And I Will Do Anything For…
Love. Power. Money. In this case, the Yankees will do anything for a win.
Have you realized that the New York Yankees have practically thrown everything overboard over the past few years and have a completely new lineup? No more Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderson, Mo Rivera, and soon there will be no Derek Jeter and possibly C.C. Sabathia.
Instead of grabbing younger guys, they’ve been adding well-known veterans. As a result, the Yankees are constantly injured. Sabathia, Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda, and Ivan Nova, all pitchers, are out until at least until
And no, pine tar will not be the way to win the division
the middle of August. Sabathia and Nova are out for the season, Tanaka might undergo Tommy John surgery that would end his season, only leaving Pineda to come back sometime next month.
Currently, nobody in the Yankee’s starting lineup is under 30 years old.
So what are they doing now? They are willing to try anything in their power to try and get any player. They’ve traded for players like Brandon McCarthy and Chase Headley – both fine moves – while giving up almost everything that they have in their farm system.
If this was any other team than the Yankees, I’d suggest tanking the season and trade away everybody to try and stock up the farm system. But this is the New York Yankees, who have the most money and can buy any player that they can think of.
But here’s the problem: they are just not that good! The only luck that they have with them right now is how they are in a struggling AL East currently, so they are tied for 2nd, four games back from the Orioles. Almost all of their players are way overvalued, especially their four big acquisitions in the offseason: Brian McCann, Carlos Beltran, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Masahiro Tanaka.
Let’s measure the batters in terms of their slash line, Wins Above Replacement Value, and On-Base Plus Slugging + (OPS+), which is OPS that is adjusted to the ballpark that they play at. An OPS+ of 100 is average, and you want a higher number. For Tanaka, I’m adding FIP, which measures what a player’s ERA should have been over a season, assuming that performance on balls in play were the league’s average.
McCann: .242/.297/.377, 0.6 WAR, 87 OPS+. Paid five years, $85 million; 30 years old.
Beltran: .220/.273/.411, -0/6 WAR, 88 OPS+. Paid three years, $45 million; 37 years old.
Ellsbury: .291/.354/.777, 2.4 WAR, 116 OPS+. Paid seven years, $154 million; 30 years old.
Tanaka: 12-4, 2.51 ERA, 3.07 FIP, 4.0 WAR. Out indefinitely and might need Tommy John surgery, which would end his season and almost the entire 2015 season. Paid seven years, $155 million; 25 years old.
As you can see, Tanaka and Ellsbury are doing well, but it’s up to you whether you think it’s worth that much money (hint: it’s not).
And are the injuries all that surprising? You can’t blame all of it on bad luck. Since Sabathia lost so much weight, his ERA has plummeted, and he has been constantly battling with small injuries. Many Japanese players have dealt with some sort of injury that has sent their career from promising to short-lived. Look at Daisuke Matsuzaka, who after having one amazing year could not get over injuries (though he is still playing, now with the Mets).
The point is, the Yankees are old, have no farm system, and are buying players who have a high risk of injury. Jeter is gone by this
Adding Headley is big, as he had 31 home runs with 115 RBI’s in 2012, but is only batting .229 this year.
year, and Ichiro is not far behind him. Hiroki Kuroda is 39 and looks like he can retire now or the next year. Because of all of this signing and trading, they have lost much of their farm system. Now, they don’t have any tools to try and grab a guy like David Price before the trade deadline.
In order for them to compete in the East, they need one more big addition. With the poor farm system they have now and because their entire team is old, they don’t have the tools to grab anyone. They are not good enough to win the division, plain and simple.
But hey, it’s the Yankees. They will do anything for wins. If they can’t get David Price, they’ll trade for someone else this year. And even though they will be past their prime, they will go after big free agent pitchers like Max Scherzer and Jon Lester in the offseason. It’s the Yankees, and money can go a long way.
Do they still have a shot? Somehow, yes. Do I think they’ll make it? No. But hey, it’s the Yankees.
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