In the history of the Yankees franchise, there has never been a sell-off quite like this one. General manager Brian Cashman executed a series of moves designed to move the Yankees in a backward trajectory, at least for the immediate future, with the hopes of one day rekindling a once iconic dynasty.
But let’s not act like the Yankees gave away any players they had hoped would be the center pieces of future championship teams. I’ll go through each player individually.
The first player to go was Aroldis Chapman, a flame throwing closer who can dial it up to 105 miles per hour and is easily the hardest throwing pitcher the sport has ever seen. Well, Chapman was going to be a free agent after the season, and he’s already expressed interest in signing with the Yankees this offseason.
So for a team that wasn’t talented enough to make a run at the World Series, moving a player like Chapman who was on an expiring contract for several highly regarded prospects and who you might be able to re-acquire over the winter was a no-brainer.
The Andrew Miller move was the hardest blow to take since he won’t be a free agent until after the 2018 season, so any aspirations of seeing him wearing pinstripes again will have to be held off for a few years. Miller though easily had the greatest trade value as a result of his contract situation which was why the Yankees were able to get such a major for haul in return for him.
Let’s call it what it is. Miller is an expendable player, meaning the Yankees won’t have too much trouble finding somone who can slide into his vacated role with the team. The trio of Adam Warren, Tyler Clippard and Luis Severino, at least for this season since the hope is Severino will one day return to the rotation, can fill the Miller role admirably.
And Miller is not the kind of player you build a championship team around. He’s someone who can be the final piece of a championship team, a position the Yankees were clearly not in at this present moment which is why trading him was the right decision for Brian Cashman to make.
Trading Carlos Beltran, who at the age of 39 and in the final year of his three-year deal with the Yankees, was another easy call to make. With the Yankees pulling out of contention, there was no sense in holding onto a player like Beltran when a team who’s going all in like the Rangers is willing to give away 2015 No. 4 overall pick Dillon Tate as well as two other complimentary pieces in exchange for him, despite Tate’s struggles in the minors this season.
I’m sure Brian Cashman and the Yankees scouting staff did their homework on Tate and know something other people in the sport don’t (or at least that’s what I’m banking on).
Like Chapman, Beltran will be a free agent after this season and has talked about his desire to re-sign with the Yankees over the offseason, not that the Yankees would want an aging 40-year-old on their roster, but still.
Then there’s Ivan Nova who’s inconsistency was just too much to take. In his six-year Yankees career, Nova was a not too shabby 53-39, a possibly over inflated mark when you consider his 4.41 career ERA and 4.90 ERA in 15 starts this season. Nova once showed signs of possibly being a front of the rotation starter, but those days are long over.
Nova was not part of the Yankees future and a change of scenery, especially to the National League where his style is much better suited, was the best move for all parties involved.
To recap, there’s a strong chance Chapman will be back next season, Beltran will be 40 next April and could also be back, the Andrew Miller haul was too good to not pull the trigger and Ivan Nova proved to be an insufficient member of a pitching staff.
And as a result of these moves, the Yankees are now regarded as having one of the top three farm systems in all of baseball after dealing players they didn’t envision as integral parts of their future anyway.