The Yankees are seven and a half games out of first place in the AL East and five and a half back in the Wild Card. There are three teams ahead of them in the East, however, and seven teams ahead of them in the Wild Card hunt. Between that, their age and their injuries, it’d take a pretty optimistic sort to think that they’re truly contenders.
Unfortunately for the Yankees, there are two people who are optimistic: their owner, Hal Steinbrenner and their president Randy Levine. Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York says that they are the only two people in the organization who don’t want to sell at the deadline and rebuild while Brain Cashman and the baseball operations folks do:
According to a baseball source who spoke to ESPN on condition of anonymity, the opposing factions are composed of the baseball operations people, led by general manager Brian Cashman, who believe the team should sell off its assets and plan for the future, and the business side, which is led by owner Hal Steinbrenner and team president Randy Levine, who hold to the belief that the club is still in contention.
“There’s only two people in the tri-state area who think this team is still a contender,” the source said. “Hal Steinbrenner and Randy Levine.”
Read that article even remotely closely and it sounds A LOT like Brian Cashman or someone very close to him is the “baseball source.” In that light this should be read as something aimed at pressuring Steinbrenner and Levine to allow the baseball folks to sell at the deadline.
To that end, Matthews details all that the Yankees would try to sell, according to his source, and it’s a pretty thorough list. Not just relievers Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller, as many have speculated, but also Carlos Beltran, Mark Teixeira, Brian McCann, Ivan Nova, Nate Eovaldi and even Jacoby Ellsbury. Obviously a lot of those guys would be hard to move given their contracts, but it’s better to get something for them rather than nothing. As the Phillies showed last year, even a late rebuild can bring real talent back in return, and the Yankees have a lot of talent to offer contenders at the moment.
But they’ll have noting to sell if Steinbrenner and Levine remain stubborn and continue to cling to the old fiction that the Yankees must always be buyers and that they can perpetually contend. That’s simply a lie of the George Steinbrenner era that was more P.R. than reality. Personally, I’d listen to my experienced baseball operations department on this one. A baseball operations department which sounds like it really wants to sell off in the month of July and rebuild for the future.