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The Gap Closes On and Off the Field

By Mike Silva ~ August 1st, 2009. Filed under: Mike Silva.

Now that the dust has settled on the trade deadline frenzy we can look at where the Yankees stand. It was a great day for those in the organization that have pushed Brian Cashman to be conservative with all his top prospects. Meanwhile, those that were concerned about the pitching and the Red Sox making a big move were treated to a “double whammy”. The good news, Brian Cashman still believes he can monitor the waiver wire and improve this club before the 31st of August. The bad news is that, just like Joel Sherman and Matt Cerrone reported, finances have now become part of the Yankees universe.

I like to call yesterday a “brave new world” for the Yankees.  When was the last time money was was an obstacle for the organization? Probably never. If investors are indeed screaming for a dividend, than we might see the one insurmountable gap the Yankees had over other teams disappear. Back in April, Peter Golenbock told me on NYBD Radio that minority Yankees owners for years complained about losing money. George Steinbrenner yearned to win and no cost was too high. A new ballpark with empty seats and current overhead has put the Yankees in unfamiliar territory. Case in point, NYBD contributor Frank Russo was told the Yankees asked Kansas City to pick up the remaining money on Brian Bannister’s contract (about $600k left this season) when they were talking about possibly trading for him. Obviously we are still talking about the Yankees and, if a player is the difference between winning and losing, I am sure they will do everything to obtain his services. However, this adds a layer of complication that never existed before.

Money is not the only reason why the Yankees, outside of acquiring Hairston, essentially stood pat. Teams had exorbitant demands. We have been reporting that GM’s asked for Phil Hughes or Joba Chamberlain on every discussion. Jon Heyman of SI said the same in the Washburn and Seattle. Joel Sherman reported that Milwaukee, who was pursuing Washburn heavily, was asked for their top prospects (Gamel, Parra, and Escobar). There is a new emphasis on young and inexpensive players. Teams are willing to keep their stars, ride out the season, and obtain draft picks the following year. This makes offseason construction of your team even more important. We all thought the economy was going to work in favor for the Yankees. We have yet to see a significant salary dump type of trade this year.

Deals have been made during the month of August. Many throughout the industry believe players will easily clear waivers because  teams fear they won’t be pulled back to save money. Brian Cashman has stated he didn’t see a problem acquiring someone after the 31st. Watching Sergio Mitre predictably implode last night, rumors of Phil Hughes being stretched out for a return to the rotation, and possibly shutting Joba Chamberlain down due to innings limitations, has me concerned about the dog days of August. As for help in the minors there is no Chamberlain, Hughes, or Kennedy circa 2007. Kontos/Kennedy are out for the year, McAllister shut down, and Bleich too raw. Kei Igawa might be the only internal option left. Wouldn’t Bronson Arroyo look pretty good right now? Alas he was too expensive financially and in player demands.

The Red Sox closed the gap last night on and off the field. They beat the Orioles and acquired Victor Martinez. Jim Duquette told us Thursday that the Yankees are one of the team’s best positioned to win now and in the future. We will see, starting August 6th, if “winning now” includes beating the Boston Red Sox. If not, all the Yankees can hope for is that they continue to hit the jackpot with their deep farm system. July 31st might become the day that the 2009 season, and how business is conducted in the future, changed for the New York Yankees

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Mike Silva has hosted sports shows on 107.1 FM Champions ESPN Radio Long Island ,1240 AM WGBB , Blog Talk Radio and live from Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant. He’s also built and maintained two popular social media hubs: New York Baseball Digest and Sports Media Watchdog. Mike has broken national and local stories, as well as been mentioned on the YES Network, SNY.tv, WFAN, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, NY Daily News, New York Magazine, Journal News and the NY Post. Contact Mike professionally at mikesilvamedia.com

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5 Responses to The Gap Closes On and Off the Field

  1. Moface

    Hey Mike,

    Is it confirmed that Kennedy is out for the whole year? I thought there might have been a chance that perhaps he could pitch at the end of the year. Thanks

  2. Mike Silva


    Still up in the air. I am going to try to get Chad Jennings on the show soon and do a Scranton update.

  3. Moface

    Cool, hopefully he’s not gone for the year.

  4. Mike Silva

    Moface (or any other Yankees fan that reads the site)

    If you know of players, minor league writers, etc. that you would like to hear from let me know. I talk to Ashmore at Trenton, met Jennings last year (never had him on the show). Jed Weisberger did a great job when I had him on. You should definitely follow his updates at Trenton Thunder.

    Whatever feedback, good or bad, just shoot it out there or email me.

  5. Bernie

    Jeremy Bleich is the only legit pitching prospect in the Yankee organization. The others should be made available in trades, they’re nothing more than organizational hype.

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