While the team is mediocre and has no foundation, adding a good starting pitcher could get them into the tournament and provide support for their number one starter Masahiro Tanaka, who lost the wild card game last season.
The conventional wisdom among the unimaginative is to assume that the Yankees will trade one or two of their one inning bullpen aces: Aroldis Chapman and/or Andrew Miller. The third, Dellin Betances, is worth the most because he is paid the least and is still under club control. Miller is paid a reasonable amount and Chapman the most, plus Chapman is a free agent after the season, so he is a one inning every other game two month rental. Could the Yankees get a significant prospect for Chapman? That seems very doubtful.
So why toss in the towel for what would likely be bodies but not substantive talent, which could form a foundation on which to build? The Yankees are better off spending to bolster their aging overpaid team and then actually doing something during the next off season. In the previous, the Yankees were the only one of the thirty teams to not sign a free agent, not even an inexpensive free agent. My take is that general manager Brian Cashman was being petulant in reacting to an edict from Hal Steinbrenner to not sign any expensive free agents. I think that Cashman decided to do the functional equivalent of holding his breath. Just another reason that Cashman should be fired. Here are more.
2016 OPS+ ranks among:
2B: Starlin Castro 22 of 23
3B: Chase Headley 23 of 23
SS: Didi Gregorius 15 of 26
Gregorius is mentioned in case Yankee fans are blinded by his recent surge at the plate. He's still only middle of the pack among his peers. Gregorius is being paid $2.4 million in 2016 and is arbitration eligible for 2017. However, the Yankees could have used these players out there instead of Castro and Headley:
2B: Rob Refsnyder paid in 2016 the minimum of about half a million dollars prorated. Castro:
|2016||26||New York Yankees||$7,857,143||5.150|
|2017||27||New York Yankees||$9,857,143|
|2018||28||New York Yankees||$10,857,143|
|2019||29||New York Yankees||$11,857,143|
|2020||30||New York Yankees||*$16,000,000||$16M Team Option, $1M Buyout|
|Earliest Free Agent: 2020|
|2015||31||New York Yankees||$13,000,000||6.123||contracts|
|2016||32||New York Yankees||$13,000,000||7.123|
|2017||33||New York Yankees||$13,000,000|
|2018||34||New York Yankees||$13,000,000|
|Earliest Free Agent: 2019|