"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Cleveland Rush


graphic credit: mashthebuttons.com

So it appears that the Cleveland Indians believe they have what it takes to knock the hustle on the reigning World Series champion Kansas City Royals by fulfilling the wish of most Yankee fans (around here, at least) and trading for their All Star closer Andrew Miller. Yep, Cleveland beat out all comers to go for the gold, as it were.  Cashman, to his credit this season, had managed to acquire the top relieving talent in the AL and has been seemingly wise in what has to be a real first for Yankeedom; bartering good MLB players for good prospects.  Seriously, how often has this even happened, never mind worked out well for the Yankees in their history? The closest I could come up with (or at least the most recent example) was when the Yanks traded starting pitcher Doc Medich for, among others, up-and-coming rookie Willie Randolph in December 1975. That seemed to work out pretty well, if I recall. However, the Yanks have had a strong tendency as well know to be on the opposite side of the spectrum when dealing with prospects; usually giving away prospects (whom a lot of times turn into All Star talent) in exchange for OPP or middling MLB players who either break few waves or write regrettable footnotes in Yankee history.  Is it not fair to think of Jose Rijo, Fred McGriff, Jay Buhner  and other Yankee prospects from the early 80s (well into G. Steinbrenner’s reign of terror as Yankees overlord owner)  ending up as perennial All-Stars and borderline HoFers on other teams because of an incessant need for overvalued or ill-suited veterans led by shell-shocked or bi-polar managers who entered and departed like the steamy vapors of Old Faithful. HOw many of us felt the burn in those times, good times…

But this: unprecedented in nature and in scale.  Instead of discarding a useful veteran or cashing in a bunch of great prospects for a two-month playoff push in the hopes that they can catch the same lightning that David Justice brought with him many moons ago, instead of shuttling off a headache or embarrassment for the tender mercies of their trade partner’s leftovers, the Yanks have practically admitted something obvious to the entirety of the Yankee universe: rebuilding is a viable option.

Rebuild.  What a strange, funny little word that has for so long struck terror in the hearts of fans and administration alike, but somehow has managed to bring us a sense of relief in that now this team has a definitive plan, a course of action that says to all who observe that yes, the team does recognize the signs and has decided to focus on what lies ahead.  There are too many holes to patch, too much money in the pit and much more time on our hands than we know what to do with. But Cashman, the de facto Leader of the New School, somehow got the okay to look forward and trade a couple of his cash cows for some magic beans. And let’s be real, this is what they really are for now… so who are these magic beans exactly?

Clint Frazier; No. 2 prospect in the Cleveland Indians organization, an outfielder and No. 5 pick overall in 2013 (nj.com)

Justus Sheffield: No. 3 prospect of the organization, LH Starter in A-Ball, but no, he is NOT related to Gary Sheffield (contrary to this and other reports, it has been asserted as a myth) (nj.com)

And for gits and shiggles, they threw in a couple more minor league cheeseheads, Triple-A reliever Ben Heller and Double-A reliever J.P. Feyereisen. (yeah you guessed it, nj.com)

What does it all mean? Well, Cleveland’s obviously going for it, and they think highly enough of Miller that they can afford to give up at least two prized prospects to get him.  Good for Miller, he’s a very stand-up guy who deserves a shot at a ring during his prime, but while deserve’s got nothing to do with it, pundits are now seeing Cleveland as a true contender (the Royals seemingly spit the bit early on with injuries to key players and sub-par replacements) who will likely be waiting at the gate while Toronto, Baltimore, Texas and Houston figure out their respective positions. Provided that Miller stays healthy the rest of the way and Terry Francona doesn’t suddenly lose his mojo in the clubhouse, the playoff push promises to be pretty interesting.  For the Yanks: The future is now for one Dellin Betances (provided he doesn’t get traded himself, which doesn’t seem likely at this point, but we are treading unfamiliar waters here). If he stays, he will now get the chance to lock down the closer position for years to come; a position that was inherently his from the moment he came up, but required (and may still require) some seasoning before he could fully embrace it.  He’s got about two months. For the rest of the team, it’s put up or shut up.  The White Flag has been raised, the retooling begins.  Time to analyze who has an actual future with this team in 2017 or even within the next couple of months.  Do they sit down a couple of under-performing players and bring up kids to test them out? Does the hype of these major trades invigorate provoke the rest into Super Saiyin mode and they go on a .750 tear the rest of the way and burst into the playoffs as the most dynamic team this side of hydrogen and oxygen? Or do they play with their shoelaces the rest of the way? Perhaps a little from column A, B and C?

