day, but no longer. Same with the international market. With revenue sharing and other factors, small market teams now hold on to their young established stars; which makes the free agent market a contest to see who will overpay whom and for how long.

                    While it pains me to admit it, we used to be able to spend our way out of our mistakes; that’s not gonna work anymore. It’s fair to ask whether the current management group is up to the task of performing on a level playing field.

      • The Big City of Dreams says:

        Yea Phil isn’t a smokescreen but they have touted him as a success from the farm and he’s far from it.

    • Kosmo says:

      Drew will want at least 9.5m per over 3-4 years. It is rumored the Sox will re-sign Salty.
      No on Johnson and Haren has made it clear he wants to pitch on the west coast to be closer to his family. Both are past their prime years.

  3. Frank Costanza says:

    Excellent, thought-provoking points, Mike. Even though I agree with it I do think it’s a bit overstated. I think we can reasonably say that without the number of injuries sustained this season and without CC absolutely falling off a cliff (which no one expected to this extent) that the Yankees are a playoff team. That may or may not be of any consolation given the needs of this team in the future.

    I think it starts with the farm system. They desperately need this next crop of prospects (Williams, Austin, Sanchez) to become major league regulars. They can’t afford any more busts. I think if this crop flames out and doesn’t produce, they need to overhaul their player development system. We may already be at that point, however.

    Their decisions this season (and offseason) while creating this patchwork team is cause for concern. I will never understand or agree with the signings of Ichiro, Vernon Wells, or Chris Stewart.

    I would love to see (and hope for) a change starting next season that begins with the subtraction of Vernon Wells, Chris Stewart and Eduardo Nunez. They can’t be on this team next year in my opinion. But it all starts down on the farm. I hope to start seeing better results at the major league level soon. Maybe Pineda and Banuelos will surprise in the coming years. We can hope.

    • qwerty says:

      So you didn’t have an issue with the Youkilis and Hafner signings? Those were were just as bad. Trading for Wells over Alfonso was another, not signing either Chavez or Reynolds to play 3rd, and not signing Mike Napoli to back up first, dh and catch was another.

      Pineda is all but finished, as I had predicted two years ago and have said so all along the way. There hasn’t been a single pitcher who has recovered from this particular shoulder injury who has taken anyway near 2 seasons to recover from. The majority, what little there is of it, typically comes back the very next season.

  4. kingslayer says:

    The Yankees couldn’t beat a team of girls right now!! Their spirit is broken. Wait until 2015!!

  5. NT says:

    I like Cashmen but player development has been awful for a while now. I get that it’s hard to develop prospects but it feels like the rest of baseball does it better than the Yankees.

    Is Stick still involved with scouting or is his position in name only? It seems like we’ve just been coasting on the dynasty years that he and Buck are credited with building.

    • Kenny says:

      Isn’t he now about 75 years old? He did great things for the Yankees, once, but he’s probably yesterday’s guy.

      • Tom K says:

        Stick has absolutely no interest in an expanded role. He likes his role of sipping pina coladas in Florida, waiting for the Yankees to call to give him an assignment.

    • 461deep says:

      There is no excuse for the teams 2013 reliance on aging or released ball players. It was a planned but failed strategy. Fortunately they played well for the first 5 weeks as the Jays could not beat them and Kuroda, Robertson, Rivera, Gardner, and Cano kept them afloat. The contract extending the contracts of Alex, CC and giving Jeter 4 more years have hurt as you know. Plus the 2009 signings of Tex, CC, and Burnett while giving team ring nimber 27 has hampered subsequent seasons in an escalating manner. I would not be too inclined to try to go after a number of curent Red Sox this winter. May 1 but that’s all. Big week ahead so I’ll say 4-2 against Jays-Giants as team lost big with Gardner injury and not sure if Alex can play well with his mounting ailments.

    • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead says:

      The rest of baseball doesn’t do it better. At best it’s 10-15 teams that do it better.

      • toad says:

        You mean the good teams do it better.

        • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead says:

          The Royals had a top 5 system for the last 5-6 years. And finally, FINALLY, this year they’re sniffing the playoffs.

          Plus, who gives a flying fuck if the “good” teams do it better? Of course I want the Yankees to have a better farm system, ass.

          But “The rest of baseball does it better” is a flat out, fucking falsity. Unless we’re 30th in baseball in Minor League Rankings, it’s false. A lie. Incorrect. Nonsense.

  6. Kosmo says:

    if Arod is suspended NY will have about 95 million in guaranteed contracts. If they re-sign Cano at 22-25m per NY still would have about 60m per to gamble with. To me the question is how does NY make the most of 60m.
    a cost effective catcher.

    It can be done with NY remaining competitive. It may not be done with the current FO .

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      Man, you’ve got to explain to me how you think the team can get Gregorius. I like your thinking, overall, but I’m just not seeing this.

