The main Achilles heel in the Yankees organization hasn’t been the starting pitching, bullpen or even the offense. It’s their lack of young talent in the Yankees farm system. However, this offseason the Yankees finally started a youth movement and have made trades that brought back young quality arms–and a very young shortstop.
“We’re much deeper now,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said to FOX Sports. “We’re much more flexible. We’re younger, more diverse.”
The Yankees newest young major league talent is shortstop Didi Gregorius, who the Yankees acquired via a three-team trade earlier this offseason to replace Derek Jeter. And the trades the Yankees have been making could raise their ranking on Baseball America’s farm system list. It’s hard to believe, but the Yankees actually have the pieces–if they wanted to–to trade for Cole Hamels or any other starting pitcher on the trade market. But while they are in a position where they can, they most likely won’t. The Yankees did something similar where they refused to trade their young players–they passed on moving Phil Hughes and Melky Cabrera in 2007 and both later helped the Yankees in winning the 2009 World Series.
While the Yankees have made quiet progress, they’re nowhere done making trades. The Yankees made six trades this offseason and Luis Severino, who is the Yankees No. 1 prospect according to Baseball America, could be on track to play some sort of role in the majors this season. But when it comes to phone calls and trade proposals, Cashman is willing to listen to anything.
Could the Yankees find a second basemen on the market as insurance in case both Jose Pirela and Rob Refsnyder don’t pan out? Could the Yankees bolster their rotation some more after losing Hiroki Kuroda and Brandon McCarthy? Could the Yankees acquire a decent bat via trade in case Mark Teixeira, Carlos Beltran and Brian McCann aren’t productive? The possibility of moves is intriguing and most likely won’t happen, but Cashman proved anything was possible when he baffled us all and traded Martin Prado, Shane Greene, David Phelps, Shawn Kelley and Manny Banuelos, five players who could have played a part during the 2015 season.
The Yankees are nowhere close to being a World Series caliber team. It’s even tough to assume the Yankees are a playoff caliber team, but if there’s one thing they did right, it’s giving the kids a chance to earn spots and begin a brighter future. The players currently on the major league roster aren’t getting any younger, which makes it the perfect time for the Yankees to begin their youth transition.