At any rate, this has been likely the most interesting part of the season to date.  So long, A. Chapman, so long A. Miller; you’ve both been great here and we thank you for keeping most of us at least peripherally interested in what’s happening at that mall we call Yankee Stadium nowadays, but it’s time to go forth and make history for your new teams (both Cleveland and the Chicago Cubs having a good chance to make big history by winning it all). while Betances holds down the fort and waits for the new arrivals to mature along with him and bring forth an interesting and perhaps exciting new era of baseball in New York; the likes of which we haven’t seen since the mid 90s perhaps? If so, it will likely change the narrative we’ve had on one Brian Cashman and cement his place in baseball not only as a visionary executive, but a legendary survivor.  Too much, too soon? It’s okay, we just made a couple of big trades that we don’t ordinarily do, as if they finally listened to us and said, “Eh, why not?”

We can afford a little bit of euphoria for a minute. We shall see.

Categories:  1: Featured  Chyll Will  Trade Rumors  Yankees

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1 seamus   ~  Jul 31, 2016 11:44 am

Waking up to this and while it seems like a solid trade. But damn, that was the strength of our team. So now we really, really suck. Can we at least trade McCann now? I know, it's unlikely. But a boy can dream.

Also, the Yankee Clippard is back. Maybe not at the ideal time of his career. But clearly we needed a bullpen arm so I guess that makes sense.

2 Chyll Will   ~  Jul 31, 2016 12:01 pm

[1] Read about Clippard, forgot it immediately. I almost thought they would try to take on Ian Kennedy and his failtract if KC decided to cover most of it for, say, Nova and a minor arm, but it wouldn't move the meter for either side. If McCann's not gone by tomorrow, it's not gonna happen, but look towards Cleveland again since they got blocked by Jonathan Lucroy in a potential trade.

3 seamus   ~  Jul 31, 2016 12:25 pm

[2] I saw that about Lucroy. Crossing my fingers....

Game is on. one out on a fly out. Then a quick ground out back to Pineda.

4 seamus   ~  Jul 31, 2016 12:32 pm

Our friends WPIX is all over the McCann trade talk. All just vacant speculation of course.

5 seamus   ~  Jul 31, 2016 12:33 pm

4 Yankees strike outs in a row. This team hurts my eyes.

6 seamus   ~  Jul 31, 2016 12:40 pm

I actually didn't realize the trade deadline was tomorrow. Makes sense but I haven't been paying attention. So still time!

7 seamus   ~  Jul 31, 2016 12:55 pm

Pineda plays with fire but survives. Next?

8 seamus   ~  Jul 31, 2016 2:01 pm

I started daydreaming but Beltran with the 2 run dinger. So a 3-2 game.

9 thelarmis   ~  Jul 31, 2016 2:22 pm

Maile it in, Mike. Who the hell is Luke Maile anyway? Well, I guess he's a baseball player. Why do all the AP photos end the captions with ...during a baseball game? I mean, duh.

That IBB should draw out RIY.

And speaking of Rush, I'm playing Tom Sawyer on a gig tonight!

10 RIYank   ~  Jul 31, 2016 2:53 pm

I'm kind and of Internet inaccessible, but passing through a hotspot and checking in.
Thanks for the summary Will. I choose"a little from column A, B, C, and I totally agreethat the overwhelming feeling is relief. This year is a washout, I can't see next year being very good... But the middle future is looking much brighter.

11 thelarmis   ~  Jul 31, 2016 3:09 pm

a-rod just pinch hit...and struck out yet again. i think that's 5 in a row. i wonder if he'll actually get released...

12 thelarmis   ~  Jul 31, 2016 3:10 pm

halos made TWO outs at the plate in the 1st against the shit sox. feh!

13 thelarmis   ~  Jul 31, 2016 3:12 pm

wow. swept by a last place club. brutal.