      • Kosmo says:

        it is rumored that Gregorius might become available because of Chris Owings SS who was the PCL player of the year and is being considered the D-Backs SS of the future. Owings is the better all around player with Gregorius being the slightly better D player with good range.
        At what cost to NY ? Something like a top 5 Yankee prospect or 2 top 20 or so. Mason Williams and a RPprospect or Ramirez and Murphy and a RPP. This past off season the D-backs essentially gave up Bauer for Gregorius in a 3 team trade.
        just spitballin.

        • Robinson Tilapia says:

          Jeez. I’d do everything possible to find a position for a guy like Gregorius if I was the D-Backs.

          Nothing wrong with spitballin, though. Worked for a quite a few pitchers.

          • Kosmo says:

            where on the D-backs does he play ? 2B? Aaron Hill still has 3 years remaining on his contract at about 10m per.

            • Robinson Tilapia says:

              No clue. Just a general “I’d try to figure something out without a player like that” comment said without specific knowledge of the situation. :)

              • Gonzo says:

                I’m late to return to this, but what makes Gregorious so special? Aside from the fact that he cost them Bauer?

                First 22 games:
                .369/.424/.595/1.019 BABIP .412

                Next 75 games:
                .225/.300/.310/.610 BABIP .263

                You can say #arbitraryendpoints, but he has a career .705 OPS in the minors and turns 24 before the beginning of next season. He’s not known for his speed. He’s basically a glove guy that you hope can hit over his head when you need him.

            • qwerty says:

              Easy, trade Aaron hill. If I were the yankees I’d jump on that deal as opposed to paying Cano 10/250.

      • Gonzo says:

        It’s possible he things the Snakes are going to roll with Chris Owings as the SS of the future. Price is another thing altogether though.

      • I'm One says:

        I was on board with Morales for this season, not sure about next. Jeter will need a lot of time at DH. Sure, he can play first on days that Jeter plays the field or when Tex needs a day off, but I just don’t see him being worth the cost (largely due to lack of playing time) next season and beyond (unless they cut ties with Alex after he returns from his suspension).

        • Kosmo says:

          The Yanks need a power hitter and I just don´t get Jeter as a full-time DH. It still remains to be seen if Jeter can still play the game of baseball.

          • Robinson Tilapia says:

            Yeah, you can’t even count on that next year. Get the DH and, sure, try to get a guy like Drew. Derek gets to start but, if he can’t handle it, you’ve got enough protection and he can settle into a nice little twilight part-time. You may have to forcefully strap him into that role, but that’s life.

          • mitch says:

            Isn’t Morales a QO candidate? I wouldn’t give up a first to sign him.

  7. Robinson Tilapia says:

    Also, that’s a lot of crotch on the picture of choice.

  8. Gonzo says:

    This post is another reason why I think they should have went all in for this season.

  9. Lukaszek says:

    New plan: Inject protein powder into Brett Gardner’s veins and have him protect Cano

  10. Eddard says:

    Mike, I’ve been saying this for weeks now and yes a change at the top absolutely needs to be made. Cashman, Girardi and CC are the first 3 I’d ship out. The Sox shipped out the bad and brought in good clubhouse guys and it’s worked wonders for them. They also did it at a much cheaper price to boot. The Sox develop their own talent but they also make smart FA signings now that they have new leadership.

  11. CONservative governMENt says:

    I’m wondering if the team needs to ride out one more year.
    - qualifying offers to Cano, Granderson and Kuroda
    - extension for Cano if he’s willing to take less than top of the market
    - wait to see what Austin, Heathcott, Murphy become
    - give rotation spots to Pineda, Phelps, Nova, Nuno…
    - let Cervelli, Romine, Murphy hold down the fort for Sanchez
    - look for bargains/buy low possibilities
    - get involved in big-ticket international market
    - use BA rankings to run draft (i.e. more Jagielo/Judge/Clarkin, less Culver/Bichette)

    I’m worried that panic mode will just make things even harder to fix.

    • mitch says:

      Agree with most of what you said except this:

      “give rotation spots to Pineda, Phelps, Nova, Nuno”

      I’d have those guys along with a few others competing for the 4/5 spots. Deserving or not, CC has a spot. The other two need to be established, reliable guys.

    • JKK says:

      Agree with nearly all of your points.Especially on draft.

    • Alex says:

      “give rotation spots to Pineda, Phelps, Nova, Nuno…”

      I would not even count on Pineda for good chunk of 2014.. He has long way to go still..

    • Caballo Sin Nombre says:

      Culver was great once he stopped switch-hitting, and got used to hitting only right-handed. I’m surprised more people appear not to have noticed this.

  12. Chris Z. says:

    The real thing at issue here is that MLB figured out a way to punish long term winning. For all of the failure talk the Yankees did also produce Gardner, Cano and Robertson. 1 possible HOF’er and 2 All Stars in a given year. Thats not bad. Teams have done worse. Not much worse but they have.

