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The July 31st trade deadline, came and went, without the Yankees acquiring the help they so desperately needed. The Yankees needed a major pitching upgrade before the trade deadline.
Why did the Yankees need an upgrade? — Put succinctly, because of their nemesis the Red Sox. If the postseason started today, you can bet all the marbles that the Yankees starting pitching staff would be outperformed by a superior Red Sox starting pitching staff.
If the currently constructed Yankees starting pitching staff faced the Red Sox offense today, a can of worms would surely be opened; The Red Sox have such a potent offense this year, and the way I see it, the Yankees really only have one reliable pitcher in ace C.C. Sabathia. Thus, the Yankees do not stand a chance with their currently structured starting rotation.
As Bob Klapisch pointedly writes in a recent article, “Truth is, there’s no one behind Sabathia the Yankees can trust in October. Not A.J. Burnett (a .500 pitcher forever prone to blow-ups), Phil Hughes (still searching for his fastball), Freddy Garcia (a fake-out artist whose margin of error is too thin for the postseason) and Colon (who hasn’t thrown this many innings since 2005).”
Klapisch also rightly points out that Colon has the best stuff besides Sabathia, but cannot be counted on as a No. 2 starter during the post season, due to his age (37) and his “vulnerability to breakdown”. Colon has already been on the disabled list once this year.
The truth of the matter is, the Yankee will most likely regret their decision to not trade for more pitching weather it be the starting rotation or the bullpen. Dellin Betances and Manny Banuelos, the two prospects that Brian Cashman seems to be enamored with, will hopefully be as valuable as he thinks they will.
Hopefully, the silver lining that comes out of this deadline, will be the big league debut of both Betances and Banuelos. If it is any consolation, Cashman seems prepared to bring up the young minor league talent if needed for the final two months of the season. In a Wall Street Journal article by Daniel Barbarisi, Cashman is quoted as saying “Betances has got it.
Warren’s got it. Phelps has been on the DL but he’s got it. Noesi, Montero, Romine. There’s a number of directions that can be taken with a number of these guys. We’ll see in 2011 if some of them can play a part or not. I can’t tell you yet. We’ll just let it play out,”
If the Yankees decide to keep them in the minors for the next 3-4 years there could be dire consequences. The Yankees might see both players value drop and then not be able to trade for a player of star caliber. Cashman may have Kept Jesus Montero for too long. Did he make the same mistake with Betances and Banuelos? Did Cashman pass on the chance to sell, when their value might have been at its highest?
Despite all these unanswered questions, Brian Cashman sounds like a pretty confident guy. Cashman seems ready to do the unthinkable. Cashman, sound ready to do something that hasn’t been done since the core four (Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Jorge Posada, Andy Pettitte) came up to the big leagues in 1996. Cashman sounds ready to really on prospects in the Yankees farm system.
As written in the Wall Street Journal article, Cashman says, “There’s some guys I feel we can rely on, and count on, if need be, as choices as we move forward, I think we’re getting deeper, We have a stronger system, so I don’t think we’re in a position as we have been in years past where we might have had to go out and do something no matter what,”
Maybe Cashman is taking the right approach after all these years. After all, relying on heavily touted prospects worked for the Yankees during their triumphs of the late 90’s.
From the season of 96’ to the season of 00’, the Yankees won four World Series Championships. This remarkable five-year stretch was done with smart acquisitions and trades for a laundry list of veteran player. These veteran players included the likes of, Paul O’Neil, Tino Martinez, David Cone, Wade Boggs and Scott Brosius and Dwight Gooden. In addition to bringing in outside help the Yankees brought minor league talent up through their very own farm system. These players included the core four (as mentioned before) as well center fielder Bernie Williams.
This years Yankees could resemble the 1996 team. Currently the Yankees have lots of talent brought in from outside, but many talented players in the minors who could give this 2011 Yankees team a boatload of needed help. Having a mixture of outside help and homegrown help breads success. Like the Yankees of the late 90’s look at the Red Sox.
They have traded and acquired players like David Ortiz, Josh Beckett, Adrian Gonzalez, John Lackey and Carl Crawford yet brought up just as many prospects from their farm system including, Dustin Pedroia, Jonathan Papelbon, Jon Lester Kevin Youkillis and Clay Buchholz.
Setting up a roster with a balanced approach of, outside help and homegrown help is the key to success. This approach has proven to be the winning approach time and time again. Looking at history, it looks like Cashman played his cards right this time.