Yankees should wave white flagBy Matt Verderame
The New York Yankees have been the most dominant team in the four major sports over their illustrious history. New York has won 27 World Series, far and away the most in Major League Baseball with the St. Louis Cardinals being a distant second.
However, the 28th title won’t be coming in 2016. The Yankees are sitting at 43-44 and while they are only 7.5 games out of first place in the American League East, there is nothing suggesting a big run is on the horizon. New York is an old team with some talent in certain spots, but for every good player there are another one or two mediocre-t0-bad ones.
General manager Brian Cashman has been conditioned never to sell and always to buy in the Big Apple. It’s all about keeping people pouring through the turnstiles in an effort to fill the Steinbrenner’s pockets. However, in this case, Cashman should sell and sell big time.
New York has some players it could move, but the time is now. Against all odds, starting pitcher CC Sabathia is having a minor renaissance of sorts at age 35, winning five games while posting a decent 3.77 ERA. Sabathia is in the last year of his deal with a vesting option of $25 million for 2017. Cashman should be doing all he can to push Sabathia onto another team, even if he has to eat some coin on the way out.
Carlos Beltran is another name which absolutely has to be on the way to a contender. Beltran, 39, is having a great year with a team-high in home runs with 19 and RBI at 55. He also has an expiring contract, so while the Yankees are not shedding any long-term salary here, they could get a nice prospect or two if a team is desperate for a solid bat with a great record in the postseason.
New York is never going to move the lengthy, cumbersome contracts of Jacoby Ellsbury and Brian McCann, but perhaps somebody will want Brett Gardner. Gardner, 32, is signed through the next two seasons at $12.5 million and $11.5 million which in this day and age, isn’t a terrible deal. While the outfielder is no longer who he once was, Gardner is still hitting .260 with a .356 on-base percentage and has 12 steals. Again, the Yankees might have to eat some of the salary, but he could fetch a young player for the future.
While it won’t be popular in New York, Cashman has to be prudent and make the right move for the long-term state of this franchise. The Yankees are old and in decline, and will continue to be that way without freeing up resources and cap space.
The time has come for Cashman to make some deals and forget the past.