    I think the Yankees need to take a page out of the NHL playbook and invest in some veterans who can be traded at the deadline for prospects. The best thing about the Yanks is the worst thing. They win every year. Winning costs you where it hurts, the farm. They need the ability to say “lets trade this guy, his value is high and we can get some good prospects back”. Its different from selling at the deadline but just look at some of the prices teams are willing to pay for 3rd and 4th starters! The Yanks should consider buying low on veterans with the intention of flipping one at the deadline.

    The other issue I have is the over use of the platoon. On paper, some platoons look great. A platoon that is 3.0WAR looks great until you realize if one guy gets hurt you go from 3.0 to probably a negative WAR. They need to get away from platoons. It’s KILLING them. Its difficult enough to keep 9 guys on the field all year but when you need to basically keep 13-15 it becomes almost impossible.

    Perfect example: Re-sign Swisher with the intention of trading him during the 2013 season. They would have already had Ichro so whats the result? Swisher plays 50 games, you get a solid prospect and you rid yourself of the contract.

    Enough with this “Marque” value BS. Win an people will go to the games. Just a few days ago we were discussing Jeter and Granderson’s value. I would argue that the pick from Granderson leaving at this point is WAY more valuable to the team than Granderson is now or will be.

    Bottom line is they need to start getting creative to fill the farm with quality players.

    • Kosmo says:

      Swisher= Aaron Judge

      I agree on Granderson.

    • The Big City of Dreams says:

      Win an people will go to the games


      They were winning earlier in the yr and ppl didn’t go to the games. Hell they have competed all yr coming back numerous times and fans didn’t flock to the stadium.

  13. Bats says:

    A couple of things:
    1.) The Yankees slashed payroll? LOL..I don’t think so. The only major players that were on last year’s team but on this team are: Nick Swisher and Russell Martin. Have you seen their stats, BTW? I remember in May, when Mike Axisa was making it sound like the Organization were regretting letting Swisher and Martin go. Other than the moderate amount of homeruns, retaining those players would have done nothing for this 2013 decimated-with-injuries Yankee team. LOL…even the addition of Alfonso Soriano in the middle of the season, hardly improved the ballclub.

    2) As for the “decision making process”….it’s about getting the best player with the best stats. When the Red Sox were adding no name players to their roster this past offseason, Mike Axisa was crying when the Yankees allowed superstar free agents go to other teams.

    What the Yankees need to do is inject YOUTH into the organization by trading off their “peaked” superstars in exchange for decent scounted prospects in effort to either retain them for the team or flip them in trades in exchange for higher quality younger players. In other words, their are two types of currency in baseball: Cash and Prospects. The Yankees have the cash, but they don’t have the prospects.The Yankees need to trade their “peaked” players for 1-3 prospects in order to trade for that one young superstar who is a year or two away from Free Agency.

    • Kosmo says:

      Name the peak players. Outside of Gardner I can´t think of anyone. For example no one is going to take Tex off NYs hands with his untradable contract.

      • Wolfgang's Fault says:

        You’d think that’s true, but there are loads of other teams w/plenty of bad contracts of their own they’d like to ship out of town. If they try, I’m sure they’ll find at least one trade partner in there somewhere. They’ll have to then decide if the devil they know is better than the one they don’t. Would be great if they could find Tex a new (different) baseball home.

    • LK says:

      You don’t think Russell Martin would’ve helped this team? It’s hard to take any of your points seriously if that’s your opinion.

      • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead says:

        Yeah. Swisher we don’t miss, but man we could have used Martin given Cervelli’s injury, Romine’s lack of baseball ability, and Stewie being Stewie.

        For goodness sake, can we have Dioner Navarro back?

        • vicki says:

          speak for yourself; i miss swish. a nagging shoulder injury has him turning in a down year. a 113 wrc+ down year.

          but yes. russell martin. that’s the post-season right there.

  14. Mark from Chicago says:

    Randy Levine should be fired for being the CEO of a team that is way off course and not meeting expectations and replaced with a well established and respected baseball name like John Hart or Pat Gillick. The new President should then be allowed to make the changes they deem necessary with Cashman, Oppenheimer,Newman and possibly even Girardi. Making any front office changes without removing Levine from his post will mean nothing in the end.

    • Mr. Roth says:

      Boy, would I love it if Randy Levine got fired. I have no clue how much or how little he has to do with the problems the team has right now, but I hate the look of that guy.

      He just seems like a guy that would really excel at making bad decisions and convincing other people that they were good ones.

      • vicki says:

        henchman for reagan and giuliani. ick.

