Paint The Black

Baseball and Beyond

Shooting for Top of the Bottom

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The MLB middle class is threatening to  become non existent, and the Yanks are desperately fighting to  stay above the dreary MLB centrism that  afflicts so many of the 30 ball clubs ..

At the moment the Bronx Bombers prefer to  think  of themselves as the elite Top  of the Bottom

There is a trend that even  the stubborn / aristocratic NY Yankees have finally subscribed to, and that’s recognizing the fact that living as an 81 to 85 win team is professional baseball suicide

For 3 seasons, the Bombers have beaten  their fanbase into  mental  exhaustion by approving mediocrity in exchange for Deceptive Puffery… 

Starting in 2013 the Yanks attempted to  fuse the boundaries between false advertising and simply inflating the truth about their product, at least until  they  flipped Chappy, Miller, Beltran, Nova, and McCann here in 2016..

At least now we know the goal is youth, rebuilding a core, but still  ready to  spend to  the  Tax Penalty limit(s) on quality brand name players

Luxury Tax: Thresholds go from $189 million in the prior CBA in 2016 to $195 million in 2017, $197 million in 2018, $206 million in 2019, $208 million in 2020, and $210 million in 2021.

The one confusing message in this theory was signing Chapman for $17.2M, through the duration of the new 5 yr CBA

It tells us the Yanks are still  refusing a complete tear  down, and they’re shooting for the top of the bottom in 2017…They’re self projection is  an upper middle class team,  with a chance to sneak into  a WC game…

But in very fine, almost illegible  print, a disclaimer states

“Don’t be disappointed if we fall into the basement”..

Chapman will provide excitement at the end of games when he’s available for sure

My guess Cashman has envisioned Severino, Clippard, Betances, and Chappy as the Strength of the 2017 squad.. Adding an upgrade over Tommy Penny Layne at LHP, would give Psycho Joe 5 circle of trust weapon relievers

Warren, Mitchell, Green and Cessa could share a bull pen assignment / starter role.. “Let’s be honest” CyBorg Joe isn’t gonna allow any one of those 4 young pitchers to throw more then 85 pitches, or work deep into  the third time around a line up

It’s imperative they  have at least one spot in the rotation resigned to being a piggy back outing for two pitchers.. My guess Green, Mitchell, and Cessa still have options so there is flexibility.. One or two of those four could start  the season  at Triple A…

As for catching the juggernaut Red Sox

Boston lost David Ortiz, but they  added Chris Sale, so pick your poison.. That  said, they  still have some holes:

RHB heavy,

They replaced Ortiz’s offense with Moreland’s defense,  

Hot shot prospect Blake Swihart is a question mark at catcher,

 Former Fenway Fats, Pablo Sandoval, needs to  resort back to  his San Francisco Panda days,

Their bull pen  Kimbrel, Thornburg, Smith, Kelly, either Pomeranz or Buchholz, and whoever they  finish out the 12 man unit with, is still a question until Smith  regains his health, and Thornburg proves he can get it done outside of Milwaukee 

Ball of Confusion

The Yanks wasted 2013 by trying to get under the $189M  Lux Tax, but when it came to  promoting cheap help  out of the farm  system, guess what,  the cupboard was bare

The 2013 Yankees were a below-average team masquerading as a fringe wild card contender (a rather strange thing to masquerade as, if you ask me). That team gave over 1000 plate appearances to players like Jayson Nix, Chris Stewart, Lyle Overbay and Mark Reynolds. The pitching staff was more fortunate, but with Sabathia declining, Pettitte and Mariano Rivera retiring, and Hiroki Kuroda and Phil Hughes as free agents, the entire rotation was a question mark.

2014 became a complete dysfunctional season, it was the Derek Jeter swan  song tour where the Yanks were caught between a rock  and a hard place.. They had no minor league ready players to keep  cost and age to  a minimum, and once again the front office needed to invoke  the Steinbrenner Family Tradition of winning a Championship  of Bust

Jeter was a shell of his former self, and while his intrinsic / iconic name drew crowds in the Bronx and on the road, he insisted on batting at  the top of the order and there is nothing worse for a team then  a delusional SuperStar unaware his Glory Days were behind him

In an effort to  carry Jeter out in style, and once again Fake a Playoff Run, Hal  foolishly spent $471M 

Despite much consternation over trying to stay under the $189 million luxury tax threshold, New York once again made their presence known on the free agent market. The signings of Masahiro Tanaka, Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann, and Carlos Beltran represented another staggering, near half a billion dollar investment. In contrast with the 2009 free agent spree, this 2014 splurge was far from ideal.


While the 2014 spending splurge certainly improved the Yankees, it didn’t actually provide the team with players it needed. Ellbsury is a bust, especially with Gardner providing his stats for half the money…Beltran gave the Yanks 1 decent season and Dillon Tate…  

Outside of McCann who  sort of addressed a need, the infield was neglected, Cano left for the Mariners, Rodriguez was suspended, and Jeter and Teixeira had just missed large portions of the 2013 season, leaving the infield a disaster.

Tanaka  filled a need in the rotation, but the  rest  of the staff was still riddled with holes, gambling  Pineda and Shane Greene.

With more and more teams inking their younger stars to extensions prior to free agency, the market is left with fewer slam dunk options, so  the Yanks foolishly spent top  dollar on past their prime players.

Truly elite players under the age of 30, like Sabathia and Teixeira were in 09, rarely are allowed to reach free agency (though that might change in 2018).

Anyway the Yanks went a full  360 in 2016 and signed NO free agents… They have found solid core players in D-Gregorius  and possibly Sanchez..

Cashman a crop of young men that  will get a chance to become the next Yankee Core in Bird, Judge, Austin, and hopefully by July, Frazier is manning left field

Castro is a nice bridge to  both Torres and Andujar.. Headley will have to  stay put unless Cashman trades him and brings back a cheaper alternative 1 or 2 yr bridge at the hot corner

Gardner is a commodity Cashman is trying to  morph into  a decent prospect / young team controlled player… It’s unclear if losing his $13M AAV over the 2017 /18  seasons are more important then getting back equal value?

The prevailing wisdom is Gardner will be working someplace other then  the Bronx by August 2017… Will  the Yanks have to pay some of his remaining $25M in cash, or will  they  find a sucker to  take the whole package, while NY takes back a PTBNL


Written by Sal

December 12, 2016 at 9:05 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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