LADY AT THE BAT: Decision Time For Yankees: Stay Or Go and What About A-Rod?

Friday, July 29, 2016

Decision Time For Yankees: Stay Or Go and What About A-Rod?

Aroldis Chapman getting traded was going to happen no matter what.

For much of the season the Yankees seemed to be headed for a trade deadline sell off, something they haven't done for decades and in fact,  have rarely been done dating back to the days when the deadline was June 15th. Regardless of their position in the standings, trading Chapman in his walk year made all the sense in the world. Too many teams needed a closer and Brian Cashman knew that trading Chapman would bring a major haul, despite Chapman  being a two month rental for someone. The Cubs won the Chapman sweepstakes, sending the Yankees Adam Warren, a reliable swing man familiar to all Yankees fans, and three prospects.

So with the Yankees maintaining their status as on-the-fringe contenders, thanks to a July surge, where do they go from here? Clearly, they are not sellers, but if they were blown a way with an offer, say for Andrew Miller, they might be enticed to do just about anything. And therein lies the rub. In the  Chapman trade, the return was a quality and very  useful major leaguer (Warren) and some serious minor league talent,  Cashman was able to convince ownership that this trade not only benefited the Yankees for the long haul but kept the Yankees in the race for the post season by trading from strength. their  bullpen. As with Chapman, contracts are also expiring for Carlos Beltran and Ivan Nova. If Cashman could sell off either or both for prospects, what would stop him from trading for young controllable replacements, from their suddenly deeper farm system? This is something ownership might approve.

It may be that the Yankees won't do anything significant from here to the deadline, and it  won't be from lack of trying. Taking the buy/sell angle a little further opens the door for a lot of possibilities, and this is what Cashman does well,. He agrees to trades that are clearly under the radar. So trade Beltran, if you can find a younger more controllable bat for the middle of the order at the same time.

Which brings us to Alex Rodriguez. .Benched for several days against right handed starters and one lefty, Dallas Keuchel, A-Rod may or may not see action against Tampa Bay left handers scheduled to start on Saturday and Sunday. If he is in the lineup against the left handers, then we know A-Rod is back to his platoon designated hitter role against left handers. If not, then it seems that there really isn't much use having A-Rod on the roster. But he is owed a ton of money for the rest of 2016 and all of next season and is four home runs shy of 700. Of course, it is widely accepted throughout baseball that you can't hit home runs while sitting on the bench. There have been rumors of the Yankees cutting A-Rod altogether. It would certainly add roster flexibility regardless of who you summon form the minors or acquire in a trade. It just seems to make a lot of sense to make the move and jettison a player who hit 41 years of age this week and it has been pointed out elsewhere, hasn't really hit much since hitting 40 last July.

But while the A-Rod scenario doesn't appear likely, a sell off of a player or two for minor leaguers is not out of the question. It is very likely ownership wants Cashman to make the necessary counter moves to keep the Yankees in the race, tenuous as it is.

The next few days should prove interesting.

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