      • steves says:

        There is much paranoia about Levine. You have to be pretty naive to think he’s making baseball decisions. He certainly is the public voice for all things Yankee ugly and I’m sure a behind the scenes ball-buster but he carries out orders rather deciding what the orders are plus he knew his away around City Hall which was very helpful in getting YS III built. I can’t imagine anyone in the Yankee baseball ops is asking what was probably the last guy picked in the playground what he thinks of players baseball skills!

        • Wolfgang's Fault says:

          Yeah, well he fugged up the YS!!! job, too, as the even shorter right-field porch, blocked views on either side of the center field restaurant, and claustrophobic hallway to the museum attest. The dude’s a horror show, & despite his lack of playing ability as a youth, he has far more say in the product on the field then any thinking individual would believe possible.

        • Mr. Roth says:

          For the record, I didn’t say anything about him making or not making baseball decisions. I said that he seems like a guy who makes bad decisions.

  15. austinmac says:

    That was all very accurate. I said last winter in 2014 the Pirates would be better than the Yankees and was universally bashed. I suggest to those folks, and it was most of you, that you shold open your eyes, look at the roster and minor leagues. They are all a complete disaster.

    The team has played 56 players this year and as Sherman correctly stated, not one with high upside.

    It has been obvious to anyone who can read the team was getting old in very critical spots, but they did nothing for the long term. They can’t risk spending on international players, but the A’s can. Ridiculous.

    The team is likely years away absent a complete change of management practices.

  16. moonimus says:

    I don’t comment much but think this post is a bit desperate and I usually dig all the posts on here angry or otherwise. I think the Yanks have been unlucky in the developing prospects process. Though with hindsight, I can’t get past them drafting Culver and Bichette. Those guys are now throwaway and they were first rounders. Those are the guys that are supposed to be making noise soon. Also we missed out on Mike Trout by one stinking pick. There are a lot of useful ML out there, that were Yankee farmhands but we traded them to try and improve the current club. I think the farm has produced, we just don’t keep them around. Mark Melancon, Austin Jackson, Ian Kennedy. Once Phil Hughes goes to San Diego, I bet he’ll be a frontline starter and we will all start bitching and moaning about our player development.

    I’ll admit we are more than handful of free agents away from contending especially with the whole limiting payroll in 2014 but at least we are limiting the exposure to one or two years. We aren’t the New York Knicks and signing throwaway Bulls players to 4 and 5 year deals. I think health can be fluky but with all that money going into statistical analysis, hasn’t anyone figured out the optimal workload for players given age and position? How many Cal Ripken’s can possibly be on each team? Definitely the staff will have to figure out how to keep the players on the field but just like bullpen workloads aren’t there player workloads. Cano so far is a freak in terms of durability but at what point does someone ask if he should be limited to 145 – 150 games? I just don’t think you can keep running guys out there.

    And the front office definitely needs to rethink how to get good players here. Though all the salaries are divided fairly evenly on an annually basis, these poison pill contracts well after mega star primes are killing us. I think the Yanks always operated under the philosophy that it’s always about money but clearly that hasn’t been the case with some of the extensions that we’ve seen. Not saying every player we should lock up through arb years (and hard to do this if you don’t keep the talent in house) so they will have to keep thinking of new ways to attract and retain talent. I’m still upset that they weren’t heavy on Puig, Cespedes, Darvish or Ryu (all with benefit of hindsight admittedly). Utterly ridiculous if we can’t even use our #1 asset to our advantage but willing to take the risk on these guys than watch our roster of former all stars and misfit toys…

    Things needs to change but not in a knee jerk way.

  17. Darren says:

    This is really dumb. You’re complaining about a team with the most sustained success of any team over the last 10 years, with the possible exception of the Sox and Phillies, that’s in the thick of the WC card with 2 weeks left, and demanding that huge changes be made. Yes, the farm system is not panning out, but it rarely does for any team. When you look at it in the context of the past 20 years, in light of the Core 4 plus Bernie, Gardner, Cano and Robertson, the Yankees have had MORE than their share of good luck with youngsters.

    Every year there’s always some team that’s doing well in June and is just poised to have sustained success for years to come, and they always flame out. Baseball is hard.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      I think there’s some hyperbole for sure in the post, but I don’t think it’s overall dumb. I do think there needs to be several changes moving forward due to the landscape changing at time where the team has ridden the core that carried them for an extended period of time to their end. This is absolutely a period of adversity for this team and with that should come taking a look at whether the way things were done in the past should remain so.

      Baseball is certainly hard, though, which is why I’m not kicking too hard at the missteps we’ve seen thus far in building a post-CoreFour identity for this franchise. It was never going to be easy.

