Times they are a changing in the Bronx. Since 1995, the Yankees have been in playoff contention until late September in every season they’ve played. That won’t be happening in 2016 (barring an insane miracle), something that became official with Brian Cashman’s moves on MLB trade deadline day.
Even after the Yankees traded Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman in the days leading up to the trade deadline, the odds of the team competing for a playoff spot surprisingly did not take that much of a hit, at least in my mind.
It’s fair to say that because the Yankees so rarely had the lead after six innings that the main strength of the team, the “No Runs DMC” trio, couldn’t be utilized so unless the offense suddenly picked up, the team wasn’t going to make the playoffs anyway. That all changed Monday when the Yankees sent Carlos Beltran to the Rangers and on a much lower-level, traded Ivan Nova to the Pirates for two players to be named later.
Beltran, the Yankees’ lone position player to make the AL All-Star team, was shipped off to Texas in exchange for Dillon Tate, the No. 4 overall pick in the 2015 MLB draft, as well as minor league pitchers Erik Swanson and Nick Green.
Entering Monday, Beltran was far and away the Yankees most productive offensive player, leading the team in virtually every major category with a .304 batting average, 22 home runs, 64 RBIs and 109 hits. The only major category Beltran was not leading in was on-base percentage, with Brett Gardner’s .351 OBP being seven points higher than Beltran’s.
So with Beltran out of the fold, the Yankees offense takes an enormous step backward along with the team’s chances at the playoffs.
It’s a tough reality Yankee fans, especially ones like me who have known nothing but meaningful baseball in September and into October, to deal with.
But it’s something that had to happen eventually, and patience is now the operative word for the fan base as they wait to see the likes of the newly acquired prospects Clint Frazier, Gleyber Torres, Dillon Tate, Billy McKinney and Justus Sheffield, and current prospects Jorge Mateo, Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez one day make their presents felt in the Bronx.