To sell or not to sell? That is the question that New York Yankees owner, Hal Steinbrenner, will have to address within the coming weeks, and the answer shouldn’t be all that difficult.
Hal Steinbrenner spoke to the media recently about the possibility of the New York Yankees becoming sellers at the trade deadline: “We’ll have to see at the end of July, which we always do,” Steinbrenner said. “We’ll take a look at everything. We’ll see what injuries we’ve had from here to then and where the deficiencies are and where we go from there. But if we stay healthy, I’m confident we have a shot.”
In Hal’s defense, it still might be too early to definitively say that the Yankees will or should be sellers come July 31. What can’t be defended is this illusion that “injuries” are whats been holding this team back. Out of the eleven players that the Yankees have sent to the MLB disabled list, only two have really cost them. The injuries to first baseman Greg Bird, and middle reliever Bryan Mitchell were tough to swallow. Bird would have filled in while Mark Teixiera rehabbed his ailing knee, and Mitchell would have been an important piece for a struggling middle relief unit.
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Having said that, these were not season altering injuries for the team. They aren’t one game under .500 and six games out of first place because of two players being out, both which of whom have had minimal major league experience. They’re a painfully average baseball team–well because they’re just painfully average. They’re twentieth in runs scored and eighteenth in team ERA. That’s actually slightly worse than average.
The bad news for the 2016 New York Yankees is that they tend to break down in the second half of the season. Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Alex Rodriguez all limped into last years’ wild card game, all going through major second half slumps. Currently, A-Rod is giving the team virtually nothing and who knows how much worse it will get for him after the All Star break in the dog days of summer. Gardner has also given the team very little, hitting .259 with five home runs and fifteen RBI’s. And Ellsbury has underperformed with his .278 average, three home runs and 24 RBI’s.
If this was the “burst” that some of your most important players were supposed to give you in the first half, then there’s no chance this team will be contending when it matters. The Yankees have an opportunity to improve their future by dealing away pieces that they don’t plan on retaining starting with right-fielder Carlos Beltran.
Beltran is having a career year hitting .286 with 19 home runs, and 51 RBI’s. He’s on pace to hit 43 home runs which would be a career high for the borderline Hall of Famer. Beltran is a free agent after this season and he has no future plans with this team. Top prospect, Aaron Judge, is expected to start in right field in 2017. One can assume that the Yankees could receive a very respectable trade package for ‘Los’.
Next up would be one of the Yankees’ relief pitchers. According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, there are at least five teams interesting in both Aroldis Chapman and/or Andrew Miller. “No Runs DMC” was nice when it lasted, but if the Yankees want to get out of this mediocre bubble that they’re stuck in, they will deal one of these stud relievers.
I think a good majority of Yankees fans realize that the team, as it currently stands, is just not good enough to make a legitimate run come October. Most fans are ready to blow this entire thing up and start from scratch. Unfortunately for Yankees fans, Hal Steinbrenner and Brian Cashman do not have a pulse for the fan. They don’t believe that they would have the support of the fans, if they do in fact, become sellers at the trading deadline.
To sell or not to sell? That is the question that Yankees brass should have no difficulties in answering, but may be scratching their heads about.