Trust the Yankees 'rebuild and simultaneously compete' process

Brian Cashman no longer has the unlimited budget to build a winner in New York as he once did. Though, he still faces the same pressure from the New York media, the Yankee fan base, and most of all his bosses, to be a contender year in and year out. There certainly have been growing pains under the new Hal Steinbrenner way of operating. Over the past four seasons, the Yanks have only seen the playoffs once and it was an abbreviated appearance, losing a one game wildcard playoff to the Astros in 2015. The idea of the Yankees NOT making the playoffs year in and year out is a difficult one for some of the most spoiled fans in all of sports. But this recent spell should not be considered a knock on Cashman, as much as it is on the “old guard.”
Photo Credit: Brad Penner | USA TODAY Sports

Please don’t get me wrong. I loved George Steinbrenner. Like I really LOVED George Steinbrenner.  In fact, I think it’s a travesty that he didn’t get voted into the Hall of Fame. He put NOTHING ahead of winning at all costs. As a fan, there isn’t much more you could ask for. But under George, Cashman really couldn’t shine as one of the great baseball minds that he is. There was no focus on the farm system or clever deadline deals. It was just spend, spend, spend. What I am about to say may seem crazy, but could it be possible that Cashman will fare better without the bloated budget? 

Just hear me out. When The Boss was around, Cashman didn’t have much choice in the offseason. The Yanks were in on every big name, no questions asked. Now, Cashman has to be conservative and do his homework before even spending a dime. What I’m trying to say is, take a page out of the Philadelphia 76ers book (preferably Joel Embiid's chapter) and trust the process. The faith I have in Cashman is not blind. We all know about the plethora of elite prospects he brought in at the deadline this year, but here are some other moves he’s made in the past five years to benefit the Yankees that went way under the radar for the most part.
  • 2010: Traded Andrew Shive and Matt Cusick to Cleveland for Kerry Wood
  • 2011: Trade Jesus Montero and Hector Noesi to Seattle for Michael Pineda
  • 2012: Traded D.J. Mitchell and Danny Farquhar to Seattle for Ichiro Suzuki
  • 2014: Traded Shane Green in three-team deal to Detroit for Didi Gregorius
    • Traded Vidal Nuno to Arizona for Brandon McCarthy
    • Traded Yangervis Solarte and Rafael De Paula to San Diego for Chase Headley
  • 2015: Traded Brendan Ryan and Adam Warren to the Chicago Cubs for Starlin Castro
    • Traded Justin Wilson to Detroit for Luis Cessa and Chad Green
    • Traded Rookie Davis, Eric Jagielo, Caleb Cotham and Tony Renda to Cincinnati for Aroldis Chapman
  • 2016: Traded Aroldis Chapman to the Chicago Cubs for Gleyber Torres, Adam Warren, Billy MckKinney and Rashad Crawford
    • Traded Andrew Miller to Cleveland for Clint Frazier, Justus Sheffield, Ben Heller and J.P. Feyereisen
    • Traded Carlos Beltran to Texas for Dillon Tate, Nick Green, and Erik Swanson
    • Traded Ivan Nova to Pittsburgh for Tito Polo and Stephen Tarpley
Sure, none of these additions are going to get their ticket punched to Cooperstown any time soon, but you cannot argue the fact that they are either important current contributors to the youth movement or past contributors to the team. On top of that, you’ll see he didn’t give up much to get any of them, nor did he have the luxury of having a rich farm system to work with until this season. It was necessary to take a step back in order to take a step forward. We still may be a couple years away from being back in the category of World Series contender, but you can bet that this time around, we will be there to stay for the long haul. The combination of young, affordable talent and money that will free-up should put the Yankees in the mix for another decade of long postseason runs. Until then, sit back and let Brian Cashman do what he does best, and trust the process.

Article by: Jesse Bartley

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