This six-game home stand has not been kind to the Yankees after just two games. With the Yankees losing nine of their last ten and leaving the rest of the season in question, it appears obvious that general manager Brian Cashman will look to shake things up heading towards the trade deadline, and the smart thing for Cashman to do with this shake up is to create a youth movement.
Against the Texas Rangers in the first two games of this series, the Yankees have allowed a total of 25 runs. In the first game, Michael Pineda’s night started off smooth, but hit a road block in the third when he allowed seven runs, contributed by several fielding mistakes and errors (four of those runs were credited as earned runs). In Saturday’s matinee, C.C. Sabathia’s day ended after just 2.1 innings, and the Rangers once again had a big frame in the third, this time scoring ten runs, six of them credited as earned runs toward Sabathia.
These kinds of innings are what has been killing the Yankees defensively. However, to the Yankees credit, they nearly overcame that seven-run deficit on Friday with the final score being 10-9 Rangers. It is comforting to know that the offense is not also part of the Yankees’ problems, but even to the outside observer, it appears that with the hole the Yankees are in right now, they are compromising their fielding for the sake of their players’ bats.
With that said, Cashman and Joe Girardi are going to look at who they can use as leverage for possible trades and attempt to cash in at the trade deadline. Considering they are contractually obligated with Alex Rodriguez until 2017, a smart move for them to make is to bring in some younger talent, give them experience, then once A-Rod is out of the picture, go out and buy more talent to add to their already-talented core, in a style reminiscent of what they did back in 1998 for example.
Now I’m not saying they should sell the house for some unknown 20-year-olds from some team’s AA farm squad, but if they can trade some of their older players for a few players who are well along in their twenties, it wouldn’t be a bad idea. One player that comes to mind here is none other than Carlos Beltran. The 38-year-old, whose best fielding days appear to be over but whose bat is still there, is under contract until 2016 with an annual salary of $15 million.
If you have been listening to the trade rumours, a team that may make a move at the deadline is the Colorado Rockies, and outfielder Carlos Gonzalez has been mentioned as possible trade bait. If the Yankees were to work something out where they can acquire Gonzalez in exchange for Beltran, that would be doing some good, and New York can have a solid outfield with Brett Gardner in left, Jacoby Ellsbury in center and Gonzalez in right. Also, if they can try to do something similar with a trade involving Stephen Drew and/or Chase Headley, it can be of definite help.
Another good move the Yankees should consider is to continue giving their younger players more game time. While Didi Gregorius still has to master the shortstop position with the Yankees, his two home runs this series, his first two of the season, has gotten him some praise and support. While filling in for Ellsbury, Slade Heathcott has been making himself known to the team, going 2-for-3 in his first career start Friday and driving in a run in Saturday’s game. Though Jose Pirela has not been given as fair a chance to play as much as Gregorius has, he still has to make the most out of his time when he does play and maybe that can open the door for him as well.
With players like these in the Yankees’ arsenal, the Yankees should look to keep them around and active as much as possible. Obviously Gregorius is here to stay, but if Heathcott continues to show promise, maybe he can stay on as an alternate outfielder, though when Ellsbury returns he may get sent back down to AAA and develop some more. But with this in mind, the Yankees may have something here with a youth movement if they decide to pursue it.