    • Wolfgang's Fault says:

      They’ve won one WS in the past 12+ seasons. The post-season isn’t always the paramount goal, at least for me. I’d much prefer a team w/a great and ongoing player development system with the ability to provide talent from within or procure needed talent from outside by dealing our surplus prospects/players. If done properly, the player development pipeline would always be the long-term central priority of the Yankee F/O, & the decisions effecting the big league club would be decided on context (can we realistically compete to win it all this year, & if not, what gives us our best chance to do so next year, the year after that, etc.?) and long term best interests of the franchise. Questionable and unwise long-term contracts can be considerably mitigated by a host of talented prospects giving the big-league club alternative options & leverage to act in the best interests of the franchise & fan base. To me, that’s the most interesting & I would think effective way to use their economic advantage. Build the best, most consistently effective player development system in the game.

  18. dkidd says:

    this post makes it sound like the team has been floundering for years

    since winning the ws in 2009 they’ve made the playoffs three straight years. did they ride an aging core into the ground? yes, and it gave us three years of excitement. discounting those 3 years with some narrative about “those teams weren’t built for the post-season” is just looking for reasons to complain. this past off-season was lame. no doubt. it’s fair to say many of the injuries should have been expected. but, even with the injuries, if cc doesn’t implode they make the play-in game and go from there. and i know the last three games were completely humiliating, but the idea that they should have started rebuilding earlier means giving up three SEASONS that 27 other fan bases would have been overjoyed to experience

    rant over

    • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead says:

      If CC has his year from last year alone, which was a down year, we have 2 more wins, are 4 games up in the standings.

      If he had his 2011 year, we’re 4 games better and still in the running for the East.

      Anyone who saw CC becoming replacement level this year is wacko.

  19. gc says:

    1. Develop all-star caliber players at the minor league level. At every position (and of course, at lease three stud ace starting pitchers).

    2. Sign them all to long-term contracts until their age 30 season. Then dump them and let someone else pay for their decline.

    3. If they can do this every three or four years for the next twenty years, the should win roughly fifteen World Series championships. Conservatively speaking. Anything less would constitute “a failure of a season.”

    It’s all so simple. :P

  20. Rolling Doughnut says:

    Axisa’s on the money post is overdue. Truth to power. You can be a fan and tell it like it is. What seems hypocritical to me is the posture of some posters to this blog when someone other than Mike sounds off. I mean this

    “The Yankees force Phil Hughes and Eduardo Nunez types down our throats because they so desperately want to prove they can draft and develop competent big leaguers, but they can’t. I feel we’ve beyond the point of saying “they haven’t” and should now say “they can’t.””

    could have been written by guys who get routinely trashed around here for basically saying the same things. Somehow that doesn’t seem fair.

    • Farewell Mo says:

      Agree that if this was written by someone labeled a “doom and gloomer” or “troll”, they would have been completely trashed by the “polyanna’s” but while Mike IMO overstated a few points, pretty much the essence of what he wrote is completely true.

      This team is in a bad place for the next several years mostly because they’ve gotten almost nothing from the farm coupled with abandoning the IFA market so the influx of young talent has nearly ground to a halt.

      • Rolling Doughnut says:

        I read the posts here because a lot of these guys know much more about the baseball scene than I do. I learn a lot hanging around. At the same time, and I suppose this is true of all blogs, there’s a lot of gratuitous trashing of people who dare to speak out loudly about topics such as the one Mike addresses in his post. They are labelled trolls, and attacked personally. OK, it’s a blog and it’s easy to get a pair of balls sitting behind a computer screen or tapping into a cell phone. But.. it just seems hypocritical to me that some of these same guys either suck up to Axisa or give such tepid responses to stuff that could very well have been written by any of the persona non grata here.

        • Farewell Mo says:

          Since this is Axisa’s blog, people (usually) are gonna treat him with a little more respect that your average commenter plus his baseball knowledge is obviously beyond reproach so he gets a pass from those overly sensitive to anything pessimistic.

          In the end, anything anyone writes here is just an opinion, no more or less valid than anyone elses. Anyone who tries to convince you otherwise is full of shit.

          • Robinson Tilapia says:

            Mike’s given us an amazing site and forum for which to screw around on for years now. He has my eternal support for that. I also co-own a MUCH smaller site that has nothing to do with baseball, and know what goes into moderation, crashes, etc. I greatly respect what goes into owning a site so, yes, he gets a massive pass there from me as well.

            However, RAB was where I came to get away from the visceral and into the factual, so I’d be lying if I were to say that this kind of post doesn’t sadden me.

    • Jerome S. says:

      You make a good point, but it’s a bit more nuanced than that.
      As an avid fan who has a history of dumping on pessimists, I completely understand what you mean when you say that it is hypocritical of some posters to routinely shout down less optimistic commenters. If I didn’t misdirect my frustration with the Yankees to an anonymous patron of this site, I don’t know what I’d do. But I digress.
      Mike has credibility, a credibility that has been built up over years of diligent and competent work on this site. He does a good job of admitting uncertainty and when he does make a prediction it is reasonable, supported by facts. Over that span – a time in which this team has produced some very good seasons and even won a World Series – countless commenters have come and gone after every Yankees loss, each one decrying the mismanagement and incompetence of the team. Some of these commenters stuck around over that time, continuing the same old chant – “the season is over” is a favorite. That is not to say that people have not contributed positively even while being labelled as a troll – they have, and sometimes they’ve been vindicated. But when this year those same usual rumbles returned, who were we to realize that it was time the broken clocks were right?
      What I mean is that I’ve simply been conditioned to ignore negative comments. It’s the Internet; if there is one thing it does not lack it is negativity.
      If anything we ought to maintain a better level of civility – not every troll needs a response.
      So, yeah, when Mike says it, I have a much easier time listening than if I see it from a nattering nabob of negativism.

      • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead says:

        I have no problem with rational negativity. It’s the doom is upon us, world is ending people who panic at the first sign of anything wrong that irritate me.

        That and the people who think they know the inner workings of the Yankee FO, know exactly how decisions were made, attribute emotion and logic(faulty OR accurate) to Cashman, and then laugh at people who suggest that their imagination might not be 100% accurate.

        Mike has made a lot of good points amidst his raging negativity this year. But the troll-like tone he’s taken with a lot of his rants has turned me off to treating the points he made with rationalism, and yeah, I’m more inclined to jump to homer fanboy polyanna-isms. Because they’re just as unreasonable, in some cases.

  21. Steinbrenner's Ghost says:

    It’s time for the Steinbrenners to sell the team.

    • The Big City of Dreams says:

      That’s probably what the plan is.

      • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead says:

        Show your work. C-

        • The Big City of Dreams says:

          What work needs to be shown? Is it the 189 plan they keep pushing or the cutting back on the draft and IFAs when other teams were spending

          • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead says:

            OK I’ll bite. Why, in God’s name, would an owner who’s planning to sell intentionally compromise the product on the field to save money? You think the Yankees are worth more NOW than they were last year?

            Ok fella.

            • The Big City of Dreams says:

              Because Hal has no passion or desire for baseball. In it’s not something he has a deep love for. At the end of the day he’s a bottom line guy and that’s what matters to him. He’s stubborn enough to implement the 189 goal when the organization isn’t set up to do so. Did he honestly think the names of the minor leaguers he read off a piece of paper were going to fly through the system and be stars by now wtf.

            • vicki says:

              every owner with plans to sell a team cuts payroll, as not to burden potential buyers. refer to the dodgers, astros and rangers recently.

  22. Dicka24 says:

    What’s the love affair with Didi Gregorius? The kid has no bat, and can’t steal bases. We have a glove guy like that in Brendan Ryan.

    I’m stunned the Yanks are even in the playoff mix, considering all that’s gone wrong this year. If, and I stress if, CC has a bounce back year, Tex returns, Grandy agrees to the 1 year QO, Kuroda resigns, etc. I’d expect them to be playoff contenders again next year. The point is, while their situation is less than ideal, it isn’t dire. What the Yankees really need to do, is have a game plan in place that utilizes their current assets as a bridge to revitalizing the organization. Try to augment what they have with pieces for the future. I’d start by making a serious run at Tanaka. Especially where the posting fee doesn’t go against the cap. Imagine if we had Darvish for example. Granted Texas was $25+ million more than the next bid, but our outlook wouldn’t be so glum.

    One thing that bothers me about this year, is the piece meal way they put the outfield together. Wells and Ichiro are toast. I hated the Wells move, and while I was ok with resigning Ichiro, 2 years was stupid. Chris Stewart sucks as a back up too, never mind your starting catcher. Oh, and then theirs Youk, Cruz, and the other assorted turd sandwiches they’ve gone through at the different positions this year(Brigniac, Bosch, Gonzalez…) It’s probably extra painful to me cuz I live in Boston, and I’ve had to watch (and listen) to the Redsox do so well this year. It seems as if everything they’ve done has worked. Career nonsense I know, but it’s painful none the less. Napoli hitting slams, Gomes hitting homers, with guys young guys waiting in the wings. Sucks.

    • vicki says:

      it’s not like there were oodles of top-tier corner outfielders waiting by the phone when grandy went down on february 25.

    • Kosmo says:

      I certainly do not have a love affair for Gregorius but IMO NY needs to get younger and they could do so by possibly trading for a cost controlled SS which is certainly a position of need at this time. Yes Gregorius might ultimately be nothing more than a .270 hitter with average D. Tell me what the alternatives are ? Overpaying for Drew an often injured league average SS. NYs farm system have any budding SS prospects ?

    • Wolfgang's Fault says:

      Past performance is no guarantee of future results. It’s easier to live w/that when the player(s) in question is/are relatively young. “Hoping” is nice, but making sure you’ve got upside talent is usually more productive.

  23. trr says:

    Well, I go on an overseas business trip and the team falls apart.
    Wait’ll I get back!
    Oh, we can’t wait….

