It's never happened. During the era of tanking in July since about 1995, the Yankees have never been a team that dumps players. This could be the season not only of discontent but of capitulation.
Some Yankee fans have been calling for general manager Brian Cashman to trade one of the three headed monster relief pitchers: Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller or Aroldis Chapman. Or maybe 39 year old Carlos Beltran.
For that to happen Cashman would have to go into the office of CEO Hal Steinbrenner and admit failure. That would leave Cashman vulnerable to dismissal.
If the team does not improve a lot by the end of June, Cashman may be called into Steinbrenner's office to explain what the heck is wrong.
A couple of years ago I wrote a post stating that the Yankees had become just another team. Dumping players now would be the ultimate confirmation. The Steinbrenner Kids want to present a team that appears to be a contender every season. They do not build and now they do not spend. Between the 2015 and 2016 seasons the Yankees were the only team not to sign a free agent, not even an inexpensive one. I speculated that part of this was Cashman being petulant: Steinbrenner had forbidden him from signing expensive free agents and Cashman retaliated by signing none.
So what's the big deal? Don't all teams go through this? Haven't the Red Sox bounced around between being champions and being terrible. Currently, they look pretty good again.
One essential question is whether the Major Baseball League (MBL) can prosper with the Yankees being mediocre. The Mets are relieving some of that pressure by being good but that's not the same. It's not just a New York team being good but the Yankees being good.
Both the NFL and NBA seem to prosper with weak teams in New York. OK, Buffalo is the only NFL team in New York but the New Jersey Giants and Jets are near New York City and none of these three teams is anything special.
The NBA finals have seen Golden State win the first two games over Cleveland in Oakland, CA. Those teams defeated teams in Oklahoma City and Toronto. NBA players can now make big bucks playing in small market places and can ignore the charm of Manhattan and even Brooklyn.
Is the MBL hurt by a weak Yankee team?