Saturday, June 4, 2016

Rooting For Losses

Ugh, the Yankees are the worst.

I suppose that what I've been doing for the better part of this season borders on sacrilege to most of you but I've been rooting for the Yankees to lose. A lot.

Here's the thing, it's one thing to root for a team that's got a decent chance at competing. It's another thing to see an obvious pretender continue to pretend that it's relevant.

For those of you who've been staying away from Yankees baseball (good choice) they've been pretty frustrating. It's not so much that they lose a lot (although that doesn't help); it's more like the Yankees just seem to give off that vibe that they're going to keep selling the fans false hope and do nothing to improve themselves either in the short term or in the long term.

The Yankees are (as of this post) fourth in the A.L. East and always dangerously close to going further down. In fact they've occupied the cellar in the division at least once this year. With the second wild card there's a bigger window for a playoff spot. But the Yankees just don't seem like the team that can benefit from that and be in the mix. Their starting pitching is inconsistent, their offense is non-existent and their bullpen is backloaded. They're pretenders at best.

This team isn't poised for October heroics. It's poised for a disappointing year. And it'll be even more disappointing if they fail to capitalize on the prime opportunity they have.

The opportunity to be sellers at the trade deadline.

With a few contracts expiring and even fewer of those players worthy of receiving a qualifying offer, the Yankees might as well get a prospect haul; rather than just keep the expiring deals and lose the players for nothing (i.e. they should not repeat the Cano and Robertson mistakes). So who could they deal?

Aroldis Chapman

If the Yankees do become sellers (like they absolutely should) Chapman is at the top of the list. He's the shut-down closer every other team needs. As a baseball player he works well with a lot of teams like the Rangers, Dodgers and Cubs. The Yankees could get a Joey Gallo or a Jose De Leon or a Gleyber Torres for Chapman. *Rubs hands and salivates*

Carlos Beltran

You know it's a down year when the 2016-version of Carlos Beltran is one of the better hitters on your team. That said he could be of some use to other teams looking for a pretty steady bat. Personally I'm pulling for a Beltran-Royals reunion. The Yankees might get a fringe top 30 prospect for Beltran. Brooks Pounders maybe?

Andrew Miller

The Yankees aren't just going to be bad this year, they're going to be pretty bad next year too. They're in a waiting for contracts to expire mode. As such having a reliever like Andrew Miller is a luxury that they don't need. Miller is the rich man's Chapman, he's a capital C closer and the team trading for him has him for a few more years (unlike Chapman who's a rental). Miller could definitely give the Yankees farm system a boost. One look at what the Phillies got for Ken Giles or what the Padres got for Craig Kimbrel will attest to that. *Rubs hands and salivates more*

Ivan Nova

Nova's had some decent outings this year following by some bad outings. His value isn't as dirt low as it was last year. If the Yankees deal Nova they should get back a non-prospect. No, not a prospect, not even a fringe one, a non-prospect. A warm body the Yankees can keep to serve as depth in the minors before they inevitably release him. That's still better than losing Nova for nothing.

Dellin Betances

As much as it pains me to say it, trading Betances wouldn't be the worst thing in the world. Like Chapman and Miller, Betances is a team every other team in baseball would love to have. Plus he's got a few more years of service time left on his clock and he's the cheapest out of all three. If the Yankees want back a bonafide stud/haul then Betances is the closest to obtaining such a thing. *Rubs hands and salivates while kind of feeling dead inside*

Mark Teixeira

Teixeira's the guy that should be traded but probably won't be. His contract expires this year (yay!) but he's really managed to stink up the join this year (boo!). He's hurt, his bat's dead and he's probably not going to waive his no trade clause for a large number of teams (if at all). Even if he did, what team would want him? A team desperate for a switch hitting defender at first base?

Masahiro Tanaka

Hah, yeah right! Still, it would be fun to explore what the proverbial Yankees ace would bring back in a trade? I remember reading on River Ave Blues that the David Price trade (the one where he went to Detroit) is a good precedent. Tanaka could easily bring back the Yankees two young major leaguers who're incredibly mediocre and one later-half-of-the-top-100 prospect.

Nathan Eovaldi

EVO has had some good outings and bad outings. Sometimes he'll struggle and fail to get passed the fourth inning, other times he'll deliver eight solid innings of one-run ball. A young starter who throws hard will always attract attention. Maybe a reunion back with the NL West could do him some good?

Michael Pineda

Woof, no offense to The Lost Collector but boy does Pineda stink this year. Thus far he's had a ton of bad outings as opposed to one good outing against the really bad Tigers (another team that were seen as "maybe" contenders who've stunk). Given his potential to be a frontline starter who can get lots of K's, he could bring back a fringe top-30 org prospect in a trade.

Robert Refsnyder

At this point it is clear that the Yankees don't really see Refsnyder as a serviceable major leaguer (to them). They particularly don't like his defense. As such he might as well be traded. Maybe to a team like the A's who surprisingly are willing to sacrifice defense in the name of more offense (otherwise why else is Marcus Semien there?).

Brian McCann

Personally I'd love to see this guy just go. And some team out there would probably love to have him. That said if the Yankees plan on competing in 2017 (and signs point to them doing so), the Yankees are stuck with him. Bleck.

Brett Gardner

Gardner's been in a bad rut since the All Star break last year. He's kind of bad but he's also kind of decent. Plus he still offers defense in left field and in centerfield on a pretty team friendly contract. Could get a fringe top 20 org prospect for Brett The Hit Man.