    I know we’re still in the hunt, but that’s mainly because several other teams are flailing now. Hope we make it, but…I don’t think we will. Team, prove me wrong. Please.

    Lots of heavy lifting to do to turn this thing around. It took a few years of bad decisions to put us in this perilous spot, and it’ll take a few years to right the course. We’ll get through.

  24. Austinmac says:


    Quoting Spiro Agnew is a questionable way of creating credibility.

  25. Jason says:

    1)replace Jeter. Enough with haNging onto legacy players who are average at best. As much as we love him, he should retire with Mo and Pettite. Off into the sunset. Go after Asdrubal Cabrera. 4/40 is a good offer. Offer Cano a strong contract but if someone wants to blow him away then let them. Get a high draft pick if he leaves and re-allocate the money. Try and Re-sign Brendan Ryan to play 2B. Thats a younger, sick double play combo.

    2)make granderson a qualifying offer. If he signs elsewhere we get a round 1 pick. If he leaves then look hard at Pence or Sin Soo Choo to play LF. Move Soriano to RF, call up one of your young OF prospects to back everyone up along with Ichiro.

    3)AROD should sit the year. I’d re-sign Mark Reynolds to play 3B, and to also back up Tiexiera at 1B. When he backs Tex up, Vernon wells/EduArdo nunez can play 3B. Tex DH’s on this day. Gives versatility. A few aggressive role players is a good thing.

    4)look into signing Masahiro Tanaka for the rotation. Even if we give him 5 years, he will be 29 when that contract ends. Youth will serve us well. Make a qualifying offer to Kuroda but if someone gives him 2 years so be it. Another high draft pick. We mAy forfeit 1-2 of these picks, but these signings would be solid. I’d also look into bringing a back of rotation starter and giving 1-2 of our young guns a shot at the rotation. Garza and Tanaka would be sexy, but i’m not sure it will happen.

  26. jobasphatstache says:

    Nothing short of a front office housecleaning, AND a few miserable years in the cellar is gonna fix this. Irony is Theo will have built a championship in Chitown, and he sent his predecessors to us as an FU to Cashman.

  27. Crime Dog says:

    This offseason is gonna be really interesting at the very least. If I’m the Yankees, I’m resigning Cano. There aren’t many suitors out there (Dodgers seem to be not very interested), so I think they can get him for pretty fair market value (between 6-7 years and 110 million sounds decent). I’d extend Granderson and Kuroda qualifying offers. Assuming they both resign in one way or another (would really love Grandy back), you have a little money to work with, especially after accounting for ARod.

    I think they’ll gamble on a older guy coming off an injury or bad season(s) for a rotation spot. Thinking Colby Lewis or Marcum or something. That shouldn’t be too expensive. I would not be surprised to see the team stand pat on the bullpen with Robertson as the closer and Kelley as the 8th inning guy. It would be nice to not have Wells and Ichiro around next year, but I’d imagine they’ll both be back as 4th outfielders/platoon guys. Unless Ichiro (hopefully) retires. Idk what else they’ll do offensively, but I can’t imagine they can do much. 2014 might be a tough transitional year. Maybe an 80-85 win year.

    • Wolfgang's Fault says:

      Odds are high Kelley’s second year here in pinstripes won’t go as well as his first. Odds are strong D-Rob has some adjustment issues sliding into the closer role & I’m still not sold on his durability. They should be prepared for all sorts of problematic issues concerning the bullpen in ’14 & look to mitigate some of it by having their starters go deeper into games and have some competent long guys in the pen just in case. 2014 looks like it’s going to be an adventure for sure.

  28. Stan The Man says:

    Same shit was written during and after the 2008 season. Get a grip Mike and enjoy the fact that 20 cast offs and bunch of underperforming superstars are still battling for a playoff spot when people like you predicted the Blue Jays to win the division and the Yanks finish last. They may not win a WS for a couple of yrs or have a run of playoff appearances like they have had before but they have proven they won’t be the Pirates, Orioles, and others who have 10+ yrs of losing seasons.

    • The Big City of Dreams says:

      20 cast offs and bunch of underperforming superstars are still battling for a playoff spot


      That is true the players have tried their hardest and Joe has done a great job trying to keep things together.

    • Mr. Roth says:

      The difference between this year and 2008 is that in 2008 they didn’t have plans to significantly cut payroll. I have a hard time seeing them going out and getting the 2014 equivalant of Sabathia, Burnett, Teixeira, and Swisher.

      Actually, I have an even harder time figuring out who the fuck the 2014 equivalent of those players would even be.

      • Robinson Tilapia says:

        That haul isn’t going to be available every off-season. Also, you’d have people wanting to negate the championship they’d bring in five years because of TEH CONTRACTS.

      • Anthony says:

        How about Price, Jiminez/Nolasco and Choo/Ellsbury/Cruz (not counting our very own Cano and Granderson)? Plus there are a number of older guys who might be available on short deals that might still have something left in the tank, like Beltran, Pence, and Morneau. You could theoretically fill a pretty good team with this free agency’s class and what we have coming back. Whether they can do it with the salary restrictions, I don’t know. Maybe the Yankees will have to move on from that goal if they don’t want to tarnish the brand.

  29. wilcymoore27 says:

    This post is right on point. I couldn’t agree with you more, Mike.

  30. dan says:

    lets not forgot we suck and you know what is next 189,189,189,189,………..

  31. fezz says:

    Cashman has to go. he’s terrible at drafting, he’s miserable at development, he’s abysmal at scouting and identifying talent and he’s horrible at running an organization.

    where he excels is overspending on aging superstars; this was The Boss’ way when he was alive and owning the team and they were a marriage made in heaven with the Steinbrenner endless bankroll and the Cashman ability to trade the farm for 38 year olds and overpay for once-great players entering or firmly entrenched in their declines.

    we need an organization-wide change. we need a scouting and development focused moneyball approach to GM. if Hal/Hank were smart they’d offer Billy Beane whatever he wanted to come to NYC. they need to embrace the 21st century rather than stick to the 1990′s model of running a team.

    Cash has to go in 2014!!!!!!!!

    • BFDeal says:

      Where was all the Billy Beane love during the 2007-2011 seasons?

    • WhittakerWalt says:

      I guess Cashman had nothing to do with Cano or D-Rob?

      • qwerty says:

        Wasn’t Cashman the one who tried to pawn Cano off to 8 different major league teams, but none wanted him? Does a GM get credit for “developing” a player when he sees no potential in him, and largely ignored him until he was eligible for trade bait?

  32. Pat D says:

    Johnny’s in RAB
    No tricks at the wheel
    Nobody needs anyone
    They don’t even just pretend
    Johnny’s in RAB

    I’m afraid of RAB’ers
    I’m afraid of the world
    I’m afraid I can’t help it
    I’m afraid I can’t
    I’m afraid of RAB’ers

  33. mustang(The Has Beens & Wannabes Bunch 2013) says:

    Interview a lifelong Cubs fan then talk to me. IF they miss the playoffs this year it will be the second time in how long?
    Yes there are problems, but overstating them like this makes one look like the rich kid who is bitching over the fact that he got Porsche Boxer and not the 911.
    Seriously dude can they at least be officially eliminated this year before declaring an organization death sentence.

  34. Jason A (mets fan) says:

    (I’ve said this before on this site…) What’s done is done, but I still think MLB jobbed the Yankees with the Collective Bargaining agreement…

    I think it’s unfair to twang on Cashman without recognizing how the Yankees hands were tied by having to honor existing contracts in a new restrictive framework. There should have been an amnesty provision / get-out-of-jail-free-card like the NBA had a few seasons ago.

    I don’t know why more Yankee fans don’t howl over this. The Dodgers deserve to pay the luxury taxes – they knew full well the costs of long term contracts after the CBA was agreed upon. But would the Yankees / Cashman have made the exact same moves 4-5 years ago if they knew of the onerous penalties that loomed on the horizon? I doubt it.

    I know the league loves to gang up on the big, bad (revenue and ratings generating…) Yankees, and so there’s little to no sympathy for the organization in the league, but to fairly assess Cashman I think you need to make note of how the CBA looks set-up to single out the team.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:


      I really appreciate you coming on here as a Mets fan and giving your thoughts. Sometimes some of the best commentary comes from those who actually can see the forest from the tress with your favorite team.

  35. Robinson Tilapia says:

    The Jim Miller thread gets no love.

    Also, what if Mike didn’t upload a post to replace this for, like, a week? Can you imagine the bloodshed?

  36. Anthony says:

    Just to be devil’s advocate for a moment: Haven’t people been saying this about the Yankees for about 13 years now? Yet we’re still in contention every year. I think you underestimate how quickly a team with the Yankees’ resources can turn it around. Look at the Dodgers and Red Sox. Who’s to say something unexpected happens in the near future and suddenly we’re the toast of the league again? Considering the major injuries the Yankees have faced, you have to feel good about them even being in contention. We definitely don’t want to put our heads in the sand when there are signs of trouble, but I don’t get the feeling that is what is happening. The new paradigm for success in this environment does seem to be getting “cast offs” on cheap deals, getting some value for them or cutting them if you develop a better option, relying on your few stars in the post-PED era, and using the farm to plug holes, even if no superstars are developed. That seems to be exactly what Boston has been doing this year. They were just lucky enough to have tradeable big contracts and their cast offs and plug and play farm players have performed better than ours this year. Nobody is going to take any of our big contracts, except possibly CC and I think we don’t want to give him up based on only one year. Who’s to say a guy with his pitching IQ can’t figure it out and learn to pitch well even with diminished stuff, just like Pettitte has done.

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