14 Chyll Will   ~  Jul 31, 2016 3:42 pm

[10], [13] The writing was on the wall from before the beginning of this series, there's really no escaping .500 with this roster. All things considered, they sold pretty high; fairly unusual for the Yanks. Now they can work on the next three seasons... you can only take this kind of crap for so long.

But remember, this is all potential. Like with Montero and Pineda, it all depends on how they do when their time comes. I hope the new guys can all leap the firewall between SWB and the Bronx; it's not been easy for any of our prospects.

15 rbj   ~  Jul 31, 2016 4:50 pm

Spent all day driving. On interstates. Looks like I got off easy. Glad to see Miller traded for prospects. It's called reality therapy.

Cubs vs. Cleveland in the Whirled Serious: Miller vs. Chapman.

16 seamus   ~  Jul 31, 2016 5:36 pm

I complain but the truth is that it was easier to watch this team play mediocre baseball knowing that we had some real talent coming to town. Even if a few years down the road.

17 Mr OK Jazz Tokyo   ~  Aug 1, 2016 3:29 am

Very pleased with this news (though sad to see Miller go, who couldn't love that guy??). Cashman may still have some tricks up his sleeve...Beltran and McCann? Maybe Gardner?

And anyone with a connection to Straw or Sheff is OK in my book. Excited to see him pitch in 2017.

18 RIYank   ~  Aug 1, 2016 4:53 am

I don't think this Sheffield is related to those guys, actually.

19 Chyll Will   ~  Aug 1, 2016 7:19 am

[18] Weird. The article I cited said he was, but Wikipedia says "contrary to popular belief..." and a few others say it's a myth. Smart move to say he isn't whether he is or not; why force unreasonable expectations on the kid? I'll take it out.

20 RIYank   ~  Aug 1, 2016 8:57 am

I think Mike Axisa said this kid was a nephew, but then later Mike found out he was mistaken.

21 Evil Empire   ~  Aug 1, 2016 10:45 am

I’m so happy that the deadline is today.  I hope Beltran gets traded for a good prospect.  He’s played great this year – awesome slash line. He deserves to go to the playoffs where he’s a great hitter.  I hope they get something good for him and, if not, they should hold him.  I’d be cool with seeing them move Nova (though he probably has not value now) and McCann. There are 3 other guys that could possibly get moved – Eovaldi, Pineda and Gardner.
Before the Miller trade I was worried the Yanks might win 3 down in Tampa. They lost 2 and off Mr. Miller went.  I love it. If you can’t win, this is how you rebuild.  They signed Miller for a good contract and flipped him for 2 elite prospects and 2 useful parts. They used Chapman’s domestic violence issue to obtain him from the Reds for some non-prospects and turned around and flipped him for 1 elite prospect and 1 useful part.
They drafted a high-end guy in Rutherford. They still have some good prospects who are close to the MLB (Judge, Sanchez, Mateo and Kaprielian) and some young MLB-ready guys in Bird, Severino, and Refsnyder. 
And when they get that dead money off the books, the Yanks should get an occasional free agent too, but hopefully they’ll be final pieces. I can’t make this season about the playoffs, but it’s fun to watch rebuilding happening

23 seamus   ~  Aug 1, 2016 1:53 pm

And mlb Network says we have traded Beltran to the Ranger for a top pitcher (4th overall from last year's draft).

24 Evil Empire   ~  Aug 1, 2016 3:00 pm

[23] apparently the pitcher is Dillon Tate. He's a righty and was ranked #4 by Baseball Prospectus on the Rangers prospects coming into this season. He's a converted closer who's now a starter. He's struggled this year in A-Ball. He's dropped out of the top 100 prospects list. Maybe he'll bounce back.

25 seamus   ~  Aug 1, 2016 3:01 pm

[24] Hopefully. Nova to Pirates just announced too.

26 GaryfromChevyChase   ~  Aug 1, 2016 3:03 pm

Happy for Beltran. Getting 3 kids for a rental is pretty sharp. Any word on what they got for Nova?

27 seamus   ~  Aug 1, 2016 3:13 pm

[26] Player to be named later apparently. I imagine it'll be a B level prospect.

28 Evil Empire   ~  Aug 1, 2016 5:19 pm

Cashman really played this season well by cornering the market on lefty closers. He tried to put together a team that could win, and when he saw they couldn't, he got real value from the closers and Beltran. Great work by him.

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
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