With the onset of the wild card in 1995, the New York Yankees have found themselves playing October baseball from 1995-2012 with the only exception occurring in 2008. During that tenure, the Bronx Bombers added five more World Series titles and turned Joe Torre from a losing manager into a Hall of Famer. As the players responsible for many of those titles aged and left the organization, the Yanks were able to stay in playoff contention year after year. Even though Joe Girardi's ballclub did not make the playoffs, the franchise was still able to have a winning record in 2013-14 and made a postseason cameo in the Wild Card Game in 2015.
While many organizations would be satisfied with obtaining similar success the Yankees have achieved for the last two decades, the Yankees have a different mission statement. The goal every year has been not to win the division or be above .500 but raise a World Series pennant. And even the most optimistic Yankee fan will have to say that the Yankees will not be in the Fall Classic in 2016.
In the last two decades, Brian Cashman and the Yankees front office would be considered buyers at the trade deadline and try to acquire big name talent such as Cecil Fielder in 1996 or Bobby Abreu in 2006 to put the team in position to add another title to the Yankees’ collection. The 2016 edition of the Yankees are trending in the wrong direction and could end up being the first losing Yankee team since Buck Showalter’s first year in 1992. Because of the Pinstripes poor record, it seems fathomable that the Yankees would need to be sellers in this year’s trade market.
Who Can The Yankees Move
Now who can the Yankees trade? With the makeup of the current Yankee roster, there is a surplus of talent in the back end of the bullpen which consists of Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller, and Aroldis Chapman. Ironically enough, the back end of the bullpen is most effective when the Bombers have a lead and unfortunately that has happened on a much less regular basis in 2016 for Yankee fans. Out of this talented trio, the best option to move could be Chapman because Chapman would be a free agent after the 2016 season and the smart choice would be to trade Chapman for assets instead of having Chapman walk as a free agent
Carlos Beltran is also another Yankee that could find himself playing for a new team before the trade deadline of July 31st. Beltran could be a tougher move for three reasons. First, Beltran has a no-trade clause to 15 of the Major League teams as reported by ESPN.com’s Buster Olney. Second, Beltran is 39 years old, and not many teams outside of New York would feel comfortable exchanging assets for an aging star. Third is, Beltran’s play in the outfield, as Beltran’s defensive skills have deteriorated from the three-time Gold Glover he once was. The best trade fit for Beltran would be an American League team where Beltran could be a full-time switch-hitting designated hitter.
Cashman and the Yankees’ brass also need to make sure they get a positive return for whatever transaction is made. A model example is the New York Mets and Toronto Blue Jays trade in December 2012 when the Mets shipped off R.A. Dickey and received Travis d'Arnaud and Noah Syndergaard. Mets management took a risk trading away a pitcher who was coming off his best season in the majors in Dickey but was rewarded by receiving a frontline starter in Syndergaard who can lead a rotation and a solid catcher behind the plate in d’Arnaud. Yankee Universe would be ecstatic if the Yanks are able to transform Beltran/Chapman for prospects that develop into a legit number one starter or starting 3rd baseman that helps drive the franchise to future glory. And this 2016 looks bleak it would be a logical move to trade the present for a better future.