Through 75 games, the Yankees have throughly established themselves as a completely mediocre team. We have now well entered the period of the season where “small sample size” is no longer a verifiable excuse, and mediocrity is what emirates out of the Bronx in 2016. And that’s fine. One could easily argue that the Yankees haven’t been a situation like this since 1991. That’s a helluva fucking run for any professional sports franchise, and if mediocrity is the worst thing that happens at the end of that run, consider yourselves Miles Davis.
Although many believe the Yankees to be the exception to the rule of “sellers,” including their owners, the reality is that being sellers this trade deadline is what will position the Yankees best competitively and marketing wise moving forward.
Consider this: The Yankees attendance numbers have steadily decreased since their World Series defending season in 2010. They currently sit at 5th in the league in terms of attendance. Attendance is the No.1 reason ownership refuses to sell at the deadline. What do you think is going to get more asses in the seats next year? Running out the substantially same mediocre roster as this season, or selling off intriguing assets to get some high impact prospects to compete moving forward?
Aroldis Chapman, Andrew Miller and Carlos Beltran are VERY enticing options for teams in the thick of the playoff race. For teams going all in and have deep farm systems (Cubs, Indians, Giants) this could be the Yanks time to strike while the iron’s hot. Capitalize on demand while the supply is bountiful, rejuvenate and already reinvigorated minor league system and add some pop to a perpetually aging team in 2017. Sure, the Yanks have an outside chance at making the playoffs as a wild card for the second consecutive year. They could very realistically compete to win 84 games or more for the billionth year in a row. But what does that all matter in the grand scheme of things? Is the club a true contender for a title? Do the attendance numbers even counteract that notion? The obvious answer is, NO.
If you know standing pat is going to result in the same attendance numbers as 2016, why not shake things up and actually maximize your team’s competitive value? Sure, it seems simple to many of us. But in Steinbrenner land it isn’t. The next month of the season will be telling for the Yanks. There’s no doubt that they will continue to tread water, but maybe GM Brian Cashman will be able to
pull of the biggest heist in Yankees contemporary history and swindle the souls of the Steinbrenners…