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Sunday, July 3, 2016

Yankees are not likely to be sellers. They should be buyers.

The Yankees are two games under .500 but only four games out of a wild card spot in the tournament. If that is roughly their position near the end of July, the Yankees will probably be buyers, not sellers.

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:

201626New York Yankees$7,857,1435.150
201727New York Yankees$9,857,143
201828New York Yankees$10,857,143
201929New York Yankees$11,857,143
202030New York Yankees*$16,000,000$16M Team Option, $1M Buyout
Earliest Free Agent: 2020
3B: Yangervis Solarte $525,000 in 2016. Headley:

201531New York Yankees$13,000,0006.123contracts
201632New York Yankees$13,000,0007.123
201733New York Yankees$13,000,000
201834New York Yankees$13,000,000
Earliest Free Agent: 2019
So, for the $20 million or so that the Yankees are wasting on Castro and Headley they could be paying all or part of the salary of a player who could be making an impact sufficient to put this .500 team into the tournament.

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