New York may have become sellers at the Deadline, but it's for the best
By Terence Moore
Baseballs are round, center field is behind second base, and the Yankees are either in the midst of a dynasty or headed toward one -- just stating the obvious.
The point is, those wringing their hands over the state of the Yankees after they became sellers instead of buyers for the first time in recent memory aren't paying attention to history. Soon rather than later, the Bronx Bombers always recover from whatever along the way to prominence.
Lou Gehrig mentioned as much during his farewell speech -- remember? Right after he said through the echoes of the old Yankee Stadium, "Today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth," he added, "because this is the most resilient Major League franchise of all time."
OK, maybe Gehrig didn't say that. Still, when it comes to ranking among baseball's elite teams, it's in the Yankees' DNA.
So you should shrug over the fact that the Yanks are becoming less of a contender these days after shipping away All-Star relievers Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller and veteran slugger Carlos Beltran, while dropping six of their past 10 games for a 54-54 record. They are 7 1/2 games behind in the American League East, and they trail the Orioles, Blue Jays and Red Sox. The Yankees are also five games behind in the race for the second AL Wild Card spot.
That said, in no particular order, there are six reasons why all of those Yankees haters should hold their glee.
1. Brian Cashman
Cashman is pretty good. All you need to know is that Cashman has been with the Yankees for 30 years, including the past 18 as their general manager, and he is among the most respected executives in the game. Cashman did a lot to construct the last pinstriped dynasty of Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera, and if he did it once, he can do it again.
2. Hank and Hal Steinbrenner
They co-own the Yankees, and their father, George, was unrivaled as an owner throughout the sports world when it came to name recognition. George demanded perfection so much that he was nicknamed "The Boss" by the New York tabloids. During George's 37-year run in the Bronx, the Yankees won seven World Series championships and 11 pennants, with his sons watching -- and learning.
3. A-Rod (yes, A-Rod) Alex Rodriguez has another season left on his contract after this year, and with no potential trade partners in sight, Cashman said he does not have a desire to eat the deal of somebody making $21 million per year -- you know, despite the fact that Rodriguez is 41 years old and hitting .204 with nine homers. But here's the encouraging part -- as Cashman told reporters this week, Rodriguez did hit 33 homers as recently as last season, so A-Rod could provide several bursts of goodness before he's done. If not, he's gone after next year anyway.
4. Chapman traded
This whole transaction could benefit the Yankees -- twice. Not only did the Yanks get a splendid middle reliever in Adam Warren from the Cubs after they dealt their flame-throwing closer, but they received three other prospects. As for that "twice" part, since Chapman is a free agent after this season, he could return to New York.
5. Top prospects
In return for Chapman, Beltran and Miller, the Yankees stocked their farm system with seven of the game's Top 100 Prospects, according to MLBPipeline.com. Which brings us to ...
The Yankees did the unthinkable during the mid-1930s by trading Babe Ruth, but Gehrig stayed, and that was more than enough to keep pinstripes en vogue until Joe DiMaggio came along. During the Yankee Clipper's last season, they got a rookie named Mickey Mantle, and he led a terrific trio that included Yogi Berra and Whitey Ford.
That was an easy enough transition between dynasties for the Yankees, but consider their rare tough stretches. They plunged into mediocrity after that terrific trio's last trip to the World Series in 1964. Then, they rose with flair toward another AL pennant in 1976, followed by back-to-back World Series championships inspired by Reggie Jackson, with help from Thurman Munson and others. But that doesn't mean things Yankees officials weren't doing much between those runs of the Mick and Mr. October.
George Steinbrenner took over in 1973, and he eventually reached deep into his considerable vault to sign future Hall of Fame pitcher Catfish Hunter. Jackson soon followed, and so did more superstars, courtesy of The Boss' big bucks. He also hired the explosive Billy Martin to manage all of those egos with considerable talent. The combination was sometimes dysfunctional, but it was highly productive.
Then came another lull for the Yanks in the 1980s. They had the likes of Dave Winfield and Don Mattingly, but they needed more. They needed what they need now -- patience. That patience should come these days as the result of a farm system, which is hinting of producing enough folks on the horizon to complement an already decent double-play combination of Didi Gregorius at shortstop and Starlin Castro at second.
Two decades ago, the Yankees needed to wait on the baseball maturity of Jeter, Pettitte and Rivera -- along with that of Bernie Williams, Jorge Posada and several others -- and that group spurred the franchise to its last dynasty, featuring five World Series championships between 1996 and 2010.
See where I'm going? More important, see where these Yankees are going?
Terence Moore is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.