Cano Leaving is a Disaster for the Yankees
Can the Yankees say that? The acquisition of McCann could free them to trade catching prospect Gary Sanchez, but if they do that it can’t be another gaffe like the Michael Pineda for Jesus Montero calamity. Other than Sanchez, they have few players on the farm to deal. Beltran is a free agent again, but he’s two years older than he was when the Cardinals signed him and the Yankees don’t have a replacement for Cano at second base. They’ve signed Kelly Johnson and have been in contact with Omar Infante. Neither combined are shadow of what Cano is. And they don’t have the freedom to say to a fan base that has been conditioned to expect a World Series every year that they’re retooling and hope the they’ll accept that and still pay the outlandish prices it costs to come to Yankee Stadium.
This is what their annual demand of World Series or bust has created. It’s what made them and what will break them.
The decisions they’ve made this winter don’t seem to have a blueprint. A conglomeration of haphazardness has infested the Yankees. Is there a limit of $189 million for 2014 or not? Having given $85 million to McCann and $153 million to Ellsbury with them in pursuit of many other names that will be exorbitantly expensive seems to indicate they’re not going to bother with the payroll limit or are hoping (praying) that Alex Rodriguez’s salary is off the books due to a suspension. If that’s the case, they’ll also need a third baseman – this is something that’s conveniently ignored if they lose A-Rod. As for pitching, they re-signed Hiroki Kuroda, which is a solid move. There’s a massive movement for them to get Masahiro Tanaka and the majority of those advocating a “price is no object” full-court press to get him will be the first ones to say how bad he is if he doesn’t live up to the hype as few Japanese imports do.
Are they paying closer attention to finding amateur talent? That they’ve surrendered the draft picks necessary to sign McCann and Ellsbury with possibly more on the way, along with the bizarre decision to keep in charge of the draft the same people who created their minor league mess in the first place, says no.
Are they committed to the young players that they believe will be of use? Given the adherence to the absurd innings limits and pitch counts for their young pitchers even with the failures of every one of their “top” pitching prospects over the past decade, that answer is also no. They signed McCann when they have Austin Romine and Gary Sanchez in their system. This says that they’re repeating the old Yankee way of developing prospects simply to trade them.
The defection of Cano has left the Yankees and their fans with a conundrum. The entire foundation of the organization and being a fan of it is based on winning and getting what they want regardless of cost. The side story of “Yankees history” has justified the supposed better breeding that is implied in comparison to other organizations as if the Yankees went to Harvard while their competitors got by on a CUNY education in New York. But the fantasy is shattered when it’s examined logically; when they don’t win; when they don’t get what they want.