Jacoby Ellsbury

Will Ellsbury be moved? Of course not. All the Yankees could possibly accomplish with Ellsbury is a bad contract swap with another team's bad contract. I dunno, maybe Ryan Braun?

I suppose you could make anybody available (seriously, nobody on the Yankees is "untouchable"). But those are the guys that are obviously goners/obviously who the fans want gone if the Yankees do become sellers. I guess there's also Luis Severino, but the Yankees might wait to see if his value goes up before doing anything with him.

Future Yankee Joey Gallo

Okay so the potential for a pretty decent prospect haul awaits the Yankees if they sell. Their big three relievers could bring back some high quality packages and everybody else could bring back something decent.

Plus if the Yankees do sell then their team gets weaker, they lose more and end up with a higher draft pick in next year's draft. This new era of baseball incentivizes losing. The more the Yankees lose, the higher the draft pick they'll get to select, and the more money they'll be entitled to work with during the  2017 draft.  I'd say that that's the only way they can make the most out of an obviously bad year. As such as I want them to lose, too bad all of those NL teams had to stink so bad. Even if the Yankees do tank, they might not end up bad enough to get a protected draft pick.

So yeah, root for the Yankees to lose (most of you do already). It might force their hand into being sellers and will secure a chance at a better draft next year. Also, root for the Brewers, Braves, Rockies, Twins, Phillies and Padres to win more. They're worrying me that the Yankees might not end up with a bad enough record for a top 10 draft pick.

Let us all hope that the Rockies and Twins can put an end to the Yankees' charade of trying to contend later this month (yeah right, Rockies and Twins are even worse :'(, sigh).

Anyway thanks for stopping by and take care :).


  1. I'm Not rooting for losses as much as I am rooting for not wins. I swear there is a difference. I dont turn on the TV and root against them.

    I love contending, but this team, even if they get back into the hunt, is not built to win. There is a prime, prime opportunity to take a shortcut at rebuilding by moving some of these guys for high end young talent. The Yanks must take advantage. Sacrificing one year to potentially restock the team for years is worth it.

    Relievers are so volatile, and teams are going to overpay. All three big guys should be on the table.

    Also, I want Gallo.

    My prediction: Yanks stay within a few games of .500 and don't to anything.

    1. "shortcut at rebuilding" is the option Cashman should take. A team in the Yankees position doesn't need three shut down arms at the back of the bullpen, especially when they could net the Yankees a nice return.

    2. I don't think it's a shortcut in a bad sense, it was just expedite the inevitable process. To me, there is no difference whether you win 65 or 75 or 85 games - missing the Playoffs is missing the Playoffs. Would I rather watch them win 75 and set themselves up for the future by dealing away assets, or win 85 games trying to contend and being stuck with a lack of impact talent and a weak free agent class? The former, but that's just me.

      I know the higher ups can't stomach a summer of poor attendance by admitting they aren't going to content, but what's the difference of watching a bunch of young guys score 2 runs per game vs a bunch of old aging guys? Nothing.

      I would be thrilled to move as many guys as possible outside of a very, very select few. No one ZZ mentions above should be off the table.

    3. I agree completely, there is no difference between winning 65, 75 or 85 games. Depending on the makeup of the team, I think I would rather them win 65. It worked well for the Cubs as it netted them Bryant, Schwarber, and Baez among others.
      It'll be interesting to see how things unfold in NY this summer.

    4. @TLC: I agree. The big three relievers must be moved. Considering how much depth the NYY has thanks to the Scranton shuttle, they might be add more relievers to make the other teams even more enticed. The higher ups can't stomach a summer of poor attendance but from what I've heard, it's been a downward spiral as a lot of "fans" seems to have made their way to Queens. And those of us who're left know better than to go waste time watching the Bronx Bummers.

      PTT: I think "rebuilding on the fly" is a better term. And that's essentially what the Yankees have been doing. They're not going to go all in on a multi-year rebuild process like the Astros or Cubs. They've got too much invested in being a top tier baseball club.

  2. The biggest problem the Yankees have is the brand the Yankees have become. I feel most New Yorkers will not stand for a fire sale or a tank job even if it is the franchise's best interests. It worked for the Cubs because most Cubs fans were willing to try anything new that might work, because they had 100 years of futility hanging over their heads. So as much as sitting in 5th place for 5 consecutive years sucked, fans new there was light at the end of the tunnel. I don't think you can sell New York on that idea.

    For what it's worth I heard the Cubs were scouting EVO, but I'm not exactly sure why.

    1. I suppose that's partly true but based on attendance and general chatter, I doubt most New Yorkers will care if the Yankees tank. A lot of the people who spend big to watch baseball appear to have shifted from Bronx to the Queens (Mets) and those of us who're left know that the Yankees don't have a snowball's chance in hell to be anything close to a contender this year. Plus the Mets were in a bit of a rebuilding process. They got a ton of flack for it but ultimately, they're laughing all the way to the bank everytime deGrom and Syndergaard pitch.

      And I've heard the Cubs were scouting EVO too. It appears to be for the same reason every other team wants him, because he throws hard and can be of some use.

  3. Lol... try being a Padres or Athletics fan for a day. ;)

    1. Yikes, I'm sorry Fuji lol.

      Being a Padres fan would be dreadful.

      An Athletics fan would be interesting though. They're not afraid to break the conventional mold or try bold things. That said the way they go about things and how it always changes can make one really dizzy.