The big news from the baseball winter meetings is the trade executed by the Red Sox and White Sox. Lefty Chris Sale goes to Boston to give the Red Sox the best 1-2-3 rotation in the American league. The kneejerk reaction might be “oh no, now we don’t have a chance”. Stop. The Yankees are in the middle of this transition phase and the Sale trade doesn’t change their short-term outlook much. The Yankees and Red Sox are playing for two very different things right now, like it or not. The Yankees have a clearly defined goal. They want to develop a new young core while getting under the luxury tax threshold in the near future to create payroll flexibility, so when those young players are ready to win, they’ll be able to spend and spend big.
The Bombers are re-tooling. Your argument might be that they are trying to re-sign Chapman. They are, but for 4 or 5 years. I believe that Brian Cashman and staff believe they will be competitive, but the 2018 season is the goal (see above). 2017 will be the year they give the young baby bombers a chance to play every day and develop into quality major leaguers.
The pickens are slim in the Free Agency market and trade possibilities. We all know for the Yanks, to make a legitimate run, they need pitching. Especially starting pitching. There isn’t much out there, now that Sale (trade) and Rich Hill (free agency) are off the block. There is one I can think of - Chicago’s Jose Quintana. He’s not Chris Sale, but he’s really good, and he’s signed affordably for another four years (owed $37.85M total). Brandon McCarthy is being shopped around by the Dodgers, but he’s 33 and a year removed from Tommy John surgery.
The Yankees have lots of young talent to use in a trade or develop for the future. Patience is the key. Accept that this year won’t be a run for the World Series. Maybe if we’re lucky, they qualify for the playoffs. Maybe they play better than a retooling team. One thing I do know… watching Sanchez take Sale deep over the Green Monster will be fun as hell